Natalie Portman in Talks for Cheerleader Crime Thriller ‘Dare Me’; Michael Sucsy to Direct

Published 2 years ago by

Dare Me cover Natalie Portman in Talks for Cheerleader Crime Thriller Dare Me; Michael Sucsy to Direct

Is there any villain more terrifying than a head cheerleader? Any battlefield more brutal than high school? Megan Abbott’s crime thriller novel Dare Me explores these questions and more as it narrates the turmoil, and death, that befalls a group of cheerleaders after they are assigned a new coach who is determined to push them into becoming their very best – even if it means turning them against one another.

The novel was published last year to generally very positive reviews and was optioned for a screen adaptation by Fox 2000 as early as August 2012. Now it appears that the gears of progress are turning on this sordid tale of backstabbing cheerleaders and their ruthless coach.

Deadline reports that Karen Rosenfelt (Twilight, The Devil Wears Prada) is producing a film adaptation of Dare Me, based on a script written by Abbott herself. Michael Sucsy is set to direct, and Fox 2000 is “courting” Thor star Natalie Portman for a role, potentially the lead.

Though he’s still a relative newcomer as a director, Sucsy sounds like a decent fit for a film geared towards a female audience, since his biggest hit to date was The Vow: last year’s Valentine’s Day romance in which Rachel McAdams plays a woman who loses all memory of her husband (Channing Tatum) after a car accident, forcing him to make her fall in love with him all over again. A talent for making such an irrepressibly slushy story work, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that Sucsy will have what it takes to give Dare Me the bite of Heathers or even Mean Girls.

Natalie Portman in Brothers Natalie Portman in Talks for Cheerleader Crime Thriller Dare Me; Michael Sucsy to Direct

Natalie Portman has been very preoccupied of late with Jane Got a Gun, the indie film that she is producing and starring in. It has suffered multiple setbacks, including a director who abandoned the project on the first day of filming and a cast that has been ever-shifting due to the number of male principals that have joined the film and then left it again.

With Jane Got a Gun finally nearing the end of its revised production schedule, however, perhaps Portman will take the role in Dare Me as a way to wind down. At 32, she’s a pretty likely candidate for the role of the cheerleading coach, but is probably still fresh-faced enough (at least, in Hollywood casting logic) to play one of the students.


Dare Me doesn’t yet have a release date, but we’ll let you know if Portman ends up taking the role.

Source: Deadline

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. I like Natalie Portman. I think she’s a good actress. Some of the movies she’s been in have been terrible, but not because of her. She was good in V for Vendetta….. Black Swan….. and even as a child in The Professional she was excellent…. Though that role was super creepy from a pedophile stand point….. I don’t blame her for that.

    The worst moments in her film career were the super awkward “love” scenes between her and the truly awful actor, Hayden Christensen, in the Star Wars prequel, Revenge of the Sith….. Ugh! Truly dreadful. Squrmingly bad dialog, thanks to George Lucas. But not Natalie’s fault. The movie was terrible around her. She did what she could with the bad script. Took the money and went to the bank. Same as in Thor. She was ok in that too…. Just not given anything to do…… She fortunately didn’t become the MacGuffin, rescue monkey in Thor….. She must be thankful for that….. No damsel in distress for her.

    I wouldn’t call myself a NP fan. But I don’t mind her screen presence at all in a movie. I would watch the Jane’s Got a Gun……. looks like it won’t happen now.

  2. Love the Port!!!!!

  3. I hope she plays the coach! Hahaha. I don’t think I would be comfortable, if that’s the right word, if I saw her play a high school student.

    I don’t recall seeing a Natalie Portman movie in which she was the antagonist.

  4. What Natalie needs to do is a sequel to The Professional directed by Pierre Morel.