After taking a brief hiatus to win an Oscar, give birth, and get married (in that order) it looks like Natalie Portman is ready to jump back in the saddle, both metaphorically and physically. Though it won't be her first project since playing Jane Foster in Thor, the western Jane Got a Gun is certainly among her most intriguing.
Obviously, putting Portman in a western was sure to catch more than its fair share of attention, but the project's newest casting rumor ignites our interest even further. It's reported that Jane Got a Gun is now courting Michael Fassbender for a major role opposite Portman.
In the film, the eponymous Jane finds her outlaw husband bullet-riddled and near death on her front porch. Knowing the bandits that put her husband in this predicament are not far behind, Jane seeks out the help of an ex-lover (Fassbender) to help. It sounds like classic western fodder, but with Portman and Fassbender in starring roles it could also be a serious awards season contender.
In addition to starring, Portman will also be producing the film, with the financial backing coming from Scott Steindorff's Scott Pictures. Jane Got a Gun's script was written by Brian Duffield, and was among 2011's 'Black List' screenplays -- a list of the most coveted, but yet to be picked up, screenplays in Hollywood.
The presence of director Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk about Kevin) behind the camera adds another dynamic to the production, due in large part to her storytelling flair and obvious feminine presence. When potential Thor 2 directors were being tossed around Natalie Portman was a heavy supporter of Patty Jenkins, who subsequently was given job before losing it. With Portman acting and producing the project it wouldn't surprise us to learn she had a hand in Ramsay being brought on.
Tapping Fassbender for a project however, is easier said then done, as he has become a sought after commodity for both big budget Hollywood films and smaller independent features. His current slate of upcoming films includes The Counselor (which ironically courted Portman for a role), a brief stint on 12 Years a Slave, and reprising his role as Magneto in X-Men: Days of Future Past – and those are just his confirmed roles. If Fassbender were to pass on the project it most assuredly would be due to a busy schedule not a lack of interest.
Nonetheless our mouths are salivating at the chance to see Portman and Fassbender in a bona fide western, gun slinging and all. Hopefully the Prometheus actor can find time to squeeze one more project into his schedule.