Natalie Portman to Star in Astronaut Drama 'Pale Blue Dot'

Natalie Portman - Getty - H 2018
Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon

'Legion' showrunner Noah Hawley is directing the project for Fox Searchlight.

Natalie Portman is negotiations to star in Pale Blue Dot, an astronaut drama that Noah Hawley, the man behind the Fargo and Legion TV series, is directing for Fox Searchlight.

The drama was once intended to be a starring vehicle for Reese Witherspoon, but she is instead producing along with Bruna Papandrea.

Pale Blue Dot centers on a married astronaut who returns to Earth after a mission and begins an affair with a fellow astronaut. She heads into a downward spiral as she loses her connection to her family — a condition that can afflict those who spend a long time in space — and when her lover begins another affair with an astronaut trainee, the bottom drops out.

A true-life astronaut love triangle in which a female mission specialist tried to kidnap a rival in 2007 is the inspiration for the script, which was written by Brian C. Brown and Elliott DiGuiseppi.

The deal shows Searchlight’s commitment to keep on producing films on its slate even as the division, like other Fox movie arms, operates under the looming acquisition by Disney. Searchlight is riding a wave of success this awards season as its dramas The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri rack up multiple nominations and wins. 

Portman, who was nominated for an Oscar for her work in 2016’s Jackie and won for 2010’s Black Swan, next stars in Annihilation, Paramount and Skydance’s sci-fi thriller from Alex Garland.