Natalie Portman Will Play a Somewhat Britney Spears-esque Tragic Pop Star in Upcoming Film, Vox Lux

Sia will write the songs.

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Natalie Portman does not shy away from a challenging role. In 2010, she won an Oscar for playing innocent ballet star who goes through psychological hell in Black Swan. Last year, she portrayed the former first lady Jackie Kennedy, and took her through psychological hell in Jackie. In another upcoming film, Pale Blue Dot, she’ll play an astronaut who returns to earth and goes though her own psychological hell. Basically, going through psychological hell is Portman’s on screen specialty. So, her latest role sounds right up her alley.

It was announced today that Portman will replace the previously cast Rooney Mara in the upcoming film Vox Lux (Mara dropped out due to production delays). She’ll star opposite Jude Law.

So what type of icon is Portman taking to the brinks of despair this time? A pop star, one who may or may not be sort of Britney Spears-esque. The official log line for the film describes the plot as following: “The rise of ‘Celeste’ from the ashes of a major national tragedy to pop superstardom.” The film will start in 1999 and run straight through today. Director and writer Brady Corbett has also described the film as being, “concerned with the problem of worship and the deconstruction of familiar iconographies.” Vox Lux is Latin for, “Voice of Light.”

Incidentally, Corbett, a former child actor, broke into the world of writing and directing with his film The Childhood of a Leader. Starring Robert Pattinson, that film chronicled the upbringing of a character who we know goes on to be a ruthless dictator. Pattinson described the character as an, “amalgamation of Hitler, Mussolini and some others,” and while some critics especially keyed in on the Hitler comparisons, Corbett tried to brush them aside. Which is all to say, Corbett’s films may remind you of specific real life figures, but he’s more concerned with the general type and less anyone specific. Perhaps we could also accurately describe the character as Jessica Simpson-esque, as well.

In any event, a real life pop star is involved in the film. Sia is not only co-producing the film, but has written original music for the film. Portman and Sia have sort of crossed paths before. The former starred in a Dior ad soundtracked by the later.

Production on the film will star in New York City on February 1st.

Related: Natalie Portman and Barbra Streisand Call Out Golden Globes for All Male Best Director Nominees