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Portman to Dance for Suspiria Remake

Natalie Portman to star in SuspiriaThe industry site Tracking B has confirmed a rumor going ‘round the net that the one and only Natalie Portman is set to topline David (Pineapple Express) Gordon’s remake of Suspiria.

The details are scarce, but it seems agency Creative Artists is out shopping the film around with Portman’s name on it, more than likely in the role filled by Jessica Harper in the 1977 original, that of a young dancer who attends a remote ballet school and is soon aware of some nefarious things going on behind the scenes.

How this remake will turn out is anybody’s guess, but chances are Gordon will, smartly, take a more linear approach to the story rather than try to duplicate Argento’s Technicolor nightmare. More as we learn it!

Johnny Butane

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48 Comments

  1. I think Portman is a great actress, gorgeous too…And thank you UC for that laugh…That was comedic brilliance.

    • “I think Portman is a great actress, gorgeous too…”

      Yes, yes, I agree with you totally – but she could still do with having slightly bigger breasts!

  2. Portman is only ever as good as her director pushes her to be.

    She can alternately be dazzling (V FOR VENDETTA) or crap (STAR WARS).

    Although I’ll go to my grave thinking that Angela Bettis should have been cast in this movie. Surely no other modern actress has that bird-like fragility that Jessica Harper had.

    • I’d say that the ONLY films she hasn’t been impressive in were the STAR WARS films, and that blame falls squarely on Lucas’ shoulders. That’s what happens when you have actors perform alone in front of green screens, then paste their heads from one take onto bodies from another. For pete’s sake, he made Sam Jackson boring – that really takes some doing.

      She’s great in everything else she’s done.

      Extra props to Portman for actually being trained in ballet.

      Oh, and Bettis is just too old now.

  3. She evokes no emotion in me whatsoever when I see her on screen. At least with Jessica Alba I can get pissed that she’s giving a shitty performance, with Portman … it’s nothing. I couldn’t careless who her character is or what she’s doing. I’d like to blame that on Lucas-taint, but I don’t think that’s it.

    And Pineapple Express wasn’t a bad movie in the least. It was entertainingly uncomfortable.

    • I think Portman is cute as a button, but like you, she evokes nothing in me. She strikes me as utterly vapid and vacuous.

      And yes, I know what I just said will probably get me slammed as being uneducated, ill informed and probably gay. But I gots to call it as I sees it.

      • I won’t slam you, only question you a bit. Vapid and vacuous? Really?

        From interviews alone, she comes off smart as a whip. She’s very serious, not at all some Hollywood party girl – in fact, she graduated from Harvard with a 4.0. average, and she’s even published in several scientific journals.

        Vapid and vacuous? I’d say that she’s actually smarter than about 90 percent of the members of this board.

        • “in fact, she graduated from Harvard with a 4.0. average, and she’s even published in several scientific journals.”

          Yes, she covered all this in her Gangsta rap!

          • Stand by it all you want — I just completely disproved what you said.

            Did Winona Ryder graduate from Harvard with a 4.0? Did she serve as an assistant to Alan friggin’ Dershowitz? Did she publish in multiple scientific journals? Did she contribute to a revolutionary frontal lobe activation study? Did she appear on PBS to participate in an in-depth examination of microfinance?

            Portman did all of this. Because she’s one damned intelligent, serious, thoughtful lady. Smarter than most of her audience, it seems.

            Name me another actress with this many intellectual accomplishments. For that matter, do YOU have this many intellectual accomplishments?

            Sorry, dude, you’re wrong. There’s nothing at all vapid about her. She’s the perfect package — heavy on brains, talent and beauty.

          • I wasn’t saying she wasn’t smart, I was saying I don’t find her appealing as an actress. Like Kryten said, it’s an opinion. They are like assholes, everybody has one. If you think she’s the greatest thing since sliced bred, I can live with that. It’s just not something I happen to agree with.

          • It’s not that she’s just smart and beautiful. She’s also magic! I hear if you rub her left tit (counterclockwise) she’ll grant you three wishes.

          • I think rubbing her left tit would be one of my three wishes…with the remaining two being rubbing the right one, capped off with a big motorboat finish.

          • Talk about her education and discuss if she’s smart and talented or just a hack, I really don’t care. But talk about nipple swirling and motorboating and I’ll come in pumping my fists in the air. Yeah boobies!!
            Personally I like her in almost anything she does. Like I said before, a remake might be good. Maybe it would make a little more sense this time around.

          • Well, “vapid and vacuous” generally refer to one’s intelligence. Vacuous means lacking intelligence, in fact. So yeah, you kinda were saying she isn’t smart.

    • I’m still not clear on something – have you seen her in anything aside from the prequels? Have you seen any of the films I mentioned?

  4. The remake trend has almost killed all my good will for this subgenre, but this one interests me. Anytime a real director like Green gets attached to a film like this, I’m at least willing to see the outcome.

    I really like the original (probably not as much as most, but it’s still pretty great), but I don’t have a problem with any of the decisions they’ve made so far. “George Washington” is easily one of the best films of the decade, so this is great. I haven’t seen “Pineapple Express” quite yet.

    • Opinions only count when they have some sort of factual basis. You made a bland, baseless assertion, not a calculated opinion. Have you seen any of the films I referenced? Maybe you should, y’know, base an opinion on her actual body of work. You just wrote her off as talentless – I stated specific examples that prove otherwise.

      Hell, CLOSER alone proves my point, as she gives a shaded, multi-layered performance in it. She was rightfully nominated for an Oscar for it, in fact.

      Portman’s someone who primarily picks challenging character roles, as opposed to Jessica Alba schlockers. Roles that she can sink her teeth into, that require actual skill. She’s widely considered to be one of the best actors of her generation. The only films she didn’t register in were Lucas’ prequels, but NO ONE registered in those, thanks to poor writing and Lucas digitally cutting and pasting performances. Even Sam Jackson was dull in those.

      Regardless, Green casting Portman goes a LONG way toward getting my good will. It shows that he’s actually looking to cast REAL ACTORS.

  5. Can someone PLEASE explain to me what the big damn deal is about Suspiria? I’ve seen it and didn’t get it at all…seriously.

    • im gonna say its an atmosphere thing…the psychedelic colors and the awesome music contribute heavily to an admitedly thin story. but the story’s thinness kind of adds to the trippy experience, since stuff happens that isn’t really explained or rational. The whole thing is kind of like a fever-dream. I’m not saying its the greatest movie ever or anything, but my appreciation of it increases each time I see it.

      Still not as good as Deep Red though.

  6. This is just disgusting!!
    If you don’t respect the film….DON’T DO A RE-MAKE. Dario Argento is, in my opinion, one of the original truly fearless pioneers on the horror world. Suspiria is NOT some 70’s gore flick. It is an arthouse classic. And I think this is a supreme insult to him.
    It sickens me to think that the same asshole that made something as vomitous as “Pineapple Express” was even given a green light from ANYONE to re-make Suspiria.
    And it just keeps getting better! Natalie Portman?! You have to be fucking kidding me. It will be a sad sad day if she actually ends up being cast.
    I think it’s a sad sad day regardless that the prick is being funded for this at all.
    I guess he can’t miss his next boat payment……

    • Easy on the eyes and has talent — that actually perfectly describes Portman. Lucas’ awful prequels aside, she’s given some exceptional performances. She was marvelous in CLOSER, GARDEN STATE, GOYA’S GOSTS and WHERE THE HEART IS. And let’s not forget her career-making performance in LEON. Calling her talentless is sheer idiocy.

      She’s much more than just a pretty face, dude. She’s the real deal.

      This remake may be misguided, but she’s still absolutely PERFECT for the role.

      • Agreed. Portman is extremely good and the only actress who could fill Jessica Harper’s shoes.

        And that picture makes me want to go swimming. *drool*

  7. The director of an artless movie like Pinneapple Fucking Express has no business talking down to an art-house classic like Suspiria. I’ll bet my life that his version turns out to be like any other over-produced Hollywood slasher bullshit complete with cheap scares and hipster girl dialogue.

    Green just pissed away his one chance to save some face with the fans.

    • From the same Fangoria.com article:

      “I would love to get every geek that loves torture porn and every old lady in line to see PHANTOM OF THE OPERA to come and have this insane experience.”

      Really sounds like he has a lot of respect for horror fans, eh? Actually he sounds like a real wanker.

      Rule one of being a good film director — never put yourself above your audience.

    • I call bullshit.

      PINEAPPLE EXPRESS may have been a commercial move, yet it’s still one of the best productions the Apatow clan has put out to date.

      That aside, Green and Tim Orr have been responsible for some of the most simultaneously visually arresting and thoughtful films of the last decade. They’re possessed of both style AND substance. And they did them on miniscule budgets. Have you seen GEORGE WASHINGTON or ALL THE REAL GIRLS? Yeah, I thought not.

      Honestly, who gives a fuck about pandering to fans? The guy obviously knows the kind of movie he wants to make, and he shouldn’t have to follow guidelines set down by internet geeks who sit at home thinking they know better.

      • I don’t mean to be argumentative, but if Green is such a genius… why is he remaking something instead of coming up with one of his own ideas? Is he that stumped? Has his well run dry? Or maybe his bank account?

        Also, I could see remaking a movie if you actually LOVED the original (As was the case with John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing, but why bother remaking something if you think it’s nothing more than an “Italian ’70s gore film”?

        I believe the answer is simple, because it’s a quick payday and the studios know by slapping a familiar name on the poster, it’ll mean a 30 million dollar weekend… and then we’re stuck with more masterworks like the remakes of Prom Night and When a Stranger Calls.

        And yes, I’ve seen George Washington and All The Real Girls (Plus Undertow, which probably makes me one of about 300 people to have seen it.) and it still doesn’t make me want him to go within 100 feet of Suspiria.

        • Or maybe Green is following the Soderbergh example of doing a mix of studios AND independent pictures. Ever think of that? He’s got plenty of original projects in the pipeline, but he also happens to quite like SUSPIRIA, as is evident in other sections of that Fango article. It’s smart to dip your toes in both worlds. That’s how you keep working and moving forward in this business. Either way, it’s a much more intriguing idea than, say, getting someone like Neal Labute to do the WICKER MAN remake. At least Green has shown that he has a remarkable visual sense. Not to mention a strong desire to not be pigeonholed.

          And it’s not like Natalie Portman is some teeny-bopper cast to bring in the tweeners. She’s an incredibly interesting actress who often takes very risky roles.

          Oh, and sorry, but SUSPIRIA is not remotely a familiar name outside of niche circles.

      • Unless they’ve made some serious changes since the cut I saw, Pineapple Express is just a scatter-shot and safe stoner comedy, and the weakest thing with Apatow’s name on it.

        I know people have called Green a maverick, but PE feels like an anonymous studio comedy. I haven’t seen his indie work yet, but do you really truly think he’s suited for horror, especially when he is undermining the genre he’s supposed to be working in?

        Remember, Lawrence Kasdan made Dreamcatcher.

        • PE is a stoner action movie, and a well-done one at that. In fact, it may be a first — are there any other stoner action movies out there? As far as being the weakest of the Apatow offerings, you think it’s weaker than DRILLBIT TAYLOR, STRANGE WILDERNESS or YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN? Maybe YOU’VE been smoking some PE, then.

          Once again, Green’s films are gorgeous and well-thought out. He’s actually an interesting choice and seems to have the right take on it. He’s not undermining the genre at all. What does “undermining the genre” even mean? Are you saying that because he referred to “torture porn geeks?” Aren’t we living in a culture where the term “geek” isn’t derogatory? It certainly doesn’t seem that way in what he says — he clearly states that he wants to bring in both a gore crowd as well as the arty contingent. Nothing wrong with that.

          And he just cast one hell of an actress in the lead — so far, I’m interested.

  8. Let me quote David Gordon Green about his remake of Suspiria (from Fangoria.com)

    “It’s an opportunity to take all artistic excellence and be inspired by what was a low-budget Italian ’70s gore movie,”

    Now, my response is simple:

    “David, go fuck yourself”.

    That low-budget Italian ’70s gore movie has more artistic merit in it’s little severed finger that your entire filmography, asswipe. If you don’t respect the film, why remake it? Oh, right… you need to fund your latest arthouse jerk-off epic.

    What’s next, a touching remake of Lucio Fulci’s THE BEYOND directed by Wes Anderson? Everyone can talk in a quirky fashion and wear clothes two sizes too small while getting their eyeballs ripped out.

    Yeesh.

    • Well jeez, at least you’re not reading into it too much…

      And it’s nice to see you cherry-picking quotes to meet your argument. From the SAME FANGORIA ARTICLE:

      “SUSPIRIA is a classic for me. I want to be scared. I want to be afraid.”

      WOW, would you just LOOK at all that disrespect?

      Are you high? Seriously. Are you?

    • I think you misread his statement. The “Artistic Excellence” he was talking about is the artistic excellence in Suspiria.

      He also doesn’t need to remake Suspiria in order to fund his “next artistic jerk-off epic” the guy has garnered enough respect in the industry that he’ll be funded for as long as he wants to make movies.

      One reason that filmmakers that actually bring a depth and intellect to the artform do remakes (adaptations, etc) is because if you ONLY shoot your own scripts your growth can become stunted after awhile. So it’s good to take something and dust off the old analytical skills every once in awhile. He probably hasn’t analyzed or interpreted anything (other than his own work) since college and it can be very refreshing and growth inspiring to look at another work and discover all the minutia and intricacies of it.

      But if the best you can do is tell someone to go fuck themselves then you don’t get it.

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