Fox Searchlight, is in final negotiations to co-finance and distribute Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky's supernatural thriller set in the world of New York ballet. Fox's specialty division, who also distributed the Aronofsky's award season favorite The Wrestler, will co-finance the picture with Cross Creek Pictures.
Searchlight had been eyeing the project, which was originally conceived at Universal, as a high-end supernatural thriller drawing comparisons to The Others. Searchlight hadn't committed to finance or acquire rights, until the pic was retooled as an indie, with Mark Heyman pennign a script based on an original screenplay by Andres Heinz.
Set to shoot in NYC before the end of the year with a budget estimated between $10 million-$12 million, Black Swan stars Natalie Portman as Nina, a veteran ballerina who finds herself locked in to a competitive showdown with a rival dancer named Lilly, who will be played by Mila Kunis. But it’s unclear whether the rival is a supernatural apparition or if the Portman is simply having delusions.
Winona Ryder recently signed on to play Beth, Nina’s friend who’s been the school’s running lead nearing the end of her career, with all the dancers aiming to take her place as Odette, the Swan Queen, in the next big ballet: Swan Lake. Rounding out the cast is Barbara Hershey and Vincent Cassel(Oceans 12 & 13).
The online interest in Black Swan has stemmed mostly from the rumored “ecstasy-induced hungry aggressive angry sex” scene between Portman and Kunis. Sorry guys... no new word on that. Fox Searchlight, who is gearing up to next release Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox, has been put out some great pics this year. I even enjoyed the quickly buried Jared Hess comedy Gentlemen Broncos, despite it's faults.
I think BLACK SWAN is in good hands with Searchlight, and will ultimately benefit from the smaller budget. What do you think?