Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Natalie Portman to play a college student with a secret for HBO

The twist this time is NOT that she got a gun, at least as far as we know. (Jane Got A Gun)
The twist this time is NOT that she got a gun, at least as far as we know. (Jane Got A Gun)

The low-key success of The Night Of seems to have put HBO back in a miniseries mood, as the premium cable network spent this week piling up the limited-series gold. Yesterday, the network started development on Black Flags, an ISIS origin story from Hangover bros Todd Phillips and Bradley Cooper. Today, it announced that it’s also developing an adaptation of Karen Joy Fowler’s award-winning novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, starring Natalie Portman in the leading role.

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Portman will star in the series—created by Grace & Frankie and Friends mastermind Marta Kauffman—as Rosemary, a college student whose childhood was defined by the disappearance of her “twin sister” at the age of 5. And if you’re wondering about those scare quotes in the previous sentence, well, it turns out Fowler’s novel is one of those books with a big meaty plot twist at roughly the one-third mark, the kind that makes discussing its plot a huge pain in the ass if you don’t want to ruin it. We’re not going to do so here (although you can read about it on Variety’s write-up of the news, or this review of the book in The Guardian) but it seems crazy to us that HBO will be able to consistently talk around the book’s hidden premise in the months (or however long it’ll be) before the series actually airs.

Meanwhile, in news less likely to make everybody involved stick their fingers in their ears and go “na-na-na-na-na,” Beside Ourselves will actually be Portman’s first regular TV gig ever. (We don’t know if she ever thought she’d find herself working alongside the creator of Friends on a regular old Tee-vee show; presumably, no one ever told her that her life was going to be this way.) She also recently finished filming on the Jacqueline Kennedy biopic Jackie, and is preparing to release her directorial debut, A Tale Of Love And Darkness, which finished filming back in 2015.

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