Making the leap from directing sweaty, slabs of meat to pretty, dainty dancers might seem like an odd move for The Wrestler’s Darren Aronofsky, but it was actually that film’s success that has paved the way for upcoming ballet psychodrama, Black Swan.
A twisty-turny thriller set in the world of the New York Ballet, the idea for Black Swan has been kicking around for a good while, with Aronofsky first pitching the idea to Universal back in 2007.
But whilst the project was initially fast-tracked by the studio, it was eventually placed in turnaround limbo while Universal waited for another studio to stump up development costs.
In fairness to Universal, a ballet-based mindfuck hardly looks like a guaranteed smash on paper. Aronofsky’s star had also waned somewhat since the success of the critically lauded Requiem For A Dream, with 2006’s The Fountain clocking up some distinctly iffy reviews.
However, it’s funny how a few Oscar nominations can make studio execs think twice. With critics queuing up to lavish praise on The Wrestler, Aronofsky was suddenly a man in demand.
MGM were apparently keen to recruit the director to breathe new life into the Robocop franchise, before they found themselves without a pot to piss in, and rumours persist that he will team up with Angelina Jolie to adapt Ron Rash novel Serena.
This newly-replenished industry clout meant Aronofsky could afford to pick and choose however,with the director deciding to place Black Swan squarely at the top of his list.
Overnight Pictures (the team that financed Robert Rodriguez’s upcoming Machete) were initially working in tandem with Aronofsy’s own company, Protozoa Pictures, before Fox Searchlight snapped up development rights in November of last year.
The studio had previously distributed The Wrestler and were clearly confident that Aronofsky could repeat the trick a second time.
So what exactly is it that Aronofsky will be serving up? The story of a washed up ballerina, looking for one last crack at the big time before her heart gives in? Er no, nothing of the sort actually.
The film will focus upon talented ballerina Nina, the star turn in a New York production of Swan Lake, who finds her position under threat upon the arrival of sexy newcomer Lily.
So far, so generic you might think, but this is set to be a far more complicated affair than it first appears. Because instead of simply hating each other’s guts, Lily and Nina soon forge a rather unsettling relationship that leads them down some very dark paths indeed…Bring It On, it ain’t.
Next: Tiny Dancers