Natalie Portman getting back into comics?

Hopeful news for those of us eagerly awaiting the film version of Michael Chabon’s excellent novel The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay – if those tenterhooks are starting to chafe, then prepare to be happy. Because the man himself has provided an update on its progress.

Writing in his blog, Chabon has been spilling details on the long, slow grind to drag the movie on to the screen. He can’t be too specific, because there’s really not much to be specific about. The film – which chronicles the lives of two young cousins who create a comic book superhero named The Escapist, helping to usher in the golden age of comics while living through such tragedies as the Second World War - doesn’t have a cast and the script is still very much a work in progress. Billy Elliot’s Stephen Daldry is still attached to direct, but Chabon reports that everything else has yet to be locked down.

“The fate of this project- whether it will move at last from the nebulousness of pre-pre-production into really-truly pre-production, with a budget and cast and everything, will be decided on or around 12 July 2006,” writes the author. “Miss Natalie Portman is a strong likelihood for the part of Rosa; other casting is ongoing, as are work on the script (a lot of cutting) and tests conducted by a number of top-drawer animation studios (for the comic book elements). Quick answers (as of this date) - Golem: yes. Antarctica: yes. Gay love story: yes. Ruins of World's Fair: no. Long Island: no. Orson Welles: no. Salvador Dali: yes. Loving reference to Betty and Veronica: no. Stan Lee: no.”

While it’ll be sad to see some of those cherished elements from the novel fall to the cause of producing a script that runs under three hours, at least something is happening. Stay tuned for more, and check out Chabon’s blog by clicking here .

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