Good news for approximately the first time since 2016: Natalie Portman will play a married astronaut who falls in love with a fellow NASA worker played by Jon Hamm, in a movie that is based off the surreal 2007 story of the astronaut love-triangle that ended with a woman driving cross country in a space diaper. The whole thing will be produced by Reese Witherspoon.
In “Pale Blue Dot,” Portman will star as Lucy Cola, an astronaut who returns to earth and experiences a disassociation common to astronauts after long missions. She begins an extramarital affair with another astronaut (Jon Hamm) and then loses everything when he in turn begins a relationship with another astronaut (Zazie Beetz.)
Lucy Cola is a fictional character. But Captain Lisa Nowack, who inspired the story, is very real. In 2007, she drove 900 miles in a car packed with a knife, a bebe gun, rope, and disguises without stopping to confront her ex-lover’s new girlfriend. She was charged with attempted murder but accepted a plea deal for a lesser charge. The scandal had everything: Astronauts, road trips, sex, the promise of violence, and a spurned woman in a diaper.
As Cola, Portman is being called unrecognizable. We don’t think so — it’s an unflattering haircut, but to us the fierceness of Natalie is as on display as ever.
Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny