What might appear to be an homage to David Bowie glitz on its cover, is actually much deeper in Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux which follows the unconventional metamorphosis of a young teenager from school shooting survivor to tortured pop idol.
Similar to how Natalie Portman pulled out all the stops and transformed into a sublime, razor-sharp ballerina for her Oscar-winning role in 2010’s Black Swan, she made certain she was vocally prepped and choreographed before her 10 days of shooting on Vox Lux (the entire film was shot over 22 days). Financing dropped out prior to the pic’s production and delaying its start which provided Portman with extra prep time so she was ready to hit the ground running when filming began.
“It gives you more time when things fall apart, as long as they come back together again,” Portman says.
The film, which is dedicated to Jonathan Demme who was well known for his Talking Heads and Neil Young concert films, reps her fourth collaboration with Jude Law following Cold Mountain, Closer, and My Blueberry Nights. And on a short shoot, such short-hand between actors goes a long way. Law plays the manager of Portman’s Celeste, who he propels from angel-voiced one-hit anthem wonder teen to an established, controversial and complicated recording artist. Sia provided many of the varied styled songs and for Corbet, the multi-Grammy nominee just took his cinematic work to a whole other level. “When I wrote it, I didn’t know what the songs were going to sound like,” says the filmmaker. Both Portman and Law are named as EPs on Vox Lux along with Sia.
NEON won out the U.S. rights for Vox Lux over A24 as exclusively reported by Deadline with CAA Media Finance and Endeavor Content teaming on the auction. The film was financed by Bold Films and Andrew Lauren Productions (ALP). Bold’s Michel Litvak, Gary Michael Walters, David Litvak and Svetlana Metkina serve as producers alongside ALP’s Andrew Lauren and D.J. Gugenheim as well as Christine Vachon from Killer Films, David Hinojosa, Brian Young from Three Six Zero Entertainment, and Robert Salerno.
Corbet’s third directorial is the period drama The Brutalist which will reteam him with ALP.