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Natalie Portman Gears Up to Take Over for Reese Witherspoon in ‘Pale Blue Dot’

Portman is in talks for a role Witherspoon had to leave due to scheduling conflicts with “Big Little Lies”

Natalie Portman is in talks to replace Reese Witherspoon in the lead role of Fox Searchlight’s astronaut drama “Pale Blue Dot,” Portman’s reps told TheWrap.

Witherspoon had to withdraw from the role due to scheduling conflicts with Season 2 of the award-winning HBO series “Big Little Lies,” though she will remain a producer on the film. “Pale Blue Dot” follows a successful female astronaut who returns from space only to face psychological issues from her time away from Earth when she feels disconnected from her seemingly idyllic American life.

Noah Hawley, who has written and directed for several Fox TV shows, including “Fargo,” “Legion,” and “Bones,” is attached to direct the film from a script by “Legion” producer Brian C. Brown.

Portman will next appear in the Paramount/Skydance sci-fi horror film “Annihilation,” and will star alongside Jessica Chastain, Jacob Tremblay, and Kit Harrington in “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.” She is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment.