To the Surprise of Nobody/Delight of Everybody, Benjamin Millepied Is Making a Movie

May 4, 2017

Today in “How has this not already happened?” news: Benjamin Millepied—former New York City Ballet principal, former artistic director of the Paris Opéra Ballet, founder/director of L.A. Dance Project, and Mr. Natalie Portman—is going to direct and choreograph a big-screen film, Carmen.

According to

, the new project is “a contemporary musical drama inspired by French choreographer Georges Bizet’s opera.” That opera’s music is rich with dance possibility—several choreographers have created ballets using its famous themes. In Millepied’s version of the story, Carmen will be not a Spanish gypsy but “a woman who travels form the deserts of Mexico to Los Angeles in search of freedom.” We’re hoping that journey involves a whoooole lot of dancing.

Millepied has, of course, been on movie sets before: He choreographed Black Swan (which is where he famously met Portman) and was the subject of the Paris Opéra Ballet documentary Reset. But this is his first time in the director’s chair. He’s working with a pretty stellar creative team, including composer Nicholas Britell (known for his gorgeous Moonlight score) and cinematographer Darius Khondji.

Shooting starts early next year in L.A. Stay tuned—and let the fantasy casting begin!