This summer, Scarlett Johansson will be reprising her role as the butt-kicking Black Widow in the comic-book-blockbuster The Avengers, but the real Johansson news is a film that won't hit screens until 2013: Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, an account of the legendary director's life as he filmed what became his signature movie. Johansson has been tapped to play Psycho's iconic star, Janet Leigh, whose character dies halfway through the 1960 film (a then-shocking twist). Anthony Hopkins will play Hitchcock, and Helen Mirren has signed on to play his wife. Variety compares the role of Leigh to Michelle Williams' turn as Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn, suggesting that Johansson could garner the same awards attention that Williams earned this year. Could playing Janet Leigh help Johansson snag an Oscar?
Quite possibly: Insiders believe Janet Leigh is the film's "sweetest role," and predict that "whoever lands it is bound to see her career get an uptick," says Nathan Adams at Film School Rejects. Johannson "hasn't gotten much dramatic material to sink her teeth into recently," and this juicy part could really showcase her acting prowess. Plus, she'll help bring in a younger crowd. The casting is "a win-win for everybody."
"Scarlett Johansson to turn heads as Janet Leigh in Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho"
The movie is calculated to bewitch the film community: The whole movie is Oscar bait, says Germain Lussier at Slash Film, which practically guarantees Johansson awards-season buzz. Critics, inherently fascinated by anything Hitchcock-related, will be dying "to see actors of this caliber recreating the drama that happened behind the scenes of one of the greatest movies of all time...."
"Scarlett Johansson & James D'Arcy to star in Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho"
Too bad there'll be so much low-brow scrutiny of Johansson's body: In Leigh's most iconic Psycho scene, her screaming character is stabbed to death in the shower, says Kim Conte at The Stir. Fans of a certain stripe will assume that Johannson will appear naked — and be disappointed when she isn't. Johansson is rumored to have a no-nudity policy (especially after last year's photo leaks), and most top actors choose to keep covered up. Don't be surprised if all we get is a cleverly edited tease.
"Scarlett Johansson's naked Psycho scenes will be a giant letdown"