Felicity Jones to Play Ruth Bader Ginsburg in “On the Basis of Sex,” Taking Over from Natalie Portman

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Felicity JonesGetty Images

British thespian is stepping into the shoes of an iconic American figure: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the Mimi Leder-directed .

The casting comes as a surprise, as Natalie Portman had been attached to the role since 2015 and was closely involved with the project, even insisting on the hiring of a female director for the film, which eventually led to Leder’s hiring. There has been no reason given for the re-casting.

Directed from a Daniel Stiepelman script, which landed on both 2014 Hit List and Black List, the story follows Ginsburg’s journey to become a Supreme Court Justice and the numerous obstacles she faced while fighting for equal rights. She was the second female justice nominated to the Supreme Court (following Sandra Day O’Connor) and the first female Jewish justice. She has since become a champion women’s rights on the bench.

The film is set to start production in Montreal in September, with Robert W. Cort producing and Ram Bergman exec producing. Deadline first reported the news of the casting.

Jones is recently off her starring role in the first spinoff Star Wars movie, Rogue One. She also appeared in the little-seen but critically acclaimed adaptation of A Monster Calls and is currently in development on The Chelsea from Nancy Meyers and the untitled Swan Lake pitch recently acquired by Universal. She’s repped by in the U.K. and .

 | Associate Editor
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