Natalie Portman has closed a deal to direct and star in an untitled biopic about the identical twin sisters who wrote advice columns as Abigail Van Buren and Ann Landers.
The sisters were born in 1918. Dear Abby was launched in 1956 by Pauline Esther Friedman in the San Francisco Chronicle. Her twin sister was born Esther Pauline Friedman and won a contest in 1955 to take over the "Ask Ann Landers" advice column in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Both used straightforward styles in dispensing common-sense advice. The competing columns led to the sisters having a bitter professional rivalry that lasted the rest of their lives.
Portman will play both sisters for the...