The fortunes of Alfonso Cuaron’s sci-fi drama Gravity might finally be shifting for the better, as after some changeable experiences with casting, the director has offered Natalie Portman the crucial lead role in the movie.
Gravity, co-written by Cuaron and son Jonas, focuses on a female astronaut who is stranded on a space station when the rest of her crew is wiped out by an accidental collision with space debris. The film has Warner Bros. ready to stump up $80 million to shoot the survival story in 3D and Robert Downey Jr locked in for a supporting part, but the plum central character has been the centre of intense negotiation.
Angelina Jolie was originally ready to star, but pulled out fairly recently. There have been other possibilities, including Scarlett Johansson and Blake Lively, but no one has been that close to winning the role, until now.
While the actress hasn’t committed yet, we’re betting Cuaron will work to get her into a space suit, since he needs to start shooting by the end of January to catch Downey Jr before he has to commit to work on The Avengers and Sherlock Holmes 2, among other projects.
Portman, meanwhile, has been getting some great reviews for her work in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan (including from our own Damon Wise), after the film screened at the Venice and Telluride festivals. We'll get to see the result next February when the movie arrives on these shores.
Fingers crossed that Cuaron might finally have found his heroine…