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Natalie Portman Offered the Lead in Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity!

by
September 7, 2010
Source: Risky Business

Natalie Portman

This is amazing news! I will happily admit that Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron's next new sci-fi project Gravity, that we've written about before, is one of my most highly anticipated projects currently in development. I love sci-fi, I love Cuaron, his style and the way he pushes the limits of filmmaking, and the plot sounds fascinating, too. Originally we heard that Angelina Jolie was going to play the female lead in the film, but she declined, which has caused a lot of changes, including a tweak in the script to also give Robert Downey Jr. a role. But the great news, from RiskyBiz, is that Natalie Portman has been offered the lead!

There was a big hoopla last week when Jolie dropped out and everyone thought the project was going to be canceled without her, then Deadline wrote an piece mentioning that other female candidates Warner Bros was looking at included: Portman, Sandra Bullock, Naomi Watts, Marion Cotillard, Carey Mulligan, Scarlett Johansson, Sienna Miller, Abbie Cornish, Rebecca Hall, Olivia Wilde and Blake Lively. I love a lot of those actresses (mostly Cotillard, Mulligan, Wilde) but to see Natalie Portman in an Alfonso Cuaron sci-fi movie is pretty much a dream come true, or at least as close as I can get to my other dream of marrying Portman.

Apparently the project was greenlit in the last few days and Natalie was offered the role without a screen test based on all the awards buzz about her performance in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan (read my review - I think she deserves the Oscar myself). She is "expected to read the latest version of the script this week and make her decision shortly." Shooting is slated to begin at the end of January in early 2011, before Downey Jr. has to go off to "other engagements." I'm sure Portman also has other jobs, given she's about to blow up with her awards-level Black Swan role and appearances in Your Highness and Marvel's Thor next year.

As a recap, Gravity is an epic story about a lone survivor (though we heard the script might've been tweaked to include two survivors, Downey Jr being the other) stranded on a space station after satellite debris slams into it and wipes out the crew. She must make her way back to Earth and survive a "solitary ordeal much in the way Tom Hanks did in Cast Away." I've also heard some industry buzz that apparently Cuaron wants to shoot the entire thing in one shot, or something similar, and if you've seen Children of Men that idea should make your jaw drop. We will of course keep you updated on whether Portman decides to take the role or not.

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  • "apparently Cuaron wants to shoot the entire thing in one shot" How awesome would that be?
  • Rorschach90
    I read the script, and it's my understanding that there have always been two main characters. The script is told in such a way that this is going to be one of the most uniquely shot movies ever made. Not sure if I can picture Portman as an astronaut, but she definitely has the top level acting chops required for such a demanding role.
  • Pat
    The first 20 minutes are planned to be "one shot".
  • Sid
    The 2009 draft of the script already had Downey's role -- the character has the same wise-cracking persona we've seen him do for Iron Man and Sherlock and which he can do in his sleep. The Portman character just acts frantic throughout. The filming challenge is that she's often in a space suit and in weightless environment. Beyond the technical aspects, the story is neither engaging nor exciting.
  • Candy Castle
    Great. I think she will nail it!
  • Cody w
    Awwwesome, absolutely love Cuaron.
  • Hattori Hanzo
    Cuaron, Downey, Portman, sci fi ... First day for me; no brainer.
  • Dreckent
    I was sold at Cuaron... thats all a movie need to be great.... Now add Natalie Portman and Science Fiction ... Wow!!!!
  • bozo
    Screw you Billington!!! She's mine!!! 😉 Been a while since she's really been able to stretch her acting wings. Looking forward to Black Swan, et al. Glad she's busy.
  • Lars
    Portman & Sci-FI - What could go wrong??? LOL! No thanks... Portman has shown that she is not an actor - she is a *reactor*. She reacts to the sets and actors around her. She is certainly not a thespian of the theatrical variety - alt least she shows little evidence of it. Or perhaps she just needs to be convinced to give a shit. Perhaps Cuaron can help with that. But color me skeptical.
  • Dan W
    This is great news. I really like Portman, aside from the horrid Star Wars prequels. I'd really love to see her in this movie and I'm glad to see it is going to get made.
  • Jos van den Atmos
    Children of Men might just be my alltime favorite movie, Y Tu Mama Tambien was great and Portman is one of the best actresses of her generation. I'm psyched.
  • Sanka
    #11 ... Horrid Star Wars prequels? While I'll be the first to admit they weren't the best sci fi movies that I have seen, I will say that I've seen a hell of a lot worse before and since they were released and I dare say that you and all others like you have as well. Portman did alright in the Star Wars prequels and considering the pressure and crap that Lucas had to put up with before, during the making of them and since, I say old Georgie did all right. Millions of people around the world liked them and still do. It's easy for people like you join the self righteous anonymous complainers on your soap boxes regarding Star Wars, but not so easy to stand there and be publicly humiliated by telling everyone your real names and telling us how you would have made the prequels any better. Personally, I don’t see a hell of a lot of difference in the prequels and originals. Both trilogies have the same wooden performances, cheesy dialogue and characters such as Jar Jar and The Ewoks designed for the child in the audience. Hell, if you want to cringe at cheese, go no further than C3PO. Cut the guy some slack and move on.
  • Xerxex
    in like sin.
  • dex
    Maybe the role wasn't meaty enuf 4 jolie....Portman would be a very wise choice.
  • TheGuyInThePJs
    This is Great News. Big fan of both Portman and Cuaron. Both I hope Portman makes time to do Pride and Prejudice and Zombies with David O'Russell. That sounds like a film that could be oh-so much fun.
  • 4k4k
    I think Natalie Portman is awesome, but what about Noomi Rapace?
  • talli
    i predicted this would happen in my mind, right after black swan reviews. 20 minute-one shot?!! holy shit thats gonna be a lot of choreography

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