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Portman Passes on Cuarón's 'Gravity', WB Wants Sandra Bullock

by
October 6, 2010
Source: Deadline

Natalie Portman

Aw, this sucks! I hate reporting un-casting news and it's even worse when the potential replacement is the last person I want to see starring in this project. Deadline reports that actress Natalie Portman has sadly passed on the starring role in Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity, the big sci-fi production that's been struggling to get its legs and actually secure a cast to start shooting. Portman was rumored and then confirmed as being offered the part back in early September, and was being sent the script. For whatever reason she decided to pass and now Warner Bros is looking at Sandra Bullock as their top choice instead. Don't let it happen!

As a recap, Gravity is Cuarón's ambitious $80 million 3D sci-fi project about two people (although some drafts say just one person) who must take a long, grueling journey home to Earth after their space station is destroyed. The list of candidates in the running for the coveted lead role, opposite Robert Downey Jr, was long and included many great actresses, like Marion Cotillard and Carey Mulligan. Apparently the only one left they think they can rope into this is Sandra Bullock, who's been WB's pick from the start (she did win an Oscar for WB for The Blind Side but who really cares?). I hope Cuarón is smart enough to resist casting her.

Deadline's latest update confirms that Portman passed and that Warner Bros is "making a full court press for Sandra Bullock to play the role of a space station team member who tries to find her way back to earth and her daughter after the space station she is working on is destroyed by a debris field from an exploded asteroid." It's not that I don't think she can be talented, I just personally believe Bullock is one of the most over-hyped, excessively bland, too-old-for-her-roles and no-longer-attractive actresses around, and I don't want her appearing in one of my most anticipated upcoming sci-fi projects. Choose someone else, Cuarón!

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  • Mouse
    No longer attractive? Ouch.
  • nelson
    really alex you would buy portman as a mother lol she was always too young for the role role needed a more mature actress
  • Xerxex
    I for one would love to see Bullock work with Cuaron, I willing to bet he could bring out the best of Bullock. You need to be less cynical Billington, Bullock has the abilit. Its fun to be optimistic Alex, try it!
  • Warner should bring back Angelina Jolie for the role!
  • germs
    lol @ Sandra Bullock for this.
  • movie mike
    No way hose'. Bullock would be horrible. Big deal. She played a tough mom with an accent. Get over it WB
  • Pete
    It's when I read articles like this that it becomes clear why you guys never seem to manage to get interviews with female actors. This is a good site but the comments about Bulluck are just amateur for a real film news site - and nor is it the first time I've seen this kind of stuff on this site. Always seems when a female actor is mentioned something has to be said about her appearance. If you want to be taken seriously, take your craft seriously.
  • Oh, damn. My boner for this project just disappeared.
  • #3 Xerxex - Um, you're kidding right? I'm usually mocked because I'm optimistic towards everything. And that's true, I'm excited about nearly everything. But Bullock is crap, plain and simple, she's one of the few actresses I really hate nowadays. I'm optimistic about everything else with this project except Bullock.
  • Xerxex
    Alex, I figured you'd call me on that. I get why you are deflated by this news, but I believe every actor/actress has untapped potential to show they have the ability to give a emotion filled powerhouse performance, and sadly The Blind Side is being called Bullocks finest hour when infact its really not, imo and with Cuaron's direction I think this could be her calling card, Oscars mean little to me, some of the best performances go unnoticed, Bullock has been in the game for a while now and she mostly been in comedy with the occasional action/drama romp, and not anything that amazing...but as I said before the man behind Children of Men can bring the best out in anyone, Clive Owen was/is (I guess?) considered stiff in his roles, but in CoM he was amazing! I just want to see Bullock have that chance.
  • Yeah, I think saying that someone isn't good looking or too old for a certain role is why we have to watch all those mutants that Hollywood has created where women in their 60's look like they are 30. I always liked Sandra Bullock, from what I can gather she has bad dress sense, but so do I.
  • JoJo
    hahahahaha I hope Sandra Bullock gets it so that Alex Billington loses all hope on this project. Btw I am predicting this here right now ------------ GRAVITY will flop.
  • Day
    No Longer Attractive? She looks "pretty" okay to me, lol! But Alex I do agree with you that she is not even close to being the right choice for this project. My choice is would be Marion Cotillard! Talented, hopefully beautiful enough for Alex and is more diverse than the all other the American choices. A lot of my friends who had never heard of her before, noted her as very memorable from Inception! The biggest compromise is losing Jolie because she is the biggest international draw out of all female actress working today!
  • P77
    Wow, you're not a very nice person, are you? Or careful with your tastes? So really, you would've rather had Blake Lively in this role? Would that have been believable? Sandra Bullock isn't a one note, bland actor as you would like to think. She has range and depth of emotion and how can you judge how she'd be before you saw it? This is unknown territory for her, and with a truly talented director like Cuaron, the results could end up being incredibly inspiring. Actors need to push themselves past their comfort zones and that's exactly what she would be doing. And like it or not, she's one of the few stars left in Hollywood that can command the screen when there's no one else around and hold your interest while doing so. Bravo on the brave choice, Sandy. Knock 'em dead.
  • HealthyPoison
    Just wondering how everyone is so sure Bullock will do bad. She's not awful. And we don't really know what the movie is going to be like, so what if she is awesome? Wait for a trailer at least until you drill Bullock, right? Plus, Downey Jr. is pooping gold right now, and anything he makes will make money. Maybe not the 80 mil. back (if it sucks), but even if its just okay, people will pay to see it.
  • LP
    i dont think bullock has the ability to act in a world created by alfonso. when you go from all the other actresses who were listed, who are able to act extremely well and have the credentials to match alfonso's ability you realise no matter how much optimism you place on it, bullock is a bad choice, why cant we all see that its simple WB trying to get money off the blind side popularity.
  • Filme
    "truly a great blessing for the film, as Bullock has shown she can headline a film and appeals to a wide audience. Warner Bros. knows this first-hand as The Blind Side smashed box offices last year with a domestic haul of $255,959,475 and earned Bullock an Oscar" - Bill Graham, http://www.collider.com
  • mov
    I think Bullock is a great choice. The reason why people have been drawn to Bullock for 2 decades now Alex is because she has a relate able and down to earth character and the perfect type of person for this role. She is also box office gold right now. Any studio would be crazy to pass up Bullock at the moment. Have you seen The Blind Side box office? The Proposal box office? Huge! She is really the only woman in Hollywood that can carry a movie like this. Jolie is the only other one.
  • Kinks!
    Way too harsh on Sandra Bullock... very very ignorant article. She is gorgeous and a damn fine actress.
  • From Natalie to Sandra?? It is like switching from Caviar to sardines... Sorry Sandra, I think you are a nice lady but Natalie is on another league. And just recently re-watched Leon...what an actress! And she was only 11...
  • I am…
    That's true that Portman has more experience with Sci-fi (Star wars,Thor...) but Bullock never did a proper sci fi project...no Demolition man does not count!loll! So it would be perfect for her and I like her so loll!
  • Craig
    Very disappointing news. I can't stand Sandra Bullock.
  • Jos van den Atmos
    Great actress, fitting the age, a big name: they should really try and go for Cate Blanchett.
  • Johnnie Walker
    Actresses are saying no because there's very little ACTING involved in this role--it's a 90-page action sequence where they will be hanging on wires in a spacesuit in front of a green-screen for two months. And all her lines are talking to mission control or herself. The reality is that while it's a cool idea there's no character arc, and the big actresses they need to justify the budget know it.
  • kitano0
    I know the fan-boys love Portman. Personally, I have only seen her in two movies where I thought she was watchable, V for Vendetta, and of course, Leon. I haven't seen all her movies, but the ones I have seen, she comes across as very monotone-one-note. And I don't mean just the Star Wars movies, either. She's cute, but takes the less-is-more thing way too extreme, as weird as that sounds. Oh, she was fine in Beautiful Girls too, but let's face it, she was a cute little girl, and that's what the part was. Sandra Bullock is a beautiful, funny, smart, actress who makes what she does look very easy. It ain't. Comedy is hard, and if Bullock has never made you laugh, you should get an EKG quick. She was also great playing Harper Lee in Infamous and turned in good performances in a Time to Kill, as well as Crash. Alex you run a great site, but don't go buggin' on Bullock!
  • Dan W
    I say F it. If they can't get a good female role than just have Downey Jr the lead character
  • cyn
    #25 I agree w/you. Portman is highly overrated. (fanboys) Yeh, she's cute.. but as an actress, i can't get lost in the characters she plays. Nothing so far (excluding Black Swan…) has changed my mind.
  • Don
    you hate bullock? well i hate you. FUGGGG YOURSELF!
  • Julie
    I'm going with XERXEX on this one dude....you need 2 seriously get over yourself. Too old for her roles? Bland?? That is hitting way below the belt man. Sandra Bullock is a talented actress, and if you don't like the fact that they've chosen her then you can wait about ten years and do a reboot - maybe then Portman will have her schedule open :)
  • tom
    Portman cannot open a movie, Bullock can!
  • i agree with #29..Sandra is the very best actress for the film. She already proved it in the Blind side, Crash and The Proposal. She can better in this.. You go Sandy!! Go beat them.. :)
  • i had a huge crush on Sandar Bullock when i was still in college, for me, she is the prettiest actress -:`

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