A new dawn is upon us and with it comes even more casting drama concerning Alfonso Cuarón’s undeniably ambitious sci-fi project, Gravity, and the casting of its female protagonist.
Natalie Portman was “in active negotiations” last week to star in Gravity, but has officially confirmed, via her representatives, that she is no longer pursing that lead role – which means that Warner Bros.’ top choice, Sandra Bullock, is the front runner for the part once more.
Casting Bullock certainly makes sense when you look at it from a studio official’s point of view: She’s an A-list actress who made a comeback in 2009 with back-to-back financial hits in the form of The Proposal and The Blind Side, the latter of which earned her a Best Actress Oscar as well (like most moviegoers, we’re pretending All About Steve didn’t happen).
Gravity will require someone with both the acting prowess to solely occupy the screen for most of the film and the ability to sell tickets at the box office – especially if the budget remains set at $80 million. Actresses Scarlett Johansson and Blake Lively seemingly did not fit that bill – according to Warner Bros. – and Angelina Jolie decided to take a pass, so there aren’t that many other female thespians that seem like a natural choice for such a part.
The premise behind Gravity – which revolves primarily around a female astronaut who struggles to return to Earth after the space station she is working on is destroyed by the fallout from an exploded asteroid – sounds intriguing. Cuarón’s involvement with the project – which will be shot in 3D and be 60% CGI – is the really big draw as he is a filmmaker who has proven himself adept at making thrilling but intelligent big-budget pics, as evidenced by Children of Men and the third Harry Potter movie.
Is Bullock up to that challenge? The lead role in Gravity would be new territory for the actress, whose previous foray into the action/thriller genre, Speed and its woebegone sequel, required her to be more of a comedic damsel-in-distress type rather than someone who took active control of her fate.
What do you think? Is Bullock the perfect candidate to star in Gravity?