Natalie Portman Offered Lead Role in Cuarón’s ‘Gravity’

Published 5 years ago by , Updated July 12th, 2013 at 9:53 am,

With the exception of the much sought-after lead role in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo remake (which ultimately went to relative newcomer Rooney Mara), the lead female role in Alfonso Cuarón’s $80 million sci-fi thriller Gravity has been one of the most desired female roles in recent memory.

Angelina Jolie was originally attached to star in the film but Jolie recently dropped out in order to work on her directorial debut. Soon after her unfortunate departure the studio began frantically looking for another actress to replace her, but finding one with the same box office draw as Jolie was going to be a tough challenge indeed.

Many actresses were considered, including Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively (those two apparently went head-to-head for the role not long ago), Sandra Bullock, Marion Cotillard and Naomi Watts (to name but a few) but the studio has finally found who they want to replace Jolie: Natalie Portman.

Risky Business reports that as a result of her performance in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan (both her and the film are already gaining major Oscar buzz), Warner Bros. gave the okay to Cuarón to send out an offer out to Portman for Gravity, without her even screen testing (wow). Portman will reportedly take a look at the latest draft of the script this week and make her decision soon thereafter.

Black Swan trailer Natalie Portman Offered Lead Role in Cuaróns Gravity

I think she’d be wise to accept the role because of how sought-after it is, who the director is (Cuarón is one of the best working today) and the fact that it gives her the chance to show off more of her acting talent, considering the film focuses a lot on the main character, in the same style as Cast Away or Danny Boyle’s upcoming 127 Hours.

Gravity centers (no pun) on a woman stranded on a space station after satellite debris smashes into it and kills the rest of her crew. Robert Downey Jr. is already attached to one of the supporting roles. Interestingly, the film is supposed to be 60% CGI (mixing that with live-action, a la Avatar) and the opening shot is supposed to be one fluid shot that lasts around 20 minutes (in the same vein as the scene towards the end of Cuarón’s Children of Men).

The question now remains: can Portman draw audiences in the way that Jolie could? I honestly don’t think so and evidently neither does the studio considering the fact that Portman would get about half the paycheck that Jolie would have snagged for the same role (and that’s Portman getting a bump in her salary). That’s not a knock on Portman as an actress – it’s just a commentary on the fact that Jolie is one of those rare sure-fire bankable actresses and Portman isn’t.

Natalie Portman Black Swan mirror image Natalie Portman Offered Lead Role in Cuaróns Gravity

However, that’s not to say that Portman is a deterrent for movie goers to lay down their cash to see Gravity, another in a long-line of 3D movies. Above all, Portman is a very talented actress and she can certainly handle the “one woman show” type acting that Gravity appears to demand.

Check back at Screen Rant to find out if Portman accepts the offer.

Gravity will shoot at the end of January next year and already has release date of December 1st, 2011.

Source: Risky Business

TAGS: Gravity
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  1. Portman is a better actress than Jolie, and truth be told I think she hotter too. I’d be more inclined to see this with her in the role.

    I’m frankly a bit baffled by the attention this film is getting, the central concept doesn’t sound remarkably original, while the director is good (no doubt) his filmography is short. What exactly is it about this low budget sci fi thriller that has the industry so captivated??? I really want to know’

    • Well $80 million isn’t exactly low budget but I get what you’re saying. I think it’s one of those situations where those on the INSIDE inside know something we don’t (yet). I doubt there would be this much attention on it otherwise. Could be next year’s ‘Moon’ except it wins at the box office as well as with awards.

  2. agree with you 100% about Natalie, Dr. Shes a fantastic actress, i would rather see her on the big screen than Angelina any day

  3. This almost sounds like a female version of “Moon.” I like Portman, but she is by no means the draw that Angelina is. (I personally think Angelina is way hotter, but to each their own.) I still stick with my choice from the other thread: Mariska Hargitay. She’s hotter than both of them and she’s a damn fine actress to boot! :D

  4. Moon was awesome. Just brilliant. Sam Rockwell deserved an Oscar for that flick.

    • I agree. One of the movies from last year that got unfairly brushed aside by the Academy. Rockwell was astounding.

      • He was excellent but I didn’t think the movie was all that. After the “big reveal” it didn’t really have anywhere else to go. Loved Clint Mansell’s score and the old-school model work, but who in their right mind designs a vehicle whose only means of access when in motion involves driving through its waste cloud of rocks and dust? That’s a convenient accident waiting to happen… And exactly what consistency of puree would Rockwell be after atmospheric reentry and landing “sitting in a tin can”?

        • I loved “Moon”, but the plot has several glaring flaws (why do the robot need to communicate by screen?).
          The acting and atmosphere was brilliant tho.

          • I think I just expected something a bit more metaphysical; something bigger or more significant in concept, in the same way the production designers and cinematographer managed to create so much from so little budget.

  5. I would rather see natalie on the big screen than Angelina any day. I hope she takes that part and that much better news to me than Jolie.

  6. It doesnt matter if she is a big enough draw.
    You do what you can to save the film.

  7. It depends which Natalie Portman arrives on set for the film. I have seen her be extremely engaged in roles, such as Brothers and The Professional.

    However, most roles that she is in, she has zero charisma and is very wooden in her acting.

    Black Swan looks great, but I think a big SFX film like gravity will elicit another robotic reading of a script from her.

    In that sense, i do not think Cuaron would be able to help her. I think he is gifted as a director, but I found his Harry Potter movie and Children of Men rather ponderous and boring.

  8. Moon totally got pushed aside by the academy. But this is great news between this and black swan she’ll really be making a name for herself. She’s way better than jolie.

  9. The film sounds like some cross between “Moon” and “Apollo 13″. Hopefully this means it will focus more on the human side, than pure eye-candy.
    But then again; “60% CGI”… Idunno.

  10. Agree with all re: Portman v. Jolie.

    Natalie is MUCH more interesting an actress than Jolie.

    She should have more come-up’ins, but sadly when she did the Star Wars prequels I think those actually hurt more than they helped. Lucas being a control freak and a BAD director squashed any talent that could have come out of the large amount of talent he had before him. But I digress…

    Portman has pretty much owned every performance she’s ever given and I think she will do great.

  11. Bravo!! Good choice if she accepts..

  12. she is a way better actress then jolie.

  13. OK

    1. Portman is a better actress than Jolie

    2. Jolie isn’t as “hot” as all of the hype around her

    3. The first time I read about this movie the synopsis was something about the earth not spinning any more and thus losing its gravity. I guess that wasn’t true and it’s actually about a space station? Good, because I have no idea what the earth spinning had to do with its gravity and thought that was about the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard, lol.

  14. The only thing which has tempered my interest in this film is the fact that it’s going to be shot in eyeball-numbing (imo) 3D. If it wasn’t being filmed in 3D, I’d be a little more excited.

    Still, it’ll be interesting to see how Natalie Portman and RDJ work together onscreen.

  15. Wooden is a terrible word for a dancer. Anyone care to comment on her role in the Other Boleyn Sister?