UPDATE: Natalie Portman Turns Down The Lead In Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity

By Eric Eisenberg 2010-10-06 16:22:37discussion comments
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UPDATE: Natalie Portman Turns Down The Lead In Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity image
UPDATE: Just as we had written back in September, it is now being reported by Variety that Warner Bros. has begun negotiations with Sandra Bullock. The article also mentions that Natalie Portman passed on the project due to scheduling conflicts.

Late last month things were starting to look really good for Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity. Finally rethinking their "Only Angelina Jolie" stance, they began negotiations with Natalie Portman to star in the film. All of us here at Cinema Blend loved the idea, particularly because it would mean that Sandra Bullock wouldn't be involved. Prepare your soul for crushing.

Deadline reports that Portman has officially passed on Cuaron's film about a female astronaut who is stranded in space after her entire crew is killed in an explosion. The project has been rumored as quite ambitious with a $80 million budget, to be 60% CGI (the same ratio as Avatar) and containing a 20-minute single-shot opening sequence. As was suggested in early September, the role may now fall to Bullock, but the article also says that Naomi Watts, Marion Cotillard, Carey Mulligan, Scarlett Johansson, Sienna Miller, Abbie Cornish, Rebecca Hall, Olivia Wilde and Blake Lively (Read: every female actress you can think of) are being considered. Robert Downey Jr. is still cast as the male lead in the film, but the story's larger focus is on the female character.

Not that I don't trust Cuaron (the man has yet to disappoint), but does anyone else find it kind of strange that two of the most high-profile actresses in Hollywood turned down the part? It's not as though it won't be big enough, as the movie will entirely focus on the female character. What is going on behind the scenes that makes them so wary of the project? Is the script a mess? Are Cuaron's ideas too all over the place? Is the studio unwilling to fork out the dough? It would be great to see this film get made, but only if done well and with the right people involved.
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