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When we heard that Angelina Jolie had passed once again on Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity the whole project seemed doomed-- how on earth would they find another actress with bankability to carry the movie?-- until we heard earlier this month about his second, perfect choice. Natalie Portman may not be as big a star as Jolie and hasn't carried a blockbuster film without Star Wars in the title, but even based entirely on her stellar Black Swan performance, she's got the chops to carry a technically challenging movie, and is a big enough name that the studio wouldn't have a heart attack if Cuaron cast her.
Earlier this month word was that Portman was still mulling over taking the role, and a few weeks ago we heard Sandra Bullock was waiting in the wings if Portman passed, but now there's great news coming out of THR: Portman is in "active negotiations" to take the part.
The news comes in a piece about the high-flying career of Jonas Cuaron, who wrote the screenplay with his father Alfonso Cuaron, who will be directing the film. Warner Bros. has picked up another script from the younger Cuaron, an untitled top-secret type thing that's described only as "a gritty thriller set in Mexico City." You can cry foul all you want and assume that you too would have two scripts set up with a studio if your father had directed Children of Men, but from what we're hearing about Gravity, the younger Cuaron probably has the talent to back it up. Now at least his writing debut will have exactly the right actress to bring it to life
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