We recently reported that the lead role in the outer-space thriller Gravity (which has quickly become one of the hottest undeveloped properties in Hollywood) was being sought after by a number of different actresses; with Public Enemies Marion Cotillard having recently read for the main part, that seemed to be destined for either Iron Man 2’s Scarlett Johansson, or Blake Lively (The Town); but has now officially been offered to Natalie Portman.
The film focusses on a female astronaut whose team gets blasted with satellite debris while repairing the Hubble Telescope, and ends up getting stranded alone on a space station (being the sole survivor of the incident), and trying to fight to survive and get back home to her daughter on Earth.
Robert Downey Jr (Sherlock Holmes) is attached to play the male lead in the movie which has been written, and will be directed, by Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men); who originally intended the film to be a vehicle for Angelina Jolie (Salt), until she recently dropped out over a salary dispute with Warner Bros.
Natalie Portman first became known for her extremely memorable performance in Leon (which is known in the U.S. as The Professional), but has gone on to receive a number of recognizable roles; including playing Padmé in the Star Wars prequels, Anne Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl, and a highly praised performance as the lead ballet dancer in Darren Aronofsky’s (The Wrestler) movie Black Swan (which had its world premiere, and a standing ovation, at this year’s Venice Film Festival); that prove she should be able to aptly carry the largely solitary project that’s similar in nature to both Cast Away, and 127 Hours.
Portman has yet to accept the offer to star in the $80 million dollar picture (which has been confirmed as being a 3D production), although all signs suggest she will, as despite the fact that studios and filmmakers are now scrambling to hire her after her amazing performance in Black Swan (which allowed Cuaron to present the offer without the need of a screen-test), the lead role in Gravity is one of the most currently sought after roles in Hollywood.
It’s expected that an official confirmation will be made shortly; so that filming can begin before the end of January; in order to accommodate for Robert Downey Jr, who will then be leaving the project to begin work on both The Avengers, and Sherlock Holmes 2, as well as other projects, before Gravity gains its planned theatrical release in 2012.