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Natalie Portman has been offered the leading role in Alfonso Cuaron’s upcoming sci-fi epic Gravity. The actress should be making her decision shortly after reading the script sometime this week.
According to Risky Business, Portman was offered the role without a screen test. Angelina Jolie was initially offered the role but turned it down. Actresses who were once considered for the role include Sandra Bullock, Marion Cotillard, and Blake Lively.
Oddly enough, one of the concerns was whether or not the lead actress is a box office draw, as the 3-D film costs $80 million. Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. has a role in the film, but since the plot focuses on the female lead, he is merely a supporting character. While Portman is an exceptionally gifted actress, she doesn’t exactly command the box office in the same way that an actress like the aforementioned Bullock does.
Perhaps Warner Bros. is planning on bringing in more stars with box office clout to fill in some of the supporting roles for marketing purposes, or maybe the studio is planning on Portman finally becoming a box office draw with Black Swan, the Darren Aronofsky thriller that she has been receiving Oscar buzz for, as well as next May's blockbuster, Thor. No matter how you look at it, this decision seems to be a really peculiar one coming from a monetary standpoint.
On the other hand, this is a genius decision from the perspective of wanting to make a great film. Portman should easily be able to pull off this potentially amazing role of a mother trying to get back home to her family and the ones she loves. In any case, it’s a film project that is coming together quite quickly. Expect more developments on Gravity in the next couple of weeks.