UPDATE: Insiders say that Warner Bros is making a full court press for Sandra Bullock to play the role of a space station team member who tries to find her way back to earth and her daughter after the space station she is working on is destroyed by a debris field from an exploded asteroid. Bullock, coming off the Oscar win for The Blind Side, certainly has the drawing power and the chops to hold the screen. Numerous actresses have wanted to make the film because it is ambitious and original, and also because for the opportunity to work with director Alfonso Cuaron, which is a major reason Robert Downey Jr. agreed to co-star. Portman’s reps confirmed that she won’t star in Gravity, citing scheduling conflicts.
EARLIER: Tough break for Warner Bros and director Alfonso Cuaron. I’m hearing that Natalie Portman won’t do the studio’s ambitious $80 million 3D film Gravity.The Black Swan star had been offered the role, mulled it before saying no. I don’t think she’s doing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, either. Recently, I mentioned that the studio was considering Portman and Sandra Bullock as the prime candidates after Angelina Jolie passed on the role for a second time. Let’s see if the studio tries Bullock, or the group of actresses I’d heard they were considering, including Naomi Watts, Marion Cotillard, Carey Mulligan, Scarlett Johansson, Sienna Miller, Abbie Cornish, Rebecca Hall, Olivia Wilde and Blake Lively. It’s a tricky role to cast. The film is a big investment by the studio and though Robert Downey Jr has committed, he’s in it for a limited time and the picture’s focus is squarely on the actress, much the way Tom Hanks held the screen all by himself for much of Cast Away.