Riding high on the buzz surrounding her performance in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival, Natalie Portman seems poised to take over the lead role in Gravity. Just last week it was reported that Angelina Jolie had dropped out of Alfonso Cuaron’s (Children of Men) big budget science fiction survival story, supposedly putting the film in jeopardy. But the critical raves she’s received for her Black Swan performance has turned Portman into a hot property and apparently given Warner Brothers confidence to outright offer her the role.
Gravity tells the story of a lone astronaut stranded in space after the rest of her team is killed by an exploding satellite. The film also stars Robert Downey Jr. in a minor role, but the tale primarily revolves around the female survivor’s attempt to get back home to her child. Since the lead will be onscreen alone most of the film, a strong actress who will draw an audience and can carry a movie solo. Apparently Portman’s Nina is just that good.
Black Swan is set to open December 1, 2010 and Gravity is headed for a 2012 release.