Natalie Portman to replace Angelina Jolie in Gravity?

Like THE WRESTLER before it, Darren Aronofsky's BLACK SWAN has opened to mix reviews on the film itself but rave reviews for its lead actor. As Mickey Rourke became the frontrunner for the Oscar after playing Randy The Ram (he would later lose to Sean Penn for MILK), so has Natalie Portman become the frontrunner for the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in SWAN. And like Rourke, Portman's performance in Aronofsky's film has brought with it a ton of new offers.

After SWAN opened the Venice Film Festival and later screened at Telluride, word got out that Terrence Malick and Tom Stoppard were both writing parts for Portman in their latest projects. But it's another possibility that seems the most interested. Alfonso Cuaron, who has found difficulty finding a female lead for his ambitious 3D space epic GRAVITY, has officially offered the role to Portman after catching a screening of BLACK SWAN.

Cuaron had been in talks with Angelina Jolie to co-star with Robert Downey, Jr. (who plays a smaller, supporting role) but she recently dropped out after "creative differences." A number of actresses had tested for the part, including Blake Lively and Scarlett Johansson, but Cuaron was able to convince Warner Bros. to offer Portman the part without audition or testing.

While Portman is one of the few actresses with the (no pun intended) gravity to pull off the part, it'd mark a transition for her as she'd be playing a mom for the first time (excluding the teen pregnancy drama WHERE THE HEART IS and the last moments of REVENGE OF THE SITH). For now, Portman is considering the option but reportedly hasn't even read the latest draft of the script yet. If she passes it'd be another blow for GRAVITY, a film that many thought wouldn't survive the departure of Jolie.

Extra Tidbit: Portman has three films hitting theaters in the first six months of 2010.
Source: THR



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