Warner Bros. negotiating with thesp for Cuaron pic
Has Alfonso Cuaron finally found his astronaut?Warner Bros. is in negotiations with Sandra Bullock for the lead role opposite Robert Downey Jr. in Cuaron’s 3D space pic “Gravity,” after Natalie Portman passed on the project. Portman had shown strong interest in the project but was unable to find time in her schedule to squeeze and ultimately had to pass. The pic revolves around two astronauts fighting to survive on a remote space station after satellite debris wipes out the rest of the crew and destroys most of the station. Scripted by Cuaron and his son, Jonas, film was originally set up at Universal but moved to Warner Bros., after which Downey became attached. Cuaron’s challenge has been to find a femme lead who can carry much of the film a la Tom Hanks in “Castaway” and began looking at a wide range of thesps for the role. Angelina Jolie had been courted but couldn’t work it into her sked between the Bosnian war film that she plans to direct and her commitment to lense a “Salt” sequel. Once Jolie passed, there were doubts that the pic, said to be budgeted at around $80 million, would get off the ground. But Bullock, riding high on her Oscar win for “The Blind Side,” is seen as a strong candidate to topline. David Heyman is producing “Gravity” through his Heyday Films along with Legendary Pictures. Besides “Gravity,” Bullock has been considering several projects including “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” with Hanks.