Earlier this year Angelina Jolie turned down an offer to play the lead in Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, an ambitious movie set in space which would be 60% CG feature animation. Much of the film is devoted to a woman’s struggle to get back to Earth (and her daughter) after her team at a remote space station are decimated by debris from an exploded satellite
Robert Downey Jr. signed up to star as the team leader, but it was never the intention for him to carry the film. Following the performance of Salt at the box office Jolie is the only proven actress who can carry a big budget movie. Because of this Warner Bros. has gone back to Jolie with another off, but she has turned it down once again.
Gravity, the 3D film that Warner Bros is mobilizing with director Alfonso Cuaron and Robert Downey Jr., is suddenly in danger of falling back to earth after Angellina Jolie said no to a full court press and a big money offer to star in the film. It has put Warner Bros in a bind. The studio needs an actress who can hold the screen and draw an audience to an $80 million film. Much like Tom Hanks’ role in Cast Away, the Gravity heroine is the only person onscreen for a large part of the movie. Beyond Jolie, which other actress do you bet on?
Cuaron first courted Jolie when the project was tethered at Universal. She was intrigued with the filmmaker, but passed around the time it landed at Warner Bros. I’m told the studio tested or met with actresses including Sandra Bullock, Natalie Portman, Marion Cotillard, Naomi Watts, Carey Mulligan, Scarlett Johansson, Sienna Miller, Abbie Cornish, Rebecca Hall, Olivia Wilde, and Blake Lively, in meetings and tests that have been conducted since May. Warner Bros made a second overture to Jolie, but she just passed for a second time.
For years studios have been clueless when it comes to making big female-lead movies. The same studio that got Christopher Nolan to make Batman Begins had 10+ writers and a special effects guy working on Catwoman the year beforehand. The bad movies (and subsequent flops) caused studios to avoid having actresses as leads, and now they have a situation where only Angelina Jolie can carry an action movie.
Out of the names above i’m not sure who i’d go for, although i’d personally prefer Emily Blunt. From the looks of things they are only going for white actresses so Zoe Saldana and Halle Berry are out.
Who do you want to lead Gravity?