Natalie Portman To Replace Angelina Jolie In “Gravity?”

Natalie Portman is up for the lead character in Alfonso Cuaron’s sci-fi drama Gravity after Angelina Jolie pulled out of the project.

The Tomb Raider star recently pulled out of the upcoming 3D movie and reports suggest producers are now eyeing Portman after previously considering Blake Lively and Scarlett Johansson for the coveted role, The Hollywood Reporter’s Risky Business Blog dished this week.

The Oscar-nominated Portman, 29, has drummed up new Academy Award buzz for her portrayal of an emotionally-unstable ballerina in the film drama Black Swan. Now producers are “gravitating” toward Portman in the space survival movie, which also stars Robert Downey, Jr.

Gravity tells the tale of a female astronaut who must find her way back to Earth after her space station is hit by satellite debris. The film’s female lead takes the majority of the screen time of the film – similar to Tom Hanks in Castaway — leading to Warner Bros. wanting to get the casting for the $80 million project exactly right.

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Portman is expected to sign on the dotted line sometime in the next week, after receiving the final draft of the script.

Production begins in January.