After Children of Men, Alfonso Cuaron has the unique position in the art form of commanding audiences to see anything he makes ever. If I caught wind of a youtube video of him fly fishing, I’d drop everything I was doing to go see it. And it would probably be a fifteen minute, single take shot of incredible fly fishing action.

It appears as if he’ll be heading back in that direction (to science fiction. I have no idea what his vacation plans are.) with Gravity, a thriller set in outer space which sees an astronaut trying to get back home after a catastrophe on board a space station.

While Robert Downey Jr is already attached to the script, and Warners is producing, there are two young acting talents that are vying for the lead role as the astronaut lost in space. Blake Lively, who looks to be launching her film career brilliantly with a hard-hitting drama (The Town) and a big budget superhero movie (The Green Lantern), and Scarlet Johansson, who basically did that to get to the level she’s at now, are both in contention as the top two choices.

This is a true toss up. Both are about the same age, equally talented, and they both bring a similar sort of smoldering to the table (one from the gossipy streets of Manhattan and the other from the Bobby Long-infested deep south). In fact, this may be the proof all the conspiracy theorists have been looking for. Johansson was cloned, and Lively is the result. Somehow, Warners has chosen exactly the same person to contend with herself.

According to Heat Vision, the project was originally over at Universal, but fell apart because its then-attached star Angelina Jolie wanted a $20 million paycheck. Further proof that the big names aren’t commanding like they used to.

The point is: Science Fiction Thriller. In Space. Co-written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron.

Have there been better words uttered in this desert of good films that is 2010?

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