Image Credit: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage.comEW has confirmed that Sandra Bullock is within reach of snagging the lead in director Alfonso Cuarón’s sci-fi thriller Gravity, her first film since winning an Oscar for The Blind Side. ( first reported the story.) Currently in negotiations for the part after Natalie Portman dropped out due to scheduling issues, Bullock would star opposite Robert Downey, Jr. as an astronaut on a remote space station who survives a disaster and must fight to return home to her daughter. (Cuarón also wrote the screenplay with his grown son Jonas.)

The role is reportedly a massive one, with Bullock the only actor on screen for long stretches of the film. It’s a curious choice; Bullock hasn’t done straight-forward science fiction since 1993’s Demolition Man. She had been reputedly circling the action comedy Most Wanted with Ryan Reynolds, and the 9/11 drama Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close with Tom Hanks, two movies that seem more obviously in her wheelhouse. With this film, however, she appears to be heeding the advice of Paul Haggis, her director in 2005’s Crash, from EW’s recent cover story on Bullock’s career: “I think she should do whatever scares her, whatever makes her really uncomfortable.”

What do you make of this choice, PopWatchers? Would you rather Bullock stick to more familiar territory? Or are you intrigued by her attempt to branch out into a new genre?