George Clooney replaces Robert Downey Jr. in Gravity

Last month we heard that Robert Downey Jr. had left Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity due to scheduling conflicts. The man has a lot of upcoming projects, including The Avengers and Oz, the Great and Powerful, which meant a trip into space with Sandra Bullock wouldn’t be happening. It is, however, happening for George Clooney who Warner Bros. has brought on-board to replace him.

THR say that Warner Bros. considered scrapping the movie after Downey Jr. bailed (Angelina Jolie had already turned down the role of the female astronaut twice, and efforts to get Natalie Portman didn’t work out) but as Clooney has agreed to star in the movie production will likely begin early next year.

Much of the film, which will be 60% CGI, 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. George Clooney will play the team leader at the space station who also survives the space disaster, but previous reports mentioned that if Downey took on the role he would only be required for 3 weeks of filming, so the character may not be around a whole lot.