Last month there was speculation that Robert Downey Jr. may have to bail on Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity due to scheduling conflicts, and now according to THR that is indeed the case. Downey has a lot of upcoming projects, including The Avengers and Oz, the Great and Powerful, which means a trip into space with Sandra Bullock won’t be happening.
THR say that Bullock is still in negotiations for the movie, which will be 60% CGI. 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. would have starred as the team leader at the space station, but his character would have only appeared in the first act (you can probably guess why).
Downey leaving is a blow for Warner Bros. as having the actor in trailers would have drawn people in, but as the role would only require 3 weeks on set they can easily find another actor. The eventual replacement may not have the same star power as Downey Jr. but this will be Bullock’s movie anyway, and she proved last year that she was a box office draw.
It would be a shame for Cuaron if Gravity fails to get off the ground due to casting issues. Angelina Jolie and Natalie Portman both passed, so hopefully Bullock remains on-board and Cuaron gets to return to sci-fi. Children of Men was one of the best movies of 2006 and I can’t wait for his follow-up.