This is just a massive shame. According to Deadline, Angelina Jolie has passed on the lead role in Alfonso Cuarón’s 3D film Gravity (co-starring Robert Downey Jr.). Despite being offered a mountain of cash and the opportunity to work with one of the greatest mainstream directors alive today — Children of Men was the best sci-fi film of the last decade, if not one of the best films ever — Jolie is too busy prepping her directorial debut, a Bosnian love story circa 1990-something.

Gravity, scripted by Cuarón and his son Jonas, is about two characters—a team leader (Downey Jr.) and a female lead—who get stranded in space after their space station explodes, killing the remainder of their team. The bulk of the film is about the female lead trying desperately to return home to her child…before bedtime! (OK, that last part I made up.)

Because the film focuses so heavily on the female lead, Warner Bros. pushed hard for Angelina Jolie, one of the few actresses around—or actors, for that matter—who could possibly dominate the screen by herself for the majority of the film. (Think Cast Away but in space, and with a lady instead of Tom Hanks.)

Previously, the studio had reached out to every other actress working today—from Sandra Bullock to Blake Lively—but Angelina was far and above their favorite, which is why they reached out twice. Now the question remains, without the most beautiful woman in the world onboard, will Warner Bros. be willing to throw $80 million at Gravity? Or is Gravity’s future, more likely, now in jeopardy?

Don’t look so sad, Alfonso, you’re breaking my heart

I would, in all seriousness, watch anything and anyone directed by Alfonso Cuarón: the man has never disappointed as a director. In fact, his disappointments (Great Expectations) are at worst ‘just plain good.’ He has made beautiful children’s fantasy tales (A Little Princess, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), he has made powerful and personal art-house films (Y tu mamá también), and, I repeat, he has made my favorite sci-fi film of the past ten years—if not longer—Children of Men.

Speaking of Children of Men, it has been said that Gravity will use some of the same long-take techniques that were so prevalent and mind-boggling in the aforementioned sci-fi masterpiece. In fact, the opening shot itself, according to The Playlist, will be twenty minutes long or longer, bringing to mind the best opening shot in film history—that of Orson Welle’s Touch of Evil. One shot. One scene. All awesome.

Gravity, which will be 60% CGI, not unlike James Cameron’s Avatar, starts shooting next year after Robert Downey Jr. finishes Sherlock Holmes 2 – that is, if everything falls into place. Cross your fingers, Cuarón fans.

Source: Deadline Hollywood