George Clooney Replacing Robert Downey Jr. In ‘Gravity’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 12:38 am,

When Robert Downey Jr. had to call it quits on Alfonso Cuarón’s expensive sci-fi thriller, Gravity, it left us wondering: who else could make for a smooth-talking astronaut that survives a cataclysmic onslaught of satellite debris in space?

That may not be the most common of character tropes, but it seems that a fitting replacement for the Iron Man/Sherlock Holmes star has been found – namely, Hollywood’s silver-haired (Fantastic Mr.) fox himself, George Clooney.

Variety broke the story concerning Clooney coming onboard for Cuarón’s already-delayed Gravity, which producer David Heyman (the Harry Potter franchise) hopes to get into production by Spring 2011. While Clooney is set to begin shooting The Ides of March in February, he will only be a supporting player in Cuarón’s sci-fi flick – so Gravity could conceivably begin filming with its Oscar-winning leading lady Sandra Bullock before Clooney wraps production on his political drama.

Bullock will be the only human onscreen for the large chunk of Gravity, which was scripted by Cuarón and his son, Jonas. The 3D project will require an extensive amount of post-production work as it is expected to be upwards of 60% CGI and contain a number of Cuarón’s trademark elaborate tracking shots – some of which will likely be the result of work done in the editing room.

The pic revolves around two astronauts (Bullock and Clooney) who must struggle to make their way back to Earth after a storm of satellite wreckage lays waste to their space station and wipes out the rest of their crew. Clooney’s character survives by sheer chance, having been away in a small ship when disaster struck – which leaves Bullock to fend for herself and find a way to make it back home alone.

Cuarón has half-jokingly referred to Gravity as essentially Castaway in space, since Bullock’s character will be literally ship-wrecked and forced to rely on her survival instincts if she has any hope of seeing her loved ones (specifically, her daughter) on Earth ever again. Those that have seen Cuarón’s Children of Men know how capable the filmmaker is when it comes to constructing intense action sequences, so Gravity has the potential to be quite the thrill ride.

Expect Gravity to have much more substance than your average F/X – driven thriller as well, since Cuarón is very much a storyteller who’s concerned with character development and personal drama. The visceral nature of a film like this becomes all the more palpable when audiences actually care about the people involved, so hopefully Bullock and Clooney will rise to the occasion too (we suspect they will).

If Gravity does begin production by next spring, look for it to reach theaters in either late 2011 or the first half of 2012.

Source: Variety

TAGS: Gravity
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  1. Solaris 2 ?

    • Close, but no metaphysical/existential angst for Clooney this time around. 8-)

  2. You know I’ve been noticing RDJ keeps signing up for a bunch of roels and then dropping out lately.

    • That’s to be expected, I suppose.

      RDJ is filming Sherlock Holmes 2 right now and then he’s got The Avengers and THEN Iron Man 3. All three are big-budget projects that will require more production time – not to mention RDJ will have to set aside time to promote them as well.

      Busy guy, that RDJ… :-)

      • Oh Sandy I’m not faulting him for it he has no choice pretty much, but I’m just curious as to why he keeps signing on for things and then a month later dropping out. He knows he’s got Avengers and Sherlock you’d think he wouldn’t even bother signing on. He’s film Sherlock now then almost directly after that he has to immediately jump on Avengers and it’s doubtful Marvel wants to sit on the IM property to long so he’ll probably only get a a month or two off before working on IM3. With that foreseeable future why even bother signing on to project you know you’ll have to drop. Not talking negatively about him just curious and find it interesting.

    • When he first signed up (with Jolie in mind for Bullock’s role), the initial plan was to film RDJ’s part before SH2 started production, basically before October. Since WB was having a tough time trying to find a replacement for Jolie, that didn’t happen so it was planned that maybe (a big maybe) RDJ can shoot his part some time in January.

      But then it took forever to find a leading lady and there just wasn’t a window in RDJ’s schedule. Right after SH2 he jumps to The Avengers.

    • Is it a coincidence he dropped out after Bullock was chosen?

  3. I want this movie to be good, but the casting is just weak. I lost interest once Portman bailed on the film.

  4. Either way with out RDJ this movie holds no interest for me. Clooney ? ugh I’ve got better things to do on that day.

    • Agreed. This could have been a sweet little sci fi project, but then they cast Sandra (couldnt act my way out of a shoe) Bullock and then RDJ drops out.
      I think this script isnt half as amazing as people seem to be saying, no one outside of the studio has read it, and people are avoiding the project, maybe its a stinker they paid a lot of money for and are trying to cover for this with so called star power.

  5. Awesome. Clooney is a totally exceptable replacement if not better IMO.

  6. hope the movie will be good

  7. Although I love RDJ, the supporting role of the astronaut requires someone who’s got a smooth calmness about him, and RDJ (imo) has a tendency to be a bit too hyper.

    So, I think replacing RDJ with George Clooney could turn out to be a good move in the long run. Looking forward to Gravity with renewed interest.

    • have you read the script?

  8. Woah Alfoso Cuaron? Sign me up :)