Alfonso Cuarón Says Studio Wanted More Flashbacks & Scenes From Mission Control In 'Gravity'

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by Kevin Jagernauth
October 9, 2013 9:22 AM
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While Warner Bros. does indeed deserve credit for bravely sticking with "Gravity" over a complicated four year development/production process, particularly for a film in a genre that isn't known for being the most consistent performer at the box office, that's not to say they didn't initially have concerns. One can only imagine that the concept of a thriller set entirely space, largely around a single character, wasn't initially an easy sell, and director Alfonso Cuarón has revealed some of the feedback he initially received from executives about "Gravity." And warning, spoilers below.

Of the many elements of the film that add to sheer and palpable panic facing astronaut Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) as she floats in space is a stretch of time when she's utterly alone, unable to make contact with Mission Control (voiced by Ed Harris). But at first, the studio suggested that team in Houston should get more face time. "...there are a lot of ideas. People start suggesting other stuff. 'You need to cut to Houston, and see how the rescue mission goes,' " Cuaron told io9

And that's not all. Part of the emotional journey of "Gravity" rests on Stone's backstory, which includes a daughter she lost, but this is all effectively communicated without breaking the single location concept. However, Cuarón was advised to perhaps include some flashbacks in the film and even more. "A whole thing with...a romantic relationship with the Mission Control Commander, who is in love with her. All of that kind of stuff. What else? To finish with a whole rescue helicopter, that would come and rescue her. Stuff like that," he explained of the some of the ideas that were floated his way.

And while he ultimately stuck to his vision, Cuarón understands why Warner Bros. may have been concerned and praises them for taking a leap of faith. "...I have to say, with all the people—and we're talking about the studio—in the end, they were all very respectful because they had a clear view of what we were doing. And I understand all this," he said. "You have to understand that in this is the process...in many ways I don't know how they did it."

"Gravity" is now playing. See it on the biggest screen possible.

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4 Comments

  • BEF | October 9, 2013 12:27 PMReply

    Ha, these were the two things I was glad they didn't do and thought audiences might have wanted. Brave indeed, hopefully a coming standard bearer ... mission control being in love with her, sheesh...

  • brendon | October 9, 2013 10:59 AMReply

    I for one think we collectively missed out on some great Sandra Bullock driving-aimlessly-through-Indiana scenes. In 3D, no less!

  • scribe | October 9, 2013 10:34 AMReply

    Brilliant visuals. A tour de force in IMAX for sure - I just wish there was a choice (at our theater) to watch it in IMAX 2D because the 3D version really kicks the suspension of disbelief in the groin at times -- for my money 2D just looks so much better and realistic.

  • Denise | October 9, 2013 10:43 AM

    Same here. Maybe it's because I wear glasses and miss some 3D shots, but I enjoy it way more in standard 2D. Though watching a movie marketed as 3D guarantees lots of groan inducing shots of things reaching to the screen. Death to 3D!

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