By Edward Davis | The Playlist December 16, 2010 at 9:27AM
Oh snap! Just when we had pretty much had given up on Alfonso Cuarón's sci-fi film "Gravity" -- Robert Downey Jr. had recently bailed on a small, but clutch supporting role -- one of the biggest stars in the world comes to the project's rescue.
THR is reporting that George Clooney is stepping into the astronaut role that RDJ recently bailed on due to shooting conflicts. Sandra Bullock is still fortunately attached and the project is moving forward. If there was a film with more will-it or won't-it-happen drama surrounding it this year, we can't think of one greater than "Gravity" which was a nail biter all the way down to the wire.
No word yet on when it will shoot, but as mentioned, "Gravity" was in the trades for months this year. Angelina Jolie was first attached and gave the project legs. She then bailed and actors from Marion Cotillard, Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively and Natalie Portman were all involved during casting rounds at various points. Robert Downey Jr. then signed on to the crucial, first-act astronaut role while Cuarón and WB looked for a new female lead. The aforementioned starlets all toyed around with taking on the role, but one by one they either lost interest or schedules wouldn't permit their participation. The huge expensive of "Gravity" -- a 3D $80 million dollar space epic -- meant that to get the project off the ground, big names had to be involved. And probably for the price of a song too as most of the budget would probably get dumped into the massive array of effects.
Sandra Bullock seemed to come to the rescue late this fall when it seemed hope was dwindling and just when things were looking good, RDJ was the next in line of the revolving musical chairs to exit. Clooney and Bullock are now essentially the two leads, but don't get it too twisted, we read the "Gravity" script not so long ago and it's essentially a one woman show. THR says production is aiming for a spring start after Clooney wraps his latest directorial effort "Ides Of March," and Bullock will be busy as well early in the new year, shooting "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."
"Gravity" centers on two astronauts (Bullock, Clooney) who are randomly place in a space disaster outside of Earth's gravity. The setting is nebulous, but it's meant to feel -- by our estimation -- maybe only 15-20 years in the future. The two then have to use their wits and every ounce of energy to get back to Earth before a huge asteroid field destroys their ship and the satellite they've docked nearby on. The script was written by Cuaron and his son Jonás.