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Robert Downey Jr. Officially Leaves Alfonso Cuaron's 'Gravity,' Circles 'How To Talk To Girls'

by Kevin Jagernauth
November 18, 2010 12:18 AM
8 Comments
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Ugh. The writing has been on the wall for a while now -- Deadline first hinted at it late last month -- but now it's official: Robert Downey Jr. has left Alfonso Cuarón's forever gestating "Gravity." It appears that scheduling, long cited to be the issue, just couldn't be worked out and the actor has had to move on. Admittedly, the part was a small one -- he would've featured only in the first act -- but it was seemingly a tailor made role, that of a motor mouthed astronaut alongside the female lead who has to urgently navigate a ship back home.

What this means for the project now remains unclear. It is already a difficult one, heavily reliant on CGI, with a fairly large budget (another issue that has kept the project stalled) and fronted by a female in an already tough-to-market sci-fi genre. It's a whole bag of things that audiences, at least en masse, don't respond well to and is difficult to market. The silver lining is that Sandra Bullock is still in negotiations for the film but we have to hope that the allure of acting alongside Robert Downey Jr., which certainly must've been a draw for the Oscar winner, wasn't big enough that his departure will extinguish her interest as well. It is a pretty unique leading role for an actress and we hope Bullock can stay aboard and keep the project alive. Really, she is one of the few actresses who can keep this thing moving and get it greenlit. And we suppose the rumor mill will now swirl with potential co-stars for the supporting role (do the right thing A-list actor with clout and help this thing stay alive).

Meanwhile, Robert Downey Jr. is circling a big screen version of "How To Talk To Girls." Based on the cutesy advice book written by nine-year-old Alec Greven, it's part of a handful of advice books by the young literary sensation that has made him a favorite of the morning talk show set. No word yet on the plot at this point but let us take a guess: Robert Downey Jr. will play a man looking for love who finds all the answers in a little advice book he finds at his nephew/niece's house. Soon he finds women are giving him another look, but more importantly, he learns that true love is out there for everyone. So there you go Hollywood, we just gave you the logline for a $100 million romcom right there. Please feel free to send us a check.

Ben Karlin ("The Daily Show") and Stu Zicherman ("Six Degrees") have penned an initial draft but it will be reworked into a Downey Jr. joint. Susan Downey is producing along with Shawn Levy under his 21 Laps shingle. This is likely a ways off as RDJ is still set to shoot "Oz: The Great And Powerful" next summer after he wraps "The Avengers" and of course, he's currently shooting "Sherlock Holmes 2."

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8 Comments

  • Sean | November 18, 2010 5:56 AMReply

    Agreed that Moore should replace Bullock (yet she should still retain the center stage) and Craig playin' the motor mouth. it would be nice to see him play something that's not killing anyone and making sure their face is cemented with a scowl.
    And i really hope this film doesn't fall into the same rut The Master is in.

  • Bobby | November 18, 2010 4:46 AMReply

    Agree Alex, perfect moment to drop Bullock. My dream pairing for this would be Jolie - Craig.

  • BradZuhl | November 18, 2010 3:40 AMReply

    Sam Rockwell would be great as a motormouthed astronaut. He already played astro in Moon, but I think he'd be perfect for it.

  • Alex | November 18, 2010 3:25 AMReply

    They should use this opportunity to get rid of Sandra Bullock.

    They should have Clive Owen/Daniel Craig in his place and have Julianne Moore the female astronaut (although the role is written for a younger actress. (I am just rehashing Children of Men cast)

    They cast Bullock because she has had a few successful films recently and won an Oscar - that doesn't mean she can be taken seriously in this role or that anyone will want to see her in this kind of film.

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close seems like a better match for her - dramatic and comedic elements.

  • brett | November 18, 2010 3:12 AMReply

    God, this has been bad news after bad news. I just want him to direct SOMETHING. Ugh. Children of Men is the best film of last decade.

  • Oliver Lyttelton | November 18, 2010 2:41 AMReply

    Everyone who wants to replace Bullock: you do realize that she's the only way the film gets made now? If you think that Warners would greenlight a $100 million movie starring Julianne Moore and Clive Owen in the current climate, you haven't been concentrating hard enough.

  • Bobby | November 18, 2010 2:16 AMReply

    Rather than focusing on replacing RDJ, they should focus on replacing Bullock.

  • KC | November 18, 2010 1:20 AMReply

    Ryan Reynolds could replace RDJ. He fits the role and he and Bullock had a hit last year. Chris Evans can also pull off the wise cracking character.

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