While Sandra Bullock and George Clooney’s roles in the mega-successful “Gravity” are etched in stone now, at one time it wasn’t so certain. In fact back in 2010, the project was looking to be an Angelina Jolie and Robert Downey Jr. vehicle.
In a new interview, filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron talks about why that casting didn’t happen. In the case of Jolie it was purely a case of scheduling:
“We started developing stuff [trying] to figure out the technology. And the luxury [was] that we could try many things. And part of that was conversations with actors. I had conversations with Angelina, but then she went to do one film [Maleficent], and then she was going to direct [Unbroken]. Something happens, you part ways.”
In regards to Downey Jr., the reasoning was quite different. Downey is an improv master, someone who works best when he can be free and loose. With a film like “Gravity” though, even the smallest detail has to be tightly controlled. That would have inhibited Downey’s style:
“It became very clear that, as we started to nail the technology, or narrow the technology, that was going to be a big obstacle for his performance. I think Robert is fantastic if you give him the freedom to completely breathe and improvise and change stuff. [But] we tried one of these technologies and it was not compatible. And, after that, we [had a] week that we pretended as if nothing was happening and then we talked and said, ‘This is not going to work. This is tough.'”
The full interview with Cuaron is up at THR