The sci-fi blockbuster Gravity opened this weekend to nearly $60 million in ticket sales and rave reviews from film critics everywhere, especially for Sandra Bullock’s amazing performance as an astronaut trapped in outer space.
But what would the movie have been like without Bullock and George Clooney as the film’s centerpiece stars? Because the pairing of the two Oscar winners nearly didn’t happen.
The project languished in development at several major studios until Warner Bros. acquired the project back in 2010. Angelina Jolie was initially interested in the project but the studio balked at her $20 million asking fee. Jolie then went to work on her directorial debut In The Land Of Blood And Honey instead. Then enter Robert Downey Jr. who initially committed to the male lead role of astronaut Matt Kowalski.
Oscar winner Marion Cotillard tested for the female lead role Casting directors were also interested in Scarlett Johansson and Blake Lively.
In autumn of 2010, director Alfonso Cuarón received approval from Warner Bros. to offer the role to Natalie Portman, but she passed on the project due to scheduling conflicts. A few months later, Downey left the film to work on another project and the studio then signed Bullock and Clooney for the lead roles and shooting commenced.
Sometimes Hollywood fates have a weird way of making things right. Cause it’s hard to imagine anyone but Sandra and George in those roles (even though we can kind of see RDJ pulling it off).