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It looks like Robert Downey Jr. might be leaving Alfonso Cuaron’s sci-fi epic Gravity. Although he’s been attached to the project for quite some time, contractual obligations to The Avengers and Oz, The Great and Powerful might prevent him from acting in the film. Bullock and others are pushing for Downey to stay on board.
While Warner Bros. says that he’s still attached to Gravity, sources tell Deadline otherwise. The chances of him staying on board looked good when Bullock signed on not too long ago. The casting of Bullock followed a long search that included offers to Angelina Jolie and Natalie Portman, both of whom declined to star in the film.
Since Bullock’s character anchors the film in the same way that the one portrayed by Tom Hanks did in Cast Away, RDJ’s presence probably wouldn’t mean much for the film in and of itself. However, his box office draw could have worked in tandem with Bullock’s to result in a higher gross for the film.
Unfortunately, Downey leaving the project at this point wouldn’t be much of a surprise. In fact, one could have predicted such a situation some time ago.
On a personal note, I’d be quite sad to see RDJ leave Gravity. Before Iron Man made him a star in 2008, he had a particular knack for completely dominating films such as Jodie Foster’s Home for the Holidays and Mike Figgis’ One Night Stand in small supporting roles. Though he can lead films with the utmost talent and skill, this smallish role could return him to the thespian acting that got him so far in the industry in the first place. Additionally, his scenes with Bullock would be a treat for cinephiles and moviegoers alike to watch.
If RDJ does leave, who would replace him? Though it’s a stab in the dark, it might be Clive Owen. He worked with Cuaron in the Oscar-nominated Children of Men.
Stay tuned for further updates on Gravity.