Alfonso Cuaron reveals what forced Robert Downey, Jr. to drop out of Gravity

Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity was one of the most successful films of 2013. It grossed more than $700 million worldwide and has scored countless awards. Next month, it will head into the Oscars with 10 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Cuaron. Gravity may be the talk of the town, but it spent years in development and suffered from a rotating cast.

The final product features Sandra Bullock (Best Actress Oscar nominee) and George Clooney, but they weren't a part of the original team. Cuaron tells The Hollywood Reporter that Angelina Jolie and Robert Downey Jr. almost headlined the film. Unfortunately, Jolie couldn't commit because of a scheduling conflict and Downey had a hard time adapting to the intense, tech-heavy shoot.

Downey has plenty of experience working with CGI and 3D. But the technology used in Gravity inhibited his acting style. Cuaron explains, "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."

After facing the issue on set, both Cuaron and Downey knew he wasn't a good fit. "This is not going to work," they said. "This is tough." Thankfully, this happened early in the production process. There was still time to salvage the film, and they did! While working out the kinks, Bullock and Clooney entered the picture, and the rest is cinematic history.

(via THR)

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