Angelina Jolie and Robert Downey Jr almost starred in ‘Gravity’ – video
Sandra Bullock in Gravity

Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron has spoken about how Angelina Jolie and Robert Downey Jr were almost the stars of his hit space thriller – before other commitments and issues with technology forced them to depart.

Cuaron, who won the BAFTA for Best Director at the weekend, explained that he had in-depth talks and even hands-on screen tests with the pair.

Sandra Bullock in Gravity

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter in front of a live audience, the filmmaker said:

“I had conversations with Angelina, but she had other films and then she went off to direct. With Robert Downey I had all the conversations, but it became clear as we started to nail the technology it would be a big obstacle for his performance.

“He’s fantastic when you give him the freedom to riff and improvise. It was not compatible.”

It was recently revealed that the techniques used to create the astonishing movie meant cast members had no scope to stray whatsoever from a very carefully scripted and worked-out series of movements – making spontaneity impossible.

The starring roles were eventually taken by George Clooney and Sandra Bullock of course, with Bullock now nominated for an Oscar for her performance.

Cuaron claimed that he originally thought of the blockbuster as “a very small movie”:

“Just one character floating in space – a woman dealing with her grief. Soon it became more complicated.”

During the 12-minute snippet that has been posted online, the director also discusses his time on Harry Potter – including having tea with JK Rowling, and why he decided not to make more than one Potter movie.

Gravity came top of our movies of 2013 list back in December.

Watch the interview:

Mark Butler

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