It feels like Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron’s latest sci-fi offering Gravity may never see the light of day. There were delays with casting, delays in filming, and now Warner Bros. has bumped the release date back to 2013. Originally scheduled to hit American theaters on November 21, 2012, Gravity is now an “unscheduled 2013” release.
Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, and Marion Cotillard were all rumored for the female lead in, a role that ultimately went to Sandra Bullock, fresh off of her Oscar win. George Clooney plays the male protagonist, and the two portray a pair of astronauts stranded on a space station. Cuaron co-wrote the script with his son Jonas.
Here is the official synopsis:
Sandra Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone–tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth…and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.
See, further cinematic proof that you should just retire, never decide to retire then go on one last job. No matter what your chosen profession, nothing good will happen. Ever.
The studio test screened a rough cut of Gravity earlier this month in California, with mixed reactions. I’m a fan of Cuaron’s films, especially Children, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Y Tu Mama Tambien, and I’m excited for Gravity. The premise is interesting, the actors are solid, and the director has a great visual style. I can’t wait to see how he makes use of the confines of rogue space station.
But apparently, while some folks loved the unfinished Gravity, others couldn’t stand it. Reading some comments, I get the feeling the reaction to this film is going to be very similar to Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life last year. Some are going to hail it as his finally realized masterpiece, and at the same time others are going to see an overblown, masturbatory exercise in excess.
There’s no official word if negative reactions to the screening are the reason for the delay. That’s possible, but it is just as likely that this is just the studio tinkering with their release schedule.