Cuaron’s Gravity Is Doing Everything Backwards, May Be Groundbreaking Sci-Fi

By Josh Tyler | Published

Director Alexandar Cuaron has big plans for his upcoming sci-fi movie Gravity. By all accounts it’s so ambitious that not everyone’s even sure he’ll be able to pull it off. If it does, it could change the way we think about movies forever, or at the least, be one of the most gripping and introspective science films since 2001.

We already know that he’s planning the entire 17-minute opening of the film to be done in a single take. The film tells the story of an astronaut stranded in space, floating alone, and trying to get home. You can see how that format might work. But what’s new in the news is that he plans to continue that no cutaways approach to the entire film. He won’t use much editing at all. The film will be composed of many six to ten minute long takes.

Part of the reason he’ll be able to do that is that it won’t be a live action movie, at least not exactly. Chris deFarina, who oversees animation and visual FX at Warner Bros. (where Gravity is being made) explains

“Instead of trying to create real people and what they’re doing, let’s turn it around and create almost an entirely animated film and then backwards engineer the people into that film,” he explained. “As a matter of fact, let’s not even engineer the people into the film, let’s engineer their faces. So you’ve got these little faces inside these little helmets.”

That’s basically backwards from any other movie you’ve ever seen. Normally the live action elements are constructed and then the computer animated elements are worked in around them. It should present an interesting challenge for Sandra Bullock, who plays the stranded astronaut and whose face will be the one you see on screen inside that little animated space suit, throughout the film.