“Don’t Let Go.” With only two months until it’s released, Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is the year’s last best chance at smart science fiction. While this year has seen many wonderful action/adventure science fiction flicks with Pacific Rim, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Oblivion, they have all seemed to disappoint in one-way or another. At the beginning of the year, we were all astonished with how many science fiction movies were coming out in 2013, but now that we only have a few more months in the year, it seems as if we desperately need a movie to engage us on an intellectual, visceral, and emotional level. Hopefully, Alfonso Cuarón will deliver the smart science fiction film we’re looking for with the release of Gravity. (And if not, we can just rewatch Europa Report.)
Sony has released an extended five-minute trailer for Alfonso Cuarón’s latest film. The trailer showcases Cuarón’s penchant for long, single-take shots, while delivering tension and suspense. In some ways, Gravity looks like the spacewalk scene from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, stretched to feature length and made even more dangerous The trailer is split into three sections; the asteroid collision, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) being thrown adrift, and Stone and Matt Kowalsky’s (George Clooney) escape from disaster. It’s difficult to tell if these sections are chronological within Gravity’s narrative, or if they’re just a few thrilling and intense scenes from the film, but one thing is for sure, Gravity is going to be a hard movie to sell to general audiences.
Since Sony released the first promotional materials for Gravity, they’ve always been non-traditional trailers. It seems as if this is the best way to sell a movie like Gravity, by showing complete scenes from the epic space film rather than cutting together a conventional trailer that features the film’s narrative in an easily digestible way. Either way, nothing is conventional or traditional when it comes to Cuarón’s Gravity.
Cuarón has been developing the story and filmmaking technology behind Gravity since 2006, since the release of Children of Men. Seven years is a long time between films, so Gravity is positioned to be something special from the Mexican director. Cuarón even enlisted director James Cameron (Avatar) to help him and his cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, to develop the 3D technology for the film. Cuarón wanted to re-create the weightlessness of space on a Hollywood sound stage, so it seems fitting that he recruited the man who created the alien world of Pandora on a sound stage. From what these early glimpses, Gravity looks like it was actually shot on location on an orbiting space station.
Gravity features Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer who is on her first space shuttle mission, and George Clooney as Matt Kowalsky, a veteran astronaut who is on his last one. Within the film’s first act, an unfortunate accident takes place, leaving Dr. Stone and Kowalsky separated, as she is left to drift through space with no hope for rescue and with very little oxygen left in her tanks. Am I crazy, or does that third astronaut in the extended trailer sound a lot like Ed Harris?
Gravity will hit theaters everywhere on October 4, in 3D and IMAX.