George Clooney Has Gravity

He'll replace Robert Downey Jr

Sound may not be able to travel in a vacuum, but if you were somehow floating miles above the Earth, you might just be able to make out Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron shouting for joy at the news that George Clooney has stepped into the breach to snatch one of the two main roles in his new sci-fi drama Gravity.

The film, which boasts a prominent starring role for an actress, sees a female astronaut struggling to make it back to Earth after her colleagues are killed by space debris that destroys their station.

That role was originally supposed to have been filled by Angelina Jolie, who was solidly tethered, then drifted away, only to be pulled back in later. But then she cut the cord permanently, kicking off a search that covered most available actresses in Hollywood and beyond, including Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Marion Cotillard and Blake Lively.

Finally, Sandra Bullock agreed to take that all-important part, but by that time original male lead Robert Downey Jr’s schedule had filled up and he too dropped out. Now Clooney is taking on the job, which will mostly see him appearing in just the first act of the film.

Warners Bros. had been seriously considering ditching the whole thing and marking it down as a loss, but now it just looks like the studio will make plans to film Gravity slightly later, so as to snatch Clooney once he’s finished shooting political drama Ides of March, which once went by the original play’s title, Farragut North…