Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Warner Bros has confirmed that George Clooney is set.

EXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing that George Clooney is now in talks to replace Robert Downey Jr in starring alongside Sandra Bullock in Gravity, the Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures 3D film that will be directed by Alfonso Cuaron. Deadline broke the story that Downey was going to bow out of the project because of scheduling problems. The plan at this point is to begin production in late April or early May, which would give Bullock the chance to complete the Warner Bros drama Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, the Stephen Daldry-directed film that also stars Tom Hanks and newcomer Thomas Horn.

Clooney will replace Downey in the role of team leader of a space station. He and Bullock’s character, off working on a shuttle, are the sole survivors when the space station is decimated by the debris field from an exploded asteroid. Bullock will carry much of the action adventure, a mother who is hellbent on returning to her young child back on earth. Clooney is working the space schedule around The Ides of March, the adaptation of the Beau Willimon play. Clooney is directing and starring alongside Ryan Gosling in the political drama for Sony Pictures Entertainment and Cross Creek Pictures.

Cuaron wrote the script with his son, Jonas, and David Heyman is producing. Given the hardships Gravity has weathered, this is truly a happy ending for the picture. CAA reps Clooney.

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