First, Gravity lost Angelina Jolie. Then it lost -- or failed to acquire, rather -- Natalie Portman as a replacement. Finally, after landing Sandra Bullock in the lead role, it appears that Alfonso Cuaron's sci-fi flick is suffering another high profile setback: the possible departure of Robert Downey Jr.
The good ship RDJ was set to sail forth with Cuaron's Gravity in a co-starring capacity; though the movie focuses on Bullock's space-stranded astronaut desperately struggling to survive and find a way back to Earth, Downey would have a smaller part as the only other surviving astronaut on Bullock's team. That's assuming he's still on board, at least, as some scheduling difficulties could prevent him from leaving Earth's orbit.
According to Deadline, Downey was to film three weeks worth of footage before beginning production on Sherlock Holmes 2. When the Guy Ritchie-directed sequel kicked off first, Downey was then set to shoot Gravity during a break in the Sherlock schedule. Now, with a number of other projects looming, including The Avengers and Iron Man 3, the actor could bow out altogether.
It's another disappointing blow for the already struggling Gravity, but looking at all of Downey's commitments — from his Marvel movies to Sherlock to Oz the Great and Powerful to Emergency! and more — something, really, was bound to give. His days in space aren't over yet, but I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Downey ends up pulling the plug on Gravity.