Clooney to replace Downey Jr. in ‘Gravity’

Actor will star opposite Bullock in Warner Bros., Cuaron pic

George Clooney’s come on board opposite Sandra Bullock for Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D space station thriller “Gravity” for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures.

Warner-based David Heyman is producing “Gravity” through his Heyday Films along with Legendary and looking to start shooting in the spring.

Pic revolves around two astronauts fighting to survive on a remote space station after satellite debris wipes out the rest of the crew and destroys most of the station. Scripted by Cuaron and his son, Jonas, the film was originally set up at Universal but moved to Warner Bros., after which Robert Downey Jr. became attached to the role Clooney’s going to fill. Studio turned to Bullock for the lead role when Natalie Portman passed on the project.

Lynn Harris is overseeing “Gravity” for Warner Bros. Studio hasn’t dated “Gravity” yet.

Bullock has been attached to two other Warner projects since her Oscar win for “The Blind Side” — “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” opposite Tom Hanks; and an untitled drama set up with Offspring Entertainment producing and Anne Fletcher directing, based on a pitch from Pamela Falk and Michael Ellis.

Clooney’s signed on to direct and star in “The Ides of March,” an adaptation of the Broadway play “Farragut North.” Exclusive Media Group and Cross Creek Pictures will finance the pic with George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smoke House Pictures and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Prods. Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood are also starring in “Ides.”

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