We would have had something closer to Apollo 13, had Cuaron caved.
Since Gravity’s debut at the Venice Film festival, the critics have been raving. The film’s plot – its substance – combined with the sheer delights that come with its cinematography and special effects have lead it to critical acclaim, and, more importantly for the studio, it’s been a box office triumph.
George Clooney in Gravity
It could have been so different if the pressure exerted on director Alfonso Cuaron had told. He revealed that the studio wanted him to cut back to mission control, known as Houston, as in, ‘we have a problem’. But that was a problem for the Mexican auteur, as was a love story between Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and someone back at ‘Houston’.
And it appears as if Cuaron’s resilience and confidence in the final product he produced was stronger than any of the pressures he faced. With Gravity, he’s won himself autonomy, having produced one of the finest films of a generation, and smashing the box office with over $96m so far.
Gravity's space photography has been praised
That’s without a U.K release – the film hits British Isles on November 8th after it hits the London Film Festival tonight, Oct 10th. When it’s had it’s fun in every movie theatre across the globe, Gravity will have more than tripled its $100m production budget, it not quadrupled it.
Back to the critical acclaim, though, and Gravity is in line to become the first sci-fi film to take Best Picture at the Oscars come March 2014. The genre doesn’t generally fair well in the Best Film category: Stanley Kubrick's Dr Strangelove was beaten by My Fair Lady in 1964. A Clockwork Orange lost out to The French Connection in 1971. Star Wars was bested by Annie Hall in 1977 and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial couldn’t get past Gandhi in 1982.
This year, though, looks to be the year in which that curse is broken.