Robert Downey Jr. In Talks To Star In ‘Children Of Men’ Director Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Gravity’

A couple weeks ago, news flared up that Angelina Jolie would be ditching the “Wanted” sequel for “Gravity,” a promising-sounding sci-fi flick from director Alfonso Cuaron. It turned out to be not entirely true: while Jolie is still out of the “Wanted” sequel, she won’t be joining “Gravity” either.

Still, Cuaron’s sci-fi pitch — astronauts try to get back to Earth after the space station they work out of is destroyed while they’re away — is sound. The “Avatar” and “District 9” Oscar noms indicates there’s an interest right now in good science fiction (one word: “Moon“!!!), and Cuaron has some nice background there, as the director/co-writer of the 2007 Oscar-nominated “Children of Men.” Now he’s got a top-caliber actor interested in joining “Gravity”: Robert Downey Jr.

Deadline Hollywood reports via an unnamed source that the “Iron Man 2″ star is in talks to take the lead role in Cuaron’s character-driven sci-fi. I can’t tell if the plot has changed or if the original report simply didn’t reveal all of the details. When “Gravity” was in the news with Jolie attached, it sounded like she was the only survivor of the aforementioned space station incident. Now it appears that she was intended to play the female lead, opposite the male role currently being discussed for Downey.

It appears that the chief draw of the project for the actor is the opportunity to work with Cuaron, who also directed “Y tu mama tambien” and “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” and who co-wrote “Gravity” with his son Jonas. If the casting happens, Downey will shoot “Gravity” over the summer and be done in time to move onto the “Sherlock Holmes” sequel, which is set to shoot this fall.

As much as I’ve been loving the Downey-as-blockbuster star thing that’s been happening for the actor in recent years, I’m keen to see him stretch himself for someone like Cuaron. “Gravity,” described as a “space thriller,” sounds like the perfect platform too: small cast, (presumably) minimal action, big on character moments.

What is your favorite Downey role? Would you like to see him star in “Gravity”?