Sandra Bullock was a big part of what made Gravity such a success last year, but director Alfonso Cuarón says her character might have gone down a very different path if he’d chosen to listen to what the studio wanted.
“With making a film it’s like trying to create a tune in the shower while you have a hundred people singing around you. You have to focus yourself in on the tune that you’re trying to create. Because you have hundreds of people singing different songs at the same time around you,” Cuarón said.
The film had an $80 million budget and ended up breaking box-office records, but studio execs reportedly had a lot of suggestions for Cuarón that included how many times to cut to Mission Control and whether or not to include flashbacks in the film. And, he says, they wanted Bullock’s character to have a romantic relationship with the Mission Control commander.
“There’s always stuff like that. But I have to say, with all the people — and we’re talking about the studio — in the end, they were all very respectful because they had a clear view of what we were doing. And I understand all this. You have to understand that in this is the process… in many ways I don’t know how they did it,” Cuarón said.
The movie, which took four years to make, saw a lot of rewrites and proved something of a struggle to finish, but George Clooney ended up being very valuable during the writing process.
“We were struggling with rewrites, we’d stripped everything, a lot of the dialogue; we knew that anything that was going to be said, it was going to have a lot of weight. There was one scene we were doing over and over and over, and George overheard that we were dealing with that,” Cuaron said. “And then one night I receive an e-mail from him, saying, I heard you were struggling with this. I took a shot with the scene, Read it. Throw it out. And we ended up using it. This was exactly what we needed.”
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