“I don’t want to be just locked in a F****G tin can”: Even $70 Million Was Not Enough to Convince Robert Downey Jr. to Work in A Movie That Could Have Starred Angelina Jolie

Even $70 Million Was Not Enough to Convince Robert Downey Jr. to Work in A Movie That Could Have Starred Angelina Jolie
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Robert Downey Jr. is a firm believer in setting clear-cut “boundaries” with regard to certain things and he’s not one to budge. Even if those boundaries mean losing his grip over a grand sum of $70 million.


Alfonso Cuarón’s science fiction thriller, Gravity, which stars Ocean’s Eleven actor George Clooney along with the Oscar-winning actress and famous producer, Sandra Bullock, was actually going to have the Maleficent actress Angelina Jolie and Robert Downey Jr. as the lead actors before a new plan was charted for the project.

Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr.

Not long ago, Robert Downey Jr. revealed how initially, he’d been at the front line to lead the 2013 film but ended up changing his mind when he found out that he’d have to spend hours working in cramped spaces for his part.


The MCU star very clearly has his priorities in order – comfort over cash (and that too an enormous amount of it).

Related: “I slept on their couches when I was broke”: George Clooney Paid His Friends $14M in Cash From ‘Gravity’ Earnings After Robert Downey Jr. Refused the Role Due to Extreme CGI

Robert Downey Jr. Almost Starred in the 2013 Sci-fi Film, Gravity 

A while ago, when Robert Downey Jr. appeared on The Howard Stern Show, he admitted that he was indeed set to be one of the star cast in the Alfonso Cuarón-helmed movie which was a major hit at the box office, and would’ve had Angelina Jolie as his co-star had he not disengaged himself from the project.


But things changed following Downey Jr.’s departure from Gravity with George Clooney taking over the role that the former was supposed to play and Sandra Bullock stepping into the shoes that could’ve been Jolie’s. And according to the Due Date star, the said change was more or less for the better.

“Everybody winds up doing what they’re supposed to do.” 

Related: “I think he is fantastic if you give him freedom to improvise”: Robert Downey Jr. Refused Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity Because of Claustrophobic, CGI Heavy Filming Conditions Despite Playing Iron Man For Over 10 Years

Robert Downey Jr. would've made $70 million if he'd starred in Gravity
Robert Downey Jr. would’ve made $70 million if he’d starred in Gravity

When the host of the radio show pointed out how Downey Jr. was the “first choice” for the film, the latter explained that even though he got off to a great start with the director, it was just a situation where he had to give up the project.


“I came on early in the development process. I don’t think Angelina was even attached at that point. But Alfonso and I really kind of hit it off and then by the time….you know, Sandy Bullock is really….and I’ve heard stories like this from Clooney himself where you’re kind of involved in things and then you just kind of want to help, whether you wind up being in it or not because you like the people involved. And it was that kind of story.” 

But what might’ve solidified the Avengers: Endgame star’s decision to not go ahead with his role in Gravity was actually more about him refusing to be holed up in constricted spaces for preposterously long hours than anything else, as he later revealed.

Why Robert Downey Jr. Gave Up Alfonso Cuarón’s Movie

It turns out Downey Jr. is not the biggest fan of confined spaces.

While talking about the what’s and why’s concerning his departure from Gravity, Howard Stern quoted the Tropic Thunder actor, claiming that the real reason why he’d refused to work in the film was that he didn’t want to be “just locked in a f**king tin can for a whole movie.” And it looks like he’s pretty much right.


“What I can tell you is I went to do a test, with a new sort of multi-spherical camera thing they were doing for how they were going to do all the CGI, and I’m one of those guys who can be comfortably uncomfortable pretty easily, and I went in the morning to do that and we did it for about 20 minutes. I said, ‘This is crazy. How much longer?’ [They said] ‘It’s like another 2-4 hours.’ I said, ‘No, it isn’t.'” 

Related: “Time as Iron Man is not done”: Robert Downey Jr. Saying He Misses MCU and Kevin Feige Convinces Fans of His Return in Avengers: Secret Wars

A glimpse of what went on at the set of Gravity (2013)
A glimpse of what went on at the set of Gravity (2013)

Downey Jr., 57, then preached the importance of having “boundaries” and how important it is to “leave” something or someplace before one ends up “flipping out”. And the prospect of making a whopping $70 million most definitely doesn’t come above that for the actor.

“Any of us can have anything but we can’t have everything.” 

Wiser words have never been spoken. Looks like Iron Man has been doing some solid soul-searching in all this time of resting.


Gravity can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.

Source: YouTube


Written by Khushi Shah

Articles Published: 768

With a prolific knowledge of everything pop culture and a strong penchant for writing, Khushi has penned over 700 articles during her time as an author at FandomWire.
An abnormal psychology student and an fervent reader of dark fiction, her most trusted soldiers are coffee and a good book.