Let's start with a nice little spoiler warning, shall we? While I know many of you rushed to theaters this past weekend to go see Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, those of you who didn't may want to rethink whether or not you actually want to read this article. If you're having second thoughts, please click on the cute kitten picture below, and for the rest of you.... onwards!
While Gravity has generated many thought-provoking headlines since the movie was released, one of the most interesting ones arrived yesterday afternoon when it was reported that actor George Clooney had written one of the most important scenes in the film: the part where Sandra Bullock's character, Dr. Ryan Stone, has completely given up on her survival mission and hallucinates that Clooney's Matt Kowalski is still alive. The story originated from Cuaron himself, who said in an interview that they were having trouble with the scene before Clooney stepped in and offered some help. Said the filmmaker,
"There was one scene we were doing over and over and over, and George overheard that we were dealing with that. 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."
Now, however, Clooney has come out to say that some of the details about the situation have been misinterpreted and that he didn't actually write the scene. Speaking with The Wrap, the Academy Award winner revealed that he didn't actually script the whole sequence - which was apparently in the screenplay from the start - but rather simply contributed a few ideas to help punch it up. Rather than blaming the earlier reporting, however, Clooney said that the false attribution comes from the director's modesty. Said the star,
“Alfonso’s such a sweet guy. He hands out credit to everyone all the time. I said, ‘You guys are struggling, here’s an idea.’ So I wrote out a scene, and there’s a portion of it in the movie about Sandy wanting to live. They were struggling with how to tell people she wants to live, and I said, ‘Maybe you say she talks to her little girl and says Mommy loves her.’ I sent him the scene as I was leaving out of London — I said, ‘Maybe this helps. Maybe this will fix the problem.’ Alfonso said they shot a version of it. I would never write myself a scene to come back in”
In addition to being both an actor and a director, Clooney has dabbled in a bit of screenwriting, penning the scripts for his features Good Night and Good Luck, The Ides of March and the upcoming The Monuments Men, so it ultimately isn't too surprising that he would pick up a pen, but I'm still made very curious by this situation. The scene does have its detractors, but I personally loved it thought it was one of the most powerful sequences in the movie, and I would love to see the small differences that Clooney made to the script by the director and his son, Jonas Cuaron. Hopefully a full exploration of that scene will be some kind of special feature on the Blu-ray.