We’ve been banging the drum loudly for Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, which is a box-office hit and a possible Oscar contender. But we found a handful of people (outside of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson) who might not be that thrilled with Cuaron’s eye-popping film, which both raised the bar and threw down the gauntlet. Why are they so disgruntled?

Well, because they have science-fiction movies on the horizon, and now they are going to have to contend with Gravity comparisons. No matter what happens, at least in the short term, movies set in or around outer space are going to be compared to Gravity. “Sure, it looks OK, but it’s not Gravity.” Unfair? Maybe. But it’s reality. So what are the five upcoming sci-fi projects that should be a little bit concerned by the success of Cuaron’s Gravity? Let’s discuss.

Star Wars: Episode VII
J.J. Abrams has more than enough to worry about when it comes to Episode VII. He’s attempting to please a disgruntled fan base that has been griping (loudly) since The Phantom Menace landed in theaters with a digital thud. He’s shepherding the most scrutinized film in pre-production at the moment. And he’s trying to rescue a lost franchise with what he’s promising to be practical effects and a sense of “reality.” Now he’s looking at the reality Cuaron’s creating on screen, the seamless recreation of outer space, which doesn’t look like Lucas’ shiny digital worlds. It looks like Gravity was actually filmed in the stratosphere. If I’m Abrams, I’m calling Cuaron’s technical team and asking for assistance … immediately.

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