Sandra Bullock spins out of control in the new "Gravity" preview. (Courtesy of Warner Bros.)
They say in space, no one can hear you scream. But the astronauts in the new trailer for "Gravity" will probably have the audience doing all the screaming for them.
The preview of the upcoming sci-fi thriller starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney runs just under two minutes and features only one shot. But it packs a whole movie's worth of danger, suspense, and visual trickery into 119 seconds.
Watch 'Gravity' Preview — Detached:
The clip throws viewers into the middle of a crisis from the start, as astronauts Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) and Matt Kowalski (Clooney) are walking in space, examining their damaged spaceship and dodging debris as ground control tells them to abort the mission. While Kowalski comes to the aid of Dr. Stone, the ship is hit; soon the craft and Dr. Stone are spinning wildly out of control, in images realistic enough to induce vertigo even on a small computer screen.
To save herself, Dr. Stone must disconnect herself from her tether to the ship, but once she does, she is hurled into space, a white spot shrinking into endless dark as Kowalski shouts that he's losing visual contact with her.
Not only does this clip offer an incredible set-up for an outer space adventure – how can anyone safely come back from that? – but it demonstrates the remarkable visual artistry of director Alfonso Cuaron (this is his first feature since 2006's superb "Children of Men") and the over-the-top skills of his visual effects team, who make the disastrous sequence look terrifyingly plausible.
[Related: Alfonso Cuaron Filmography & Biography]
Cuaron and his cast and crew went the extra mile to make sure the scenes in space looked authentic; during an appearance at last week's San Diego Comic-Con, Bullock and her director revealed they got some technical advice from astronauts who were orbiting in the international space station.
"We wanted to be as accurate as possible," Bullock said. "We had a lot of incredible specialists who did just that. There were several times I was able to call up to space and ask them questions and they'd answer."
"We were on the phone with the space station," Cuaron chimed in. "It was very weird."
Bullock added, "They [the astronauts] were incredibly helpful. Literally you could call and they're like, 'I'm going to call you back.' But email. And you're like, 'My email reached here!' And they'd be like, 'Of course it did because all our emails go to space and come back here.' They were so excited about the vantage point that this film was taking which was the same one that they have -- which is a great love for the [NASA space] program, because of what they get to see and admire about our planet and the universe around them."
Bullock also revealed that given the dangers and complexity of the shoot, her co-star Clooney was convinced to set aside his legendary love for on-set pranks. "This film was so hard," Bullock said. "Pranks had no place, there was no down time. How are you going to prank someone who's hanging from a scaffolding with twelve wires rigged up all day? We had a truce at the very get-go because that just wasn't the appropriate place [laughs] to prank someone."
Judging from the footage that's been released so far, that hard work was worth it. If the movie lives up to its trailer, "Gravity" should be one of the most exciting and unusual sci-fi thrillers of the year. The movie opens in theaters on October 4, 2013.
Also Watch 'Gravity' Teaser Trailer:
- Arts & Entertainment
- Ryan Stone
- Alfonso Cuaron