Warning: this is a half-speculative story that could easily be worked out within  by the end of the week, so it could amount to nothing. But it’s one more piece of the difficult mosaic that has been the development process for Gravity, the space-bound thriller from Alfonso Cuarón. After a long search, the film finally found a lead in Sandra Bullock. And it has boasted, almost since day one, one of the strongest possible supporting actors: Robert Downey, Jr. But now there’s a possibility that scheduling will knock Mr. Downey out the film’s orbit.

Mike Fleming at Deadline says he’s hearing that Mr. Downey will have to pull out of the film thanks to scheduling issues, and while he doesn’t say anything specific, that means Sherlock Holmes 2. Here’s the good news: both Sherlock and Gravity are Warner Bros. films, and the studio has every interest in working things out so that the actor can appear in both movies. Indeed, WB is telling Deadline that there really isn’t any problem, and that things will be sorted out.

The problem here is that Downey is shooting Sherlock Holmes 2 now, then planned to break from that and do his small part in Gravity, and then return to Sherlock. Deadline isn’t specific about what the schedule roadblock is, but chances are it has to do with unforeseen schedule changes with Sherlock.

The site also mentions The Avengers and Iron Man 3. Difficult to imagine that those are going to be pressing concerns before early next year, however — they’re indicative of how tightly packed his schedule is, more than anything else. There’s no wiggle room here, so if location delays or other issues wreak havoc with Sherlock‘s schedule, then his Gravity days might have to be pushed, and eventually they’re going to but up against The Avengers, which is set to go in February. If that happens, then Gravity will lose out. But hopefully WB can wiggle things around so that eventuality doesn’t come to pass.

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