Oscar-winning director of 'Gravity' turns to TV

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Oscar-winning director of 'Gravity' turns to TV
Alfonso Cuaron poses in the press room with his awards for best film editing and best director for "Gravity" during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
This film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Sandra Bullock in a scene from "Gravity." Bullock says making the lost-in-space movie directed by Alfonso Cuaron was her ?best life decision? ever. (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures)
THE OSCARS(r) - THEATRE - The Academy Awards(r) for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, MARCH 2 (8:30 p.m. - 12:00 a.m., ET/5:30-9:00 p.m., PT), at the Dolby Theatre(r) at Hollywood & Highland Center(r) and televised live on the ABC Television Network. ((Photo by Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images) ALFONSO CUARON, ANGELINA JOLIE, SIDNEY POITIER
SHERMAN OAKS, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Director Alfonso Cuaron and actress Sandra Bullock attend the L.A. Times Envelope Screening Series and Q&A of "Gravity" at ArcLight Sherman Oaks on November 7, 2013 in Sherman Oaks, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
This film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows a scene from "Gravity," directed by Alfonso Cuaron. The film is nominated for 10 Academy Awards. The 86th Academy Awards are on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures)
TELLURIDE, CO - SEPTEMBER 01: Director Alfonso Cuaron attends a screening of Gravity at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival - Day 4 on September 1, 2013 in Telluride, Colorado. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images For Telluride Film Festival)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuaron was looking for an anti-"Gravity" follow up to his blockbuster space film, and he found it with a rare excursion into television.

Cuaron and sci-fi auteur J.J. Abrams ("Lost," the "Star Trek" movies) are executive producers of "Believe," a drama about a child whose supernatural powers put her and the world at risk.

The premise came to him while he waited during "the endless process of special effects" on "Gravity," Cuaron said at a media event.

"Well, first of all, I wanted to do something in which people were not floating," Cuaron said, drawing laughs.

"I wanted to do something more grounded, and we wanted to do it with real people, real locations," he continued. "And I wanted to do something really exciting, but, at the same time, something that would be highly emotional."

He recounted sharing the idea with Abrams and his reaction: "Wow."

The pair met more than two decades ago and, Abrams said, "I've wanted to work with him desperately ever since. I was a huge fan of every movie that he made, and each one made me more and more desperate to try and figure this out."

When Cuaron contacted him with the idea for "Believe," Abrams said, it created the opportunity for him and his company, Bad Robert Productions.

Johnny Sequoyah stars as Bo, a 10-year-old who appears to have won the special-gifts lottery at birth: She can levitate, has the power of telekinesis, can control nature and see the future.

But she can't control or understand her powers and is at risk from those who would use them to conquer Earth. Delroy Lindo co-stars as Bo's protector, with Jack McLaughlin as a wrongfully imprisoned death row inmate enlisted in the effort.

The cast also includes Jamie Chung and Kyle MacLachlan. A preview airs at 10 p.m. EDT Monday, with the show debuting in its 9 p.m. EDT Sunday slot March 16.

Cuaron has dabbled lightly in TV in years past, but big-screen projects like "Gravity," ''Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" and "Children of Men" have been his focus.

He shepherded "Gravity" with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney to a leading seven Oscar trophies March 2. Among them was the best director award for Cuaron, with the Mexican filmmaker becoming the category's first Latino winner.

Oscar dazzle and box office grosses aside - "Gravity" pulled in more than $500 million internationally in 2013 - cast members said it was Cuaron himself who drew them to "Believe." He directed the series' pilot.

"The things that Alfonso said creatively were very exciting to me," said Lindo. "So from my standpoint it was not necessarily a no-brainer, but it was certainly very exciting, the prospect of working with him on this project."
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