Director Damien Chazelle’s ‘First Man’ has been billed as a biopic of legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong, based on the book by James R. Hansen, but screenwriter Josh Singer said that this is more than that, describing it as a terrifying “mission movie.”
Singer explained to the Boston Globe:
“Damien had a very clear vision from the outset. He said, ‘Can we get across how challenging this was? Can we get across the visceral nature of this?’ The space program has been depicted, tonally, on the softer side in the past. Damien said, ‘I want to be terrified the entire time.’ It’s one of the earliest things we talked about. Neil’s heroism isn’t because he landed on the moon, it’s because he had the wherewithal to live through it all.”
So don’t expect a dry, clinical look at the early days of the space program, but something more akin to ‘Apollo 13’, but perhaps even more exciting.
“This is 100 percent a mission movie. It’s about going to the moon as seen through the eyes of the guy who got there. We have at least five major set pieces that are action, and if your heart rate doesn’t go through the roof, if you’re not gripping the edge of your seat the entire times, I’ll be shocked.”
Though there may be plenty of thrills, don’t expect Gosling as Armstrong to be an over-the-top daredevil.
“Neil was not a showy person. A lot of the other astronauts and pilots of that era were what you expect, the outgoing, hotshot types, but Neil was very different. He was the brainier, quieter, more introverted person and he’s a man of few words who did the job and got it done. I see a little bit of Ryan in that as well and I think Ryan was able to capture it beautifully.
“Ryan and I described the movie to each other as it’s about the moon and the kitchen, which means basically we wanted to tell the story about one of the most epic accomplishments in human history, but root it very much in the intimate and the day to day details of what it was actually like. What did it feel like to be Neil or Janet at that moment in time and going through these truly superhuman kind of events?”
People magazine landed exclusive new still photos from ‘First Man’:
Claire Foy co-stars as Neil’s wife Janet. The cast also includes Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Ethan Embry, Ciarán Hinds, Brian d’Arcy James, Pablo Schreiber and Corey Stoll.
‘Last Man’ opens on October 12, 2018.