buzz aldrin
Kathy Hutchins /

American legend, Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the moon, “doesn’t like” Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic ‘First Man’, specifically the way he was presented in the film, as portrayed by Corey Stoll.  The astronaut took offense at his characterization as a “cocky know-it-all” but seems to get the film-making process, by adding “They needed that character… And more like him.”

Aldrin made these comments to IndieWire’s editor Anne Thompson at an Amazon party thrown by Jeff Bezos for the film ‘Beautiful Boy’.  Thompson shared the revelations via Twitter:

As Thompson also stated, Aldrin’s favorite film depiction of the events of the first moon landing is the 2007 documentary, ‘In the Shadow of the Moon’, in which he, Armstrong, and other NASA crew members appeared themselves to recount the story of this historical event.

‘First Man’ attempted to shift the focus of the landing away from jingoist American propaganda to a more “grounded” human journey for Neil Armstrong, portrayed by Ryan Gosling.  As such, Gosling’s Armstrong isn’t shown planting the American flag on the moon’s surface, a move that met the approval of Armstrong’s sons.  For his part, however, Aldrin took to Twitter to post messages such as “proud to be an American,” “freedom” and “honor.”

Chazelle, who won the Academy Award for directing ‘La La Land’ (also starring Gosling), Universal Pictures, and Dreamworks had hoped that ‘First Man’ would likewise be an awards hopeful, but the film floundered at the box office and vanished quickly.  That doesn’t rule it out as a contender, but it doesn’t help.

Did you see ‘First Man’?  Do you think it deserves awards consideration?  Are Aldrin’s comments on point or does he miss the mark?