Everything you need to know about Ryan Gosling's 'First Man' film
All eyes are on Damien Chazelle's next project First Man after the catalogue of Oscars wins and nominations for his last two projects, La La Land and Whiplash.
The film will kick off Venice Film Festival later this month - the same slot occupied by La La Land and other multiple award winner, The Shape of Water, in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Here's everything we know so far about the film which is already creating a buzz (Aldrin).
First Man stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong and recounts NASA's mission to put the first man on the moon, as well as the astronaut's life between 1961 and 1969. Based on James R. Hansen's novel of the same name, the film will, "explore the sacrifices and the cost — on Armstrong and on the nation — of one of the most dangerous space missions in history."
Eagle-eyed fans might have spotted that in the trailer Gosling wears an Omega Speedmaster watch. The Speedmaster successfully passed NASA's tests and became qualified for spaceflight in 1965. As the first men to set foot on the moon, the Omega model is, therefore, the first watch to stake the same claim, earning it the nickname “moonwatch.”
Meanwhile Corey Stoll (House Of Cards) and Kyle Chandler (Manchester By The Sea) will play Buzz Aldrin and Deke Slayton, the men who undertook the NASA mission with Armstrong.
Jon Bernthan (Baby Driver, Sicario, The Wolf of Wall Street) will play Dave Scott, who walked on the moon in July 1971 as part of Apollo 15, making him one of only a dozen men to have set foot on its surface.
Claire Foy (The Crown) will play Armstrong's wife Janet Shearon and the trailer already promises that we will see the sacrifice Armstrong's family had to make in order for his mission to be possible.
Damien Chazelle broke records in 2017 when he became the youngest person to ever win the Best Director Oscar for La La Land. In that year he won the same award at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs as well as the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay. This coming off the back of the back of the huge number of nominations and wins his previous film, Whiplash, means he is one of the directors to work with.
In charge of the script is (yep, Oscar-winning) Spotlight writer Josh Singer, and Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen will produce the film. The pair have worked on a number of YA successes from Maze Runner to Twilight.
What the cast and crew are saying
Speaking at CinemaCon in Las Vegan this April Chazelle told attendees that, "The goal is to bring moviegoers along with Armstrong and the crew of Apollo 11. "
A lofty but vague promise that we've had to go on, but now the release is less than two months away, interviews with the cast have begun to give more details.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly this week Ryan Gosling discussed his experience of filming saying, “It’s really hard in a film to convey just how small these capsules were and just how terrifying it was hurtling through space in these.”
EW reveal that the crew recreated "scale replicas of the capsules" and had "LED screens playing footage of space to re-create what the astronauts would have seen out of the windows."
Sticklers for accurate adaptations of true stories can rest easy as the cast and crew have worked with the late Neil Armstrong's sister and family and rebuilt the home the astronaut lived in based on blueprints from the original house.
“It was amazing to watch Neil’s kids, Rick and Mark, come into the house they had grown up in and see the level to which the crew was working to get this right,” Gosling said.
In discussing what inspired Chazelle to revisit this point in history the director explained, “There’s actually a tendency now to take some of these things for granted and forget just how difficult and unlikely and really risky and dangerous and crazy the whole endeavour was.”
What critics are saying
Unlike some Oscar contenders which have already shown at Cannes or Sundance film festivals, First Man will will open the 75th annual Venice International Film Festival later this moth on 29 August.
As a result there are no reviews as of yet but a sneak preview that showed at CinemaCon had promising reactions from critics.
As Variety reported earlier this year, "One particularly stirring scene finds Armstrong answering his worried children’s questions about whether or not he will make it back home after his lunar travels are over. He tries to deflect by noting that his team has confidence in their planning, before ultimately acknowledging that he could die. It’s an insular performance, one that could put Gosling in the awards hunt. Foy also may factor into consideration with her portrait of a woman struggling to hold her family together while her husband makes his one giant leap for mankind."
Sounds like a surefire nod for Best Actor for Gosling.
As well as the promise of moving and nuanced acting, it also looks set to be a visual feast. In addition to what we've seen in the trailer, a Reddit user who saw Mission Impossible: Fallout in the cinema earlier this month saw four minutes of footage from the film in an exclusive look and marvelled at the cinematography.
"There was no sound with this shot - it was just absolute silence and it was perfect," they wrote. "It’s one of the shots that makes you [not] able [to] move. The only word I have for the experience is ethereal. I have goosebumps thinking about it."
'First Man' is due to be released 12 October 2018