The life of Neil Armstrong is so incredible that it makes you wonder how it never got a big Hollywood biopic before. As the first human being ever to set foot on the moon during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, his name is synonymous with mankind's dream of traversing the cosmos. His famous line (erroneously delivered, by the way) "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," speaks a testament to the fact that reaching the stars is not an American goal, but a human one.
Hot off the success of the Oscar darling La La Land, director Damien Chazelle and actor Ryan Gosling have re-teamed to tackle the life and times of the legendary astronaut, with Gosling in the main role as Armstrong, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 82. Based on the biography of the same name by James R. Hansen, First Man will focus on Armstrong's life between 1961 and 1969.
The first trailer for the movie, fittingly titled First Man, has succesfully landed online. Check it out below:
First Man likely has a shot at Oscar gold, thanks to an A-list creative team of Chazelle, Gosling, and screenwriter Josh Singer, who won an Academy Award for his work on Spotlight. In addition to Gosling, the rest of the cast is stuffed with major names: Claire Foy (The Girl in the Spider's Web, The Crown) plays Neil's wife Janet; Corey Stoll (Ant-Man) plays Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon; Kyle Chandler (Godzilla: King of the Monsters) plays Deke Slayton, the head of NASA's astronaut department; Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) plays Ed White, the first American to spacewalk; She Wigham (Kong: Skull Island) plays Gus Grissom, a member of America's first group of astronauts, the "Mercury Seven"; and Jon Bernthal (Netflix's The Punisher) plays David Scott, the seventh human to walk on the moon.
Here's the first poster, which, incidentally, kind of resembles Tom Cruise in the upcoming Mission: Impossible - Fallout. Go on, tell us it doesn't...
Singer has said that the film will be an action movie. With 2014's Whiplash, Chazelle proved himself more than capable of capturing raw, human emotion by turning a simple drum solo into a major and impressive set piece.
“Damien had a very clear vision from the outset," said Singer. "'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.”
A co-production between Universal Pictures (again, very fitting) and Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, First Man achieves liftoff in theaters October 12.