You might not have expected Ryan Gosling to be playing Neil Armstrong (I think Neil looked a little like a skinny version of comedian Andy Richter), but the trailer for First Man was released today. And boy, does it look good. Take a look for yourself:
Directed by Damien Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash) and co-starring Claire Foy (The Crown, Unsane) and Corey Stoll (House of Cards, Midnight in Paris), First Man is about the decade leading up to Apollo 11, and the first successful moon-landing mission. There’s a lot of drama to work with there, as it was an insanely difficult mission with a lot riding on it. Lest we forget, Apollo 1 resulted in 3 deaths on the launchpad and it wasn’t until Apollo 7 that flights were again manned.
The trailer also manages to address a matter that has largely been glossed over: there was a sizable and vocal opposition against going to the moon in the leadup to Neil’s famous walk. Space historian Roger Launius puts it this way in his paper Public Opinion Polls and Perceptions of US Human Spaceflight:
For example, many people believe that Project Apollo was popular, probably because it garnered signiﬁcant media attention, but the polls do not support a contention that Americans embraced the lunar landing mission. Consistently throughout the 1960s, a majority of Americans did not believe Apollo was worth the cost, with the one exception to this a poll taken at the time of the Apollo 11 lunar landing in July 1969. And consistently throughout the decade 45-60 percent of Americans believed that the government was spending too much on space, indicative of a lack of commitment to the spaceﬂight agenda. These data do not support a contention that most people approved of Apollo and thought it important to explore space.
First Man opens October 12th, 2018.