Ryan Gosling to produce and star in Project Hail Mary

Ryan Gosling is preparing to head into space once more to tackle the big-screen adaptation of upcoming astronaut novel Project Hail Mary.The book, written by Andy Weir, won’t be published until next spring, but studio bosses at MGM are currently in neg…

Ryan Gosling is preparing to head into space once more to tackle the big-screen adaptation of upcoming astronaut novel Project Hail Mary.

The book, written by Andy Weir, won’t be published until next spring, but studio bosses at MGM are currently in negotiations to seal the film rights to the project, which Gosling will both star in and produce, according to editors at Deadline.

Project Hail Mary follows the tale of a solitary astronaut on a space ship who is assigned a mission to save Earth.

Gosling, 39, will produce Project Hail Mary alongside Ken Kao, who previously served as executive producer on Best Picture nominee The Favourite.

Weir’s first novel, which was self-published in 2011, was The Martian, which told the tale of an American astronaut stranded alone on Mars in the year 2035. It was adapted into a critically-acclaimed blockbuster by Ridley Scott in 2015 and starred Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Jeff Daniels. The Martian went on to land seven Academy Award nominations and grossed more than $630 million (£510 million) worldwide.

Two-time Oscar nominee Gosling last appeared on the big screen in 2018, portraying Neil Armstrong in Damien Chazelle’s biographical drama First Man. The movie, which also starred Claire Foy, Jason Clarke and Kyle Chandler, documented the years leading up to the astronaut’s Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969 with Buzz Aldrin.

Weir’s second novel, Artemis, was published in 2017, and Fox News Regency bought the rights, with Phil Lord and Chris Miller attached to direct. The story follows a woman named Jazz, who feels constrained by her small town of Artemis, which is a city located on the moon.

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Jon Bernthal left First Man production after daughter fell ill

Actor Jon Bernthal was forced to drop out of biopic First Man after his daughter fell ill with viral infection encephalitis. The Punisher star was cast to play astronaut Dave Scott alongside Ryan Gosling in the movie, but before production started in …

Actor Jon Bernthal was forced to drop out of biopic First Man after his daughter fell ill with viral infection encephalitis.

The Punisher star was cast to play astronaut Dave Scott alongside Ryan Gosling in the movie, but before production started in November, 2017, Bernthal’s then-two-year-old daughter had a seizure and went into a coma.

Jon rushed to be by her side and admits he was a mess during the scary situation.

However, his trauma nurse wife, Erin Angle, took charge of the situation and helped everyone stay calm.

“(She was) pouring love into our daughter every step of the way,” he tells Men’s Health. “People talk about bravery like fake macho bravery, but my wife didn’t flinch. What I saw in my wife was courage and beauty unlike I’d ever seen.”

Bernthal is currently filming the Ford v. Ferrari biopic, in which he plays American automobile innovator Lee Iacocca, and while he insists he was eager to take on the role, he initially felt overwhelmed by it because production started two days after he wrapped filming on season two of Netflix series The Punisher.

“One of my best friends, Sean Carrigan, came to set after my first week, and he saw how I was and he said, ‘Hey, man, don’t forget who the f**k you are’,” he says. ‘”You’re Henry Bernthal’s father, you’re Billy Bernthal’s father, you’re Adeline Bernthal’s father. You are who you are, and you’re what you’ve been through. Do not let this f**k you up.’ I came back the next Monday a different man.”

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Costume designer Mary Zophres: ‘Damien Chazelle is there whenever you need him’

Director Damien Chazelle collaborates closely with the wardrobe department on his films.Costume designer Mary Zophres has worked with Chazelle twice now; first on his Oscar-winning spectacular La La Land, and then again on new film First Man.And while …

Director Damien Chazelle collaborates closely with the wardrobe department on his films.

Costume designer Mary Zophres has worked with Chazelle twice now; first on his Oscar-winning spectacular La La Land, and then again on new film First Man.

And while the two films dealt with totally different stories, Chazelle’s style remained the same.

“It was very much like La La Land. It was just a different subject matter, but his approach is very much the same,” Zophres said at the Gold Derby Meet the Experts: Costume Designers panel. “He knows exactly what the film is going to look like. He’s very much a collaborator and is very open to ideas and to meetings and discussions and meetings and show and tells. He’ll be there whenever you need him to be there.”

Zophres herself landed an Academy Award nod for 2016’s La La Land, and she was also nominated for True Grit in 2011.

Her other credits include Catch Me If You Can, Fargo and Gangster Squad, among many others.

In First Man, which stars Ryan Gosling as space hero Neil Armstrong and Claire Foy as his wife Janet, Zophres opted for a lot of natural fibres.

“Cottons and wools,” she explained. “And to be able to pull back some of the colour so it would have the effect of a Kodachrome photograph. That’s how we wanted it to look. And I knew we were going to shoot on 16 mm. Some of it’s 16, some of it’s 35 and some of its IMAX. You don’t know what it’s going to look like. That was a little intense and intimidating, but in the end, it really makes the movie make a lot of sense story-wise to me.”

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Venom holds on to North American box office title

Tom Hardy’s Venom has tightened its grip around the North American box office title for a second consecutive week. The Marvel comic book adaptation, which co-stars Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed, grossed $35.7 million (£27.1 million) in its second w…

Tom Hardy’s Venom has tightened its grip around the North American box office title for a second consecutive week.

The Marvel comic book adaptation, which co-stars Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed, grossed $35.7 million (£27.1 million) in its second weekend of release, taking its domestic total to $142.8 million (£108.6 million), in spite of the mixed reception it received from comic book fans and critics alike upon its debut earlier this month (Oct18).

Venom also remains the top box office film globally, crossing the $378 million (£287.4 million) mark.

Its continued popularity in North America helped Venom outpace Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s movie musical remake A Star is Born, which continues to hit the high notes with theatre-goers, banking a further $28 million (£21.3 million) to hold at two.

Ryan Gosling’s space drama First Man debuts at three with a $16.5 million (£12.5 million) opening, just below experts’ predictions, although its slow start isn’t a concern for studio officials, who believe the latest collaboration between the actor and his La La Land director Damien Chazelle is better suited to a box office “marathon, not a sprint”, particularly as older viewers are its target audience.

“What we know is for these types of adult, fall (autumn) films for discerning audiences, it’s not about the opening weekend,” Universal Pictures’ president of domestic distribution Jim Orr says of the Neil Armstrong biopic, which was made on a $59 million (£44.9 million) budget.

“We’re very comfortable that it’s going to have a long life at the domestic box office.”

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween opens in fourth place ahead of the spooky holiday, and animated family film Smallfoot ends the weekend at five.

Meanwhile, period thriller Bad Times at the El Royale struggled to break into the top five – it debuted with a disappointing $7.2 million (£5.5 million), despite boasting the star power of Chris Hemsworth, Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson, and Jon Hamm.

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Ryan Gosling almost turned down First Man role

Ryan Gosling has admitted he considered turning down the role of Neil Armstrong in his latest film First Man.The actor has received rave reviews for his portrayal of the first man to set foot on the moon, which also stars Claire Foy as Armstrong’s wi…

Ryan Gosling has admitted he considered turning down the role of Neil Armstrong in his latest film First Man.

The actor has received rave reviews for his portrayal of the first man to set foot on the moon, which also stars Claire Foy as Armstrong’s wife Janet Shearon and is directed by Damien Chazelle.

In an interview with Britain’s Total Film, the La La Land filmmaker admitted that Ryan “was the only person I ever thought of for Neil”, but the Blade Runner 2049 star wasn’t so sure.

“I actually didn’t know if I was interested,” Ryan admitted to the publication. “I certainly didn’t feel like I wanted to do a biopic. But I think when I started diving into the materials, almost kind of by chance… the mission to the Moon, and the idea of what that mission meant and what it took and what it cost: that started really fascinating me.”

The 37-year-old added that while he was aware of Armstrong’s “contribution to history”, there was plenty he didn’t know about his life. And the filming experience, which included being strapped into a ‘multi-axis trainer’ to simulate being in outer space, proved to Ryan that he wouldn’t make a very good astronaut himself.

“It was…unsettling,” he chuckled. “But, you know, kind of amazing. I realised I couldn’t (actually cut it as an astronaut). Any fantasy I had about that was quickly shattered. It’s a very specific person who wants to get into a machine that has never been flown, and fly it for the first time, and to actively push that machine to its breaking point, to see what its weaknesses are.”

First Man hits cinemas on 12 October (18).

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Jason Clarke struggled with claustrophobic First Man scenes

Jason Clarke has admitted he almost needed a mild sedative to deal with filming the claustrophobic scenes in First Man.Jason stars opposite Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy in Damien Chazelle’s new film, which tells the story of the first man on the moon,…

Jason Clarke has admitted he almost needed a mild sedative to deal with filming the claustrophobic scenes in First Man.

Jason stars opposite Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy in Damien Chazelle’s new film, which tells the story of the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong.

Damien decided on lots of scenes depicting the space man’s chosen career, which meant the cast including Ryan, Corey Stoll, as Buzz Aldrin, and Jason, who plays Ed White the first American to walk in space, all had to shoot in rockets.

“(It was) insanely claustrophobic. It was almost to the point where you needed a mild sedative. I don’t say that lightly,” Jason told British newspaper Metro. “Claustrophobia is not something you can just turn off. Damien really made no exceptions. The camera had to fit the reality and everybody had that mantra.

“The capsules were scaled to real life. It was not fun — we’re not pilots, we’re not used to doing this every day. So I wasn’t used to the fact I’m totally reliant once I was strapped in. I can’t do anything: my oxygen, my communications, my ability to get out, it’s beyond my control.”

The film is in cinemas now, with Kyle Chandler and Claire Foy also starring. And being cast in the La La Land director’s new movie was a dream come true for Australian star Jason.

“It was in my bucket list to do a space movie,” the 49-year-old smiled. “Blade Runner, 2001, they’re a couple of my favourites. To do this story, with this team and the access this team got, was a pleasure. The size and scope of this movie… that’s quite rare.”

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Claire Foy regrets not meeting Janet Armstrong

Claire Foy will always regret not meeting Janet Armstrong before she died.Claire, who recently bagged the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for The Crown, plays Janet, the wife of astronaut Neil Armstrong, in new movie First Man, but …

Claire Foy will always regret not meeting Janet Armstrong before she died.

Claire, who recently bagged the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for The Crown, plays Janet, the wife of astronaut Neil Armstrong, in new movie First Man, but sadly didn’t get to meet her before she died in June (18).

“I was never in a room with her. I’ll always regret that,” she sighed to New York Magazine. “But then at the same time, I wonder whether, when playing her, it was helpful that I didn’t meet her; there was some distance. She was very private about her relationship with Neil anyway. I didn’t want to put her in a position where she was having to talk to some random actress about her marriage. Nobody wants to do that!”

In First Man, Ryan Gosling takes on the role of Neil, the first man to walk on the moon, with the actor re-teaming with his La La Land director Damien Chazelle for the project. Jason Clarke, Corey Stoll and Kyle Chandler also star, with the story focusing on the legendary space mission Neil and fellow astronauts Buzz Aldrin (Corey) and Michael Collins (Lukas Haas) embarked on in 1969.

Before shooting began, Claire and Ryan, along with the young actors who played their onscreen children, worked hard to get their chemistry just right.

“Improvised is a general term for what we did. We were doing takes tied to dialogue and takes where Damien would be like, ‘Do whatever you want!’” The Crown star recalled. “It was more of an exercise, I think. But before shooting, we did two weeks of pure improvisation. Me and Ryan and the kids were a family, all of a sudden, in a cabin. We were like, ‘Hi! Hello. We’re a family.’”

First Man premiered at Venice Film Festival, and hits cinemas from October (18).

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Damien Chazelle explored the ‘uncertainty’ of space with First Man

Damien Chazelle wanted to explore the “uncertainty” of space travel in movie First Man.The director is gearing up to start promoting the biographical drama, which is based on James R. Hansen’s 2005 book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong an…

Damien Chazelle wanted to explore the “uncertainty” of space travel in movie First Man.

The director is gearing up to start promoting the biographical drama, which is based on James R. Hansen’s 2005 book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong and looks at the life of the American astronaut and his involvement in the United States space programme.

Chazelle is reuniting with his La La Land star Ryan Gosling on the movie, with the actor taking on the lead role, and the filmmaker has now shared that he wanted to convey a very realistic view of what it was like to be involved with NASA in the late 1960s.

“We don’t think about how dangerous that first era of space travel really was,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “We might know about some of the disasters, but we think largely in a triumphalist way. We hear trumpets blaring and see the flag waving and it all looks noble and dignified in a way that makes it seem easy, like a fait accompli. I wanted to unwind all of that and make it as scary and uncertain as it really was.”

Chazelle went on to explain that he knew very little about Armstrong when he first started researching the film. But he spoke with NASA experts and some surviving astronauts, including Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, in order to get a sense of exactly how risky space travel to the moon would be.

“I remember thinking, if I could somehow get this movie to capture that combination of the utterly mundane and the utterly terrifying and the awe-inspiring (it would be wonderful). But that’s a difficult combo,” the 33-year-old added.

In addition to filming at air force bases, Chazelle also had Gosling and Claire Foy, who portrays Armstrong’s first wife Janet, and their onscreen children improvise some scenes before the shoot began.

First Man, also features House of Cards actor Corey Stoll and Bloodline star Kyle Chandler, is due to hit cinemas in October (18).

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Neil Armstrong’s sons defend new movie after flag controversy

Neil Armstrong’s sons have defended the new Ryan Gosling movie about their father’s mission to the moon. Gosling plays the iconic astronaut in First Man, which focuses on the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Directed by Damien Chaze…

Neil Armstrong’s sons have defended the new Ryan Gosling movie about their father’s mission to the moon.

Gosling plays the iconic astronaut in First Man, which focuses on the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.

Directed by Damien Chazelle and based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie was called anti-American by critics who took offence to the film’s failure to show the moment the American flag was planted on the lunar surface.

Rick Armstrong and Mark Armstrong released a statement jointly with author Hansen on Friday (31Aug18) to dismiss reports that the movie was unpatriotic.

“We do not feel this movie is anti-American in the slightest,” the statement read. “Quite the opposite. But don’t take our word for it. We’d encourage everyone to go see this remarkable film and see for themselves.

“This story is human and it is universal. Of course, it celebrates an America achievement. It also celebrates an achievement ‘for all mankind’,” they continued.

Oscar-nominated director Chazelle also defended the film amid the outcry, and said his goal with First Man was to “share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America’s mission to the moon”.

He added: “This film is about one of the most extraordinary accomplishments not only in American history, but in human history.”

Gosling also responded to the criticism, and told reporters after the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday (29Aug18): “I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement (and) that’s how we chose to view it.”

Armstrong died in 2012 at the age of 82.

First Man is set to be released in the U.S. on 12 October.

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Ryan Gosling and Damien Chazelle’s new film a big hit at Venice Film Festival

Oscar winner Damien Chazelle’s new Neil Armstrong biopic, First Man, lit up the Venice International Film Festival in Italy on Wednesday (29Aug18). The movie, starring the director’s La La Land leading man Ryan Gosling, earned a three minute standing…

Oscar winner Damien Chazelle’s new Neil Armstrong biopic, First Man, lit up the Venice International Film Festival in Italy on Wednesday (29Aug18).

The movie, starring the director’s La La Land leading man Ryan Gosling, earned a three minute standing ovation after its world premiere on the opening night of this year’s festivities.

Chazelle and Gosling returned to the Italian city just two years after gracing the red carpet to debut their Oscar-winning movie musical La La Land, and the response from critics for their new project has been just as favourable.

The film, in which Gosling portrays the late astronaut who became the first man to walk on the moon in 1969, is already receiving rave reviews, with many critics touting the picture as an early Oscars contender.

Variety’s Owen Gleiberman hails the film as “turbulently spectacular and enthralling”, while The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney praises Gosling for a “thoughtfully internalized performance”, and applauds Chazelle for delivering “emotional involvement, visceral tension” and suspense, as well as “stunning technical craft” in First Man.

During a press conference before the screening on Wednesday, Gosling admitted he had his work cut out as he researched Armstrong’s life, as the astronaut and qualified pilot was known for guarding his privacy.

“I’ve never had more help in my life on a film…,” he told reporters. “Whether it was Neil’s sons or his late ex-wife Janet or Neil’s sister, his childhood friends… NASA opened the door to the facilities.

“Neil was a very famously introspective, quiet, humble person, so the challenge was to honour that but also to create windows into what he might be or had been experiencing emotionally at the time.”

The actor even took a flying lesson to try and better understand his character – although he soon abandoned the idea after his instructor encouraged him to take the plane into a controlled stall.

“I thought what I should do was learn how to fly,” he shared, before adding, “I thought in that moment, ‘This is a terrible idea and there was a reason why Neil Armstrong was destined to be one of the greatest pilots and I’m not.’

“In that moment, I realised something about Neil. It’s a certain kind of person that will get into a plane and intentionally push it to its breaking point for the sole purpose of pushing our aeronautics forward.”

First Man, which co-stars Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, and Claire Foy, is among the top contenders for the Venice festival’s prestigious Golden Lion honour. It will compete against Joel and Ethan Coen’s new western, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Paul Greengrass’ 22 July, Luca Guadagnino’s hotly anticipated horror remake Suspiria, Alfonso Cuaron’s Mexican family drama Roma, and The Favourite, a period piece starring Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone.

Director Guillermo del Toro will lead the main jury to decide the winners of the 75th annual event, which runs until 8 September (18).

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