George Clooney has made his return to the director’s chair for the first time since SUBURBICON, but this time he’s starring in the film as well. Based on Lily Brooks-Dalton’s “Good Morning, Midnight,” Clooney directs and stars in THE MIDNIGHT SKY, a sci-fi thriller that follows the parallel stories of “Augustine (Clooney), a lonely scientist in the Arctic, and an astronaut on board the Aether spacecraft, which is trying to return home to Earth, as Augustine races to make contact with the spaceship.” Vanity Fair has the first look at the upcoming Netflix film, which you can check out below! Be sure to check out Vanity Fair for the full spread.
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The crew of the NASA starship Aether have been exploring a newly discovered moon of Jupiter with a breathable atmosphere and a habitable climate, but upon their return to Earth, they discover that their planet is dead. Production on THE MIDNIGHT SKY wrapped up in February, before…well, you know. “There wasn’t the pandemic, and we hadn’t set the whole West Coast on fire,” Clooney told Vanity Fair. “I mean, the picture we show of Earth [in the movie] doesn’t look that much different than the satellite pictures of the West Coast right now. It’s science fiction, which unfortunately is less fictional as we move through the days.” Clooney plays Augustine Lofthouse, a dying scientist at a remote research station in the arctic who is forced to care for a young girl who hid herself at the outpost. When he discovers that the Aether is trying to return home, Augustine and the young girl must venture out into the toxic atmosphere in order to send the crew a message of warning. In addition to Clooney, THE MIDNIGHT SKY also stars Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Tiffany Boone, Kyle Chandler, and Demián Bichir as the crew of the Aether.
THE MIDNIGHT SKY was scripted by Mark L. Smith (THE REVENANT), but George Clooney says that one real-life twist brought about a major change to the story. “We started shooting my stuff first, because we were in Iceland,” Clooney said. “About two weeks into shooting, I get a call from Felicity, and she goes, ‘I’m pregnant.’ And I’m like, ‘Great! Congratulations!… Oh, shit.’ So then it was like, ‘Well, what do we do?’” Clooney explained that their first plan was to digitally swap Felicity Jones‘ head onto the body of a stand-in, but after trying that for a week, Clooney just decided to make her character pregnant.
We did that for about a week, and then she felt she was trying so hard not to look like she was putting on baby weight and stuff. And I finally just said, ‘You know what? You’re pregnant. People have sex, and you got pregnant. And we’re going to just build it into it.’
THE MIDNIGHT SKY is slated to debut on Netflix this December.