Universal launched the first trailer for the upcoming Neil Armstrong biopic, First Man. Based on the authorized biography, First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen, the film will follow the life of the famed NASA astronaut as he prepares to enter space.
The trailer arrived on Friday night and opens with a harrowing shot of Armstrong, played by Ryan Gosling, gazing at the Saturn V rocket as it lifts off before he learns that the job ahead of them is so difficult, NASA is going to have to start from scratch.
“This isn’t just another trip, Neil,” Claire Foy says to her husband as the character Janet Armstrong. “You’re not just going to work.” The trailer is a collection of ominous questions from the press and Armstrong’s family, all of whom are skeptical of the astronaut’s chances at survival. These doubts are presented alongside flashpoints of Armstrong ejecting from a Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) to save his own life and scenes where he’s in a spacecraft that’s lost control, presumably referring to the Gemini 8 mission.
Whereas the biography on which the film is based is a comprehensive look at the astronaut’s early life before his ascent to space, the film will focus its lens on the years between 1961 and 1969, during which time Armstrong is faced with several personal decisions along the backdrop of the political turmoil the 1960s and a space race in full swing.
When First Man debuted footage at CinemaCon in April, director Damien Chazelle told audiences that the film would not only look at Armstrong’s first steps on the moon but his personal life leading up to that moment, with a particular interest in his family life and “difficult marriage.”
First Man is a significant departure from Chazelle’s previous film La La Land, which scored him an Oscar in 2017 for Best Director. The intensity of this trailer suggests the Chazelle and Gosling are reuniting to try their hand at drama and possibly win over the Academy again.
First Man hits theaters on October 12th, 2018.