First Look: Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong in Damien Chazelle’s ‘First Man’

Quite possibly our greatest achievement as men is stepping foot on the moon. It looks years, decades even. It’s a story that will stand the test of time, and now it’s finally arriving on the big screen. Damien Chazelle, director of Whiplash and La La Land, is finally bringing this historic story to film, and Ryan Gosling is his leading man as the first man to step foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong.

Universal Pictures has unveiled the first official look at First Man through People Magazine, which features Gosling in the role both in and out of the suit, as well as his co-star Claire Foy, who will be playing Armstrong’s first wife Janet. The simple description of the film has always been that it’s been a biopic, which makes sense, obviously. But that’s not really the case. Here’s what writer Josh Singer had to say about the film:

“This is 100 percent a mission movie. It’s about going to the moon as seen through the eyes of the guy who got there,” Singer said. “We have at least five major set pieces that are action, and if your heart rate doesn’t go through the roof, if you’re not gripping the edge of your seat the entire times, I’ll be shocked.”

I really love those comments. That’s the exact kind of film I want and expect when I think of the telling of the mission to the moon. But that doesn’t mean it can’t feature biopic elements. When it comes to that, that’ll land on the shoulders of Neil and Janet’s relationship. As Chazelle says himself, everyone should expect to see something very different from this so-called biopic:

“Ryan and I described the movie to each other as it’s about the moon and the kitchen, which means basically we wanted to tell the story about one of the most epic accomplishments in human history, but root it very much in the intimate and the day to day details of what it was actually like.” he says. “What did it feel like to be Neil or Janet at that moment in time and going through these truly superhuman kind of events.”

The core of this story is going to be dependent on how well Gosling is able to capture the essence of Neil Armstrong. For those of you who don’t know, Armstrong was far from someone who wanted to be in the spotlight. He was very private and quiet, and as Chazelle says below, Gosling did just that:

“Neil was not a showy person. A lot of the other astronauts and pilots of that era were what you expect, the outgoing, hotshot types, but Neil was very different. He was the brainier, quieter, more introverted person and he’s a man of few words who did the job and got it done. I see a little bit of Ryan in that as well and I think Ryan was able to capture it beautifully.”

My excitement for this film has increased as it’s drawn closer every day. I’m a huge fan of both Whiplash and La La Land, and have become a huge fan of Gosling’s work as of late. Him in La La Land is incredible, but him in Shane Black’s The Nice Guys, it’s his best work in my opinion. And as I’ve mentioned time-and-time again, true story films are my soft spot, especially something as historic as our first steps on the moon.

Check out the rest of the new images below and make sure to let me know your thoughts on the film in the comments below. And make sure to stay tuned here at Apocaflix! as a first trailer could be arriving soon. Also starring Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Jon Bernthal and Jason Clarke, First Man arrives in theaters on October 12th.

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