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[b]National Geographic Taps Academy Award Nominee Will Smith as Host
of 'One Strange Rock'[/b]
[i]Smith to Act as Guide in 10-Part Event Series From Acclaimed Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky and Award-Winning Producer Jane Root
The Nutopia and Protozoa Pictures Series Redefines Natural History and Science Genres With an Epic Journey Filmed Across 45 Countries, Six Continents and Outer Space
Elite Group of Astronauts Recruited to Tell the Extraordinary Story of Earth Through the Unique Perspective of Experiencing the Planet from Outer Space: Chris Hadfield, Jeff Hoffman, Mae Jemison, Jerry Linenger, Mike Massimino, Leland Melvin, Nicole Stott and Peggy Whitson[/i]
National Geographic announces Academy Award-nominated actor Will Smith ("Ali," "Pursuit of Happyness," "Men in Black I, II, III") as host of its new 10-episode global event series "One Strange Rock" (OSR), from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky ("mother!," "Black Swan," "Requiem for a Dream") and award-winning producer Jane Root ("America The Story of Us," "The 80s: The Decade That Made Us"). Smith made the official announcement on his Facebook page with a short teaser video.
With Smith guiding viewers on an epic journey across the globe and into outer space, "One Strange Rock" promises to be a thrilling, mind-bending trip within and beyond planet Earth, affirming that there really is no place like home. The Nutopia and Protozoa Pictures series is slated to premiere globally on National Geographic in March 2018 in 172 countries and 43 languages.
"One Strange Rock" is the extraordinary story of Earth — our curiously calibrated, interconnected planet — and why it is special and uniquely brimming with life among a largely unknown but harsh cosmic arena. Anchoring the series is an elite group of astronauts who see Earth's bigger picture; they provide unique perspectives and relate personal memoirs of our planet seen from space.
With "One Strange Rock," Aronofsky is excited to collaborate with one of his favorite talents. "I am thrilled to have Will Smith on board to guide our series. His charisma, intelligence and humanity will add greatly to the project, helping welcome viewers into this unique narrative about the mind-blowing wonders that make life on Earth possible," he said.
"By pairing the incomparable, out-of-this-world, global appeal of Will Smith with our rock-star astronauts, who literally went out of this world, we tell the incredible story of the complexities of our planet," says Tim Pastore, president, original programming and production, National Geographic. "With the distinctive storytelling from Aronofsky and Root, "One Strange Rock" will be an incredible visual treat, taking audiences from the microscopic to the cosmic, leaving viewers to see and appreciate our planet as never before."
"Our goal here is to reimagine factual programming and give viewers a cinematic spectacle like they have never seen before," says Root. "We'll unpack the science behind our marvelous planet, and provide stories that are entertaining and provocative; and who better to do that with than the visionary Darren Aronofsky and his partners at Protozoa Pictures, the incomparable Will Smith and our team of legendary astronauts?"
Adding to Smith's appeal, "One Strange Rock's" astronauts bring singular insight and emotion to the narrative, weaving dramatic, inspiring sequences and science to reveal the magical twists of fate that allowed life on Earth to emerge, thrive and survive. Their personal experiences are portals to vital themes explored throughout the series, including the genesis of life, death, breath, cosmic violence, human intelligence, sacrifice, terraforming and more. [list][*]Chris Hadfield – The first Canadian astronaut to command the International Space Station and the only Canadian to have ever boarded the Russian Space Station Mir while in orbit, Hadfield has left Earth three times and spent a total of 166 days in space.
[*]Jeff Hoffman – Logging 21.5 million miles in space, Brooklyn-born astronomer and former astronaut Hoffman has flown to space five times, one of which was the first mission to reach the Hubble Space Telescope.
[*]Mae Jemison – Former astronaut Jemison just celebrated the 25th anniversary of her mission to space aboard the Endeavour, making history as the first African-American woman to go to space.
[*]Jerry Linenger – Former astronaut Linenger, who survived the most severe fire ever aboard an orbiting spacecraft, spent nearly five months on the Russian space station Mir and logged 50 million miles on that mission alone.
[*]Mike Massimino – The first person to send a tweet from space, former astronaut Massimino flew on two space shuttle missions to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
[*]Leland Melvin – The only person drafted into the NFL to have flown to space, former astronaut Melvin blasted off to space twice and logged more than 565 hours there.
[*]Nicole Stott – Known as the "Artistic Astronaut," former astronaut and aquanaut Stott, who became the first astronaut to paint in space, logged 104 days in space and nearly three weeks on Aquarius undersea habitat.
[*]Peggy Whitson – Astronaut Whitson just completed her third journey to space, setting a NASA record for the most days in space — 665.[/list]
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