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Full Coverage: Magnificent Desolation

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Hanks, moonwalkers at IMAX premiere

September 22, 2005 — Five of the 12 men who left their bootprints on the Moon went for a different type of walk Wednesday night - down the red carpet - at the premiere of the IMAX film Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D. Joining them at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC were their fellow Apollo astronauts, the NASA Administrator and producer/ writer/ Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge
LEFT: Actor Tom Hanks with his wife actress Rita Wilson arrive at the premiere; Hanks produced, co-wrote and narrates Magnificent Desolation; Wilson lends her voice to the film. RIGHT: Astronauts Roger Crouch and Carl Walz don 3-D glasses with students from a NASA Explorer School;

"The entertainment industry captures the imagination of the American people. When they do so with things that are near and dear to our heart, that shows where the American people really are; they are feeding that interest in a way that we would like to. I think its great," explained NASA Adminstrator Mike Griffin to collectSPACE about Hollywood celebrating lunar exploration. Earlier this week, Griffin announced how NASA would return to the Moon.

Magnificent Desolation attempts to convey to audiences how the Moon looked to the astronauts that explored its surface by restaging their missions on a studio set filmed in IMAX 3D format. Apollo 15 moonwalker David Scott served as technical consultant to the film and described the work of producer Hanks and director Mark Cowen as "very accurate." Many of the astronauts that attended the premiere last night agreed, with a few exceptions.

"The one place in the film that I found I was a little surprised was the one shot where it does show the interior of the LM [Lunar Module]; the control panel is very flat. We could have done a little better on that one," told Scott's Apollo 9 crewmate Russell "Rusty" Schweickart to collectSPACE. Schweickart was the first Lunar Module Pilot to test the LM in Earth orbit. "But it gives you the sense of the interior of the LM and how crowded it was," Schweickart continued.

"If anything, the reality was that the lunar module was a little more cramped than the experience [the film] gives you. The suits are a little more bulky than what they had there [in Magnificent Desolation] and you have more stowage gear in the lunar module than they had in this, so its a pretty good indicator that you are in a very small space, but the reality is even more dramatic than that."

Even so, Schweickart felt that Magnficent Desolation was to be commended, along with its producer.

"In general, they did an excellent job in terms of the fidelity. In fact, that is the one thing that every one of us [astronauts] here appreciates about Tom Hanks," said Schweickart. "You can't be totally realistic in any type of movie, but Tom gives a lot of attention to insure that the actual experience is captured accurately."

Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D opens in 85 IMAX theaters worldwide on Friday, September 23.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge

LEFT: IMAX President for Filmed Entertainment Greg Foster with IMAX co-CEOs Rich Gelfond and Brad Wexhsler; RIGHT: IMAX 3D camera used to film Magnificent Desolation;
LEFT: Magnificent Desolation Executive Producer Hugh Murray; RIGHT: Magnificent Desolation Director Mark Cowen;
LEFT: NASA Administrator Mike Griffin with his wife Rebecca; RIGHT: NASA astronauts Roger Crouch and Carl Walz;
LEFT: Apollo 7 astronaut Walt Cunningham with his wife Dot; RIGHT: Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart with his wife Nancy;
LEFT: Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin with his wife Lois; RIGHT: Apollo 8 and 13 astronaut James Lovell with his wife Marilyn;
LEFT: Apollo 15 moonwalker David Scott with his wife; RIGHT: Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden participates in a media interview;
LEFT: Apollo 16 moonwalker Charlie Duke with his wife Dotty; RIGHT: Apollo 17 moonwalkers Gene Cernan and Jack Schmitt;



Review: Magnificent Desolation


September 20, 2005 — Thirteen years from now, should NASA's plans - as announced just yesterday - come to fruition, a crew of four astronauts will walk on the Moon. They will embark on an adventure that only 12 humans before them have experienced. They will bounce and skip across the surface in the low one-sixth gravity, witness the horizon bend backwards onto itself, and marvel at the sight of a blue marble hanging above them in a black sky.

Should you want to take part in this experience, you can start perfecting your astronaut application today. You can obtain a higher degree, refine your body to match military standards, and then compete with the thousands like you who are striving for the same opportunity.

Or, should you prefer better odds and a far shorter wait, you can seek out one of the 85 theaters this Friday that will be showing the new IMAX film, Tom Hanks presents Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D.

To be sure, watching a movie cannot possibly equate to the thrill and exhilaration of actually having traveled a quarter of a million miles into space to then tread where no man has trod before. Then again, unless you are Neil, Buzz, Alan, Ed, Dave, John, Charlie, Gene or Jack, you, nor I, are in any position to judge.

We know however, what we dream the experience to be.

Apparently, producer/writer Tom Hanks and director Mark Cowen share our same dreams. Magnificent Desolation not only met my own expectations of what it must have looked to land and walk on the Moon, but exceeded what my imagination thought was possible by way of a 3D film.


Desolation drops the audience onto the surface of the Moon, to relive history from an entirely new perspective, literally. Whereas before, we had photographs to show what Neil Armstrong saw as Buzz Aldrin came down the lander's ladder, we now get to see the entire 360 degree scene. The historical series of photos come to life, as we assume the role of an invisible third astronaut, able to finally appreciate the "magnificent desolation" that the film borrows from Aldrin's first impression of the Moon.

Desolation however, goes beyond the most familiar of lunar snapshots to bring to memory - and in some cases, fresh to mind - the equally thrilling moments experienced by the five crews that followed Neil and Buzz. For the average movie-goer, the scenes may blend into one big lunar excursion, but for anyone who has even a basic appreciation of the different missions' accomplishments, you are in for a real treat. In addition to Apollo 11, the film accompanies (at least) the crews of Apollo 14, Apollo 15 and Apollo 17.

To accomplish accurate in-depth views of Tranquility Base, Frau Mauro, Hadley Rille and the other landing sites, the filmmakers married "green screen" set shots with beautifully rendered landscape photos from the actual missions. The result, especially for those familiar with the surface imagery, is the feeling as though we have stepped through the moonwalkers' camera lens. Adding to the combined sense of familiarity and nostalgia are the full scale Lunar Module and Lunar Roving Vehicle, on loan from the Kansas Cosmosphere, as well as the same replica spacesuits that were used to film Hanks' previous Apollo tribute, HBO's miniseries From The Earth To The Moon.


If the sights and sounds of first-person lunar exploration were not enough, Magnificent Desolation also assumes the role of a primer to all-things lunar. In fast pace, often humorous interludes Hanks, as narrator, explains to the audience how our lunar voyages came to be, beginning at early man's fascination with the ball in the sky through science fiction's fantastical yarns and ultimately, the brief history of manned space exploration.

These shows-within-a-show are displayed using floating screens that 'hover' over appropriate static and animated backgrounds. The same effect is used to display archival two-dimensional film taken during the real missions.

The low resolution of the original 16 mm lunar movies preclude their projection on the full three-story (or taller) IMAX screens, so the picture-in-picture device serves as a solution to their display. The format is attractive but at times, one can't help desire more of the full frame, three dimensional recreations over the 2D screens we can and likely have seen on television. Certainly the real footage deserves to be shown, and as a space history enthusiast, one would stress that the reality should be more exciting than the fantasy, but once immersed "on the Moon" its hard to step backwards to the limitations of a flat image.

As should be expected, when NASA footage is playing, the actual astronauts' voices are heard. During the three dimensional recreations, substituting for the moonwalkers' dialogues are Hollywood actors, including John Travolta, Paul Newman and Kevin Pollack. Several of Hanks' crew mates from prior space projects also chime in, including Bill Paxton (Fred Haise, Apollo 13), Gary Sinese (Thomas "Ken" Mattingly, Apollo 13), Bryan Cranston (Buzz Aldrin, From The Earth To The Moon) and Peter Scolari (Charles "Pete" Conrad, From The Earth To The Moon). The voice of first man Neil Armstrong went to leading man Morgan Freeman. The actors breath new life into powerful quotes of their own right.

For his own part as narrator, Hanks brings to the film a true sense of passion for the topic, which after Apollo 13 and From The Earth To The Moon should be as obvious as it is sincere. He also brings across his comedic skills, delivering a rare quality to an IMAX documentary: humor.


Ultimately, Magnificent Desolation is about dreams, both past, present and future. We, the generation that includes the 12 original moonwalkers and the two generations that followed may see this film as the closest we can come to actually walking on the moon. However, for those in the theater who are children today, Desolation may very well serve as the inspiration that Star Wars, Star Trek, and The Right Stuff did for more than a few of NASA's current astronauts. The audiences today that Walk on the Moon with IMAX may take their own steps and leaps in the near to far future.

And when they do, we'll know the Magnificent Desolation that awaits them.

-- Robert Pearlman, editor and founder of collectSPACE




Featurette video: Magnificent Desolation

September 19, 2005 — Go on the set with producer and narrator Tom Hanks, director Mark Cowen and Apollo 15 moonwalker David Scott for a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the new IMAX film Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D. (Click the movie parts to play.)



Part One [ 7.5 mb ]


Part Two [ 6.4 mb ]


Part Three [ 11.8 mb ]


Part Four [ 5.1 mb ]



Magnificent Desolation to set record debut

September 12, 2005 — Presented and narrated by Tom Hanks, Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D will launch in 85 IMAX theaters worldwide on September 23rd, with additional locations confirmed for later dates. This film marks the widest initial release of an IMAX film ever, and a continuation of the IMAX space film legacy.

"We thank our theater network for sharing in this new distribution milestone," said Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment Greg Foster, "and are confident that more moviegoers than ever before will experience the sensation of space exploration through the magic of IMAX 3D."

Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D will play at the following IMAX theaters:

United States
  • Arizona
    • Phoenix — AMC Deer Valley 30 IMAX Theater
    • Tempe — IMAX Theater at Arizona Mills
  • California
    • Cathedral City — Desert IMAX Theater
    • Dublin — Regal Hacienda Crossings IMAX
    • Irvine — Edwards Irvine Spectrum IMAX
    • Los Angeles — California Science Center IMAX Theater
    • Los Angeles — IMAX Theater at The Bridge: cinema de lux
    • Los Angeles — Universal CityWalk IMAX Theater
    • Ontario — Edwards Ontario Palace IMAX
    • Sacramento — Esquire IMAX Theater
    • San Francisco — Loews IMAX Theater at Metreon
    • San Jose — Hackworth IMAX DOME Theater, The Tech Museum of Innovation**
    • Santa Clarita — Edwards Valencia IMAX
  • Colorado
    • Colorado Springs — Cinemark IMAX Theater at Cinemark Carefree Circle
    • Denver — UA Colorado Center IMAX Theater
  • Connecticut
    • Hartford — IMAX Theater at Showcase Cinemas Buckland Hills
  • District of Columbia
    • Washington — Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater, National Air and Space Museum
  • Florida
    • Fort Lauderdale — Blockbuster IMAX Theater at Museum of Discovery and Science
    • Tampa — Channelside IMAX
  • Georgia
    • Atlanta — Regal Mall of Georgia IMAX
  • Idaho
    • Boise — Edwards Boise Stadium IMAX
  • Illinois
    • Chicago — Navy Pier IMAX Theater
    • Chicago — Henry Crown Space Center, OMNIMAX Theater at the Museum of Science & Industry**
    • Lincolnshire — Regal Lincolnshire IMAX
    • Woodridge — Cinemark IMAX Theater at Seven Bridges
  • Indiana
    • Evansville — Showplace Cinemas IMAX Theater
    • Indianapolis — IMAX Theater at the Indiana State Museum
  • Kansas
    • Hutchinson — Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center**
    • Kansas City — AMC Studio 30 IMAX Theater
  • Kentucky
    • Louisville — IMAX Theater at Showcase Cinemas Stonybrook
  • Massachusetts
    • Boston — Simons IMAX Theater, New England Aquarium Central Wharf
    • Natick — Comcast IMAX 3D Theater at Jordan's Furniture
    • Reading — Comcast IMAX 3D Theater at Jordan's Furniture
  • Michigan
    • Dearborn — The Henry Ford IMAX Theater
    • Detroit — Detroit Science Center IMAX Theater**
    • Grand Rapids — IMAX Theater at Celebration! Cinema
    • Lansing — IMAX Theater Celebration! Cinema
    • Sterling Heights — IMAX Theater at AMC Forum 30
  • Minnesota
    • Apple Valley — Imation IMAX Theater at the Minnesota Zoo
  • Nevada
    • Las Vegas — Brenden IMAX Theater at the Palms Casino Resort
  • New Jersey
    • Atlantic City — IMAX Theater at Tropicana
  • New York
    • Buffalo — Regal Transit Center IMAX
    • Garden City — Grumman IMAX Dome Theater at the Cradle of Aviation Museum**
    • New Rochelle — Regal New Roc City IMAX
    • New York — Loews IMAX Theater, Lincoln Square
    • Rochester — Cinemark IMAX Theater at Tinseltown USA
    • West Nyack — IMAX Theater at Palisades Center
    • White Plains — IMAX Theater at City Center: Cinema de lux
  • North Carolina
    • Raleigh — IMAX Theater at Exploris
  • Ohio
    • Cincinnati — IMAX Theater at Showcase Cinemas Springdale
    • Cincinnati — Robert D. Linder Family OMNIMAX Theater**
    • Columbus — AMC IMAX Theater, Columbus
  • Oklahoma
    • Tulsa — Cinemark IMAX Theater at The Tulsa
  • Oregon
    • Portland — OMSI OMNIMAX Dome Theater**
  • Pennsylvania
    • King of Prussia — UA King of Prussia IMAX
    • Philadelphia — Tuttleman IMAX Theater, Franklin Institute**
    • Pittsburgh — Rangos OMNIMAX Theater at Carnegie Science Center**
    • Tarentum — CINEMARK at the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills
  • Rhode Island
    • Providence — Feinstein IMAX Theater
  • South Carolina
    • Charleston — The Charleston IMAX Theater at Aquarium Wharf
  • Tennessee
    • Nashville — Regal Opry Mills IMAX
  • Texas
    • Austin — IMAX Theater at The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
    • Dallas — Cinemark IMAX Theater at Cinemark 17
    • Houston — Edwards Houston Marq*E IMAX
  • Utah
    • Salt Lake City — Clark Planetarium IMAX Theater
    • Sandy — Megaplex 17 at Jordan Commons
  • Virginia
    • Hampton — Riverside 3D IMAX Theater at the Virginia Air & Space Center
  • Washington
    • Seattle — Pacific Science Center's Boeing IMAX Theater
    • Spokane — Riverfront Park IMAX Theater*
Canada
  • Alberta
    • Calgary — Cineplex Galaxy IMAX Theatre, Paramount Chinook
    • Edmonton — Cineplex Galaxy IMAX Theatre, SilverCity West Edmonton Mall
  • British Columbia
    • Langley — Cineplex Galaxy IMAX Theatre, Colossus Langley
    • Richmond — Cineplex Galaxy IMAX Theatre, SilverCity Riverport
    • Vancouver — CN Theatre at Canada Place
  • Nova Scotia
    • Halifax — Empire IMAX Theatre
  • Ontario
    • Mississauga — Cineplex Galaxy IMAX Theatre, Coliseum Mississauga
    • Toronto — Cineplex Galaxy IMAX Theatre, Paramount Toronto
    • Woodbridge — Cineplex Galaxy IMAX Theatre, Colossus Woodbridge
  • Quebec
    • Montreal — Cineplex Galaxy IMAX Theatre, Paramount Montreal
    • Gatineau — Canadian Museum Of Civilization's IMAX Theatre**
    • Quebec City — IMAX Le Theatre, Les Galeries de la Capitale
International
  • United Kingdom
    • Bradford — IMAX Cinema, National Museum of Photography, Film & Television
    • London — Science Museum IMAX Cinema London — bfi London IMAX Cinema Manchester — UCI IMAX Cinema at Printworks, Manchester
Later Opening Dates

United States
  • Alabama
    • Huntsville — Spacedome IMAX Theater at the US Space and Rocket Center**
  • Arkansas
    • Little Rock — Aerospace Education Center
  • Florida
    • Kennedy Space Center — IMAX Theater, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
    • St. Augustine — World Golf Hall of Fame IMAX Theater*
    • Tallahassee — IMAX Theater at the Challenger Learning Center*
  • Iowa
    • Cedar Rapids — McLeod/Busse IMAX Theater Science Station**
    • Davenport — Putnam Museum and IMAX Theater
    • Des Moines — Science Center of Iowa*
  • Louisiana
    • Shreveport — Sci-Port Discover Center*
  • New Mexico
    • Alamogordo — New Mexico Museum of Space History**
  • Oregon
    • McMinnville — Evergreen Aviation Museum
  • Tennessee
    • Memphis — Union Planters IMAX Theater Pink Palace Museum*
  • Texas
    • San Antonio — IMAX Theater San Antonio Rivercenter
Canada
  • Manitoba
    • Winnipeg — IMAX Theatre at Portage Place*
International
  • Australia
    • Melbourne — IMAX Melbourne
    • Sydney — LG IMAX Theatre
  • France
    • Paris — Gaumont Disney Village IMAX Theatre
  • Mexico
    • Cuernavaca — Cinema Diana IMAX Theater
    • Mexico City — Cinepolis IMAX Theatre
  • Netherlands
    • Amsterdam — Pathe IMAX Arena Amsterdam
* IMAX 2D Theater
** IMAX 2D Dome Theater


Check local listings or IMAX's website for opening dates and showtimes.




Magnificent Desolation teaser trailer

June 19, 2005 — Only 12 have walked on the moon. This Fall, you're next!



Apple Quicktime required to view.

The IMAX® space legacy continues with Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D, which will take audiences to the surface of the Moon to walk alongside the extraordinary Apollo astronauts who have stepped upon its surface. With never before seen photographs, CGI renditions of the lunar landscape and previously unreleased NASA footage, audiences will be immersed in the life-changing experiences of these astronauts by showcasing what they saw, heard, felt, thought and did while on the lunar surface.

Produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman of Playtone and by IMAX Corporation, Magnificent Desolation is directed by Mark Cowen, Emmy Award nominee for the documentary film We Stand Alone Together: The Men Of Easy Company, and executive produced by Mark Herzog and Hugh Murray.

The film's content is based on "The Lunar Surface Journals," a massive archival database compiled over the last decade by Dr. Eric Jones, which chronicles the moon walks as recounted by the astronauts.

Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D is sponsored by Lockheed Martin Corporation and filmed with the cooperation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.




IMAX feature using museum artifacts

November 15, 2004 (Cosmosphere Press Release) — The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center will once again be teaming with Tom Hanks to bring space history to the big screen. Currently titled Magnificent Desolation 3D: Walking on the Moon, the film is being produced by IMAX Corporation and Tom Hanks and Gary Goeztman of Playtone, and is scheduled for release in Fall 2005.

"Our selection as a participant in Tom Hanks' new film is not only a reflection of the Cosmosphere's reputation for excellence, but our work on Hollywood projects like Magnificent Desolation, Apollo 13 and From the Earth to the Moon, helps us fulfill our mission of bringing information about space exploration to a large audience," said Jeff Ollenburger, the Cosmosphere's president and CEO.

Because of the accuracy desired by Hanks and the production team during filming, the Cosmosphere will be providing its Lunar Module and Lunar Rover, both currently on display in the Hall of Space Museum. Additionally, the Cosmosphere will also be providing hardware not currently on display, including a forward section of a Lunar Module cockpit, tools, and other items used during the Apollo program.

While the Lunar Module is in California, an early lunar surface vehicle concept prototype developed by Bendix Corp. will be on display at the Cosmosphere. Newly acquired on long-term loan from the Smithsonian Institution, the Bendix Lunar Roving Vehicle is a bulky-looking, large-wheeled buggy with little resemblance to the Lunar Rover used by the space program.

In support of the IMAX® project, the Cosmosphere will be removing a limited number of items from the museum in late November for the filming that is slated to begin in early January in California. The Lunar Module and other Apollo-era items to be used in filming will be returned to the Cosmosphere and placed back on display by the beginning of March 2005.




IMAX 3-D film lifts off into production

March 3, 2004 (IMAX Press Release) — The IMAX Corporation in association with Tom Hanks' and Gary Goetzman's Playtone today announced that the newest IMAX® 3D space film, Magnificent Desolation, will be sponsored by the renowned aerospace company, Lockheed Martin. The highly anticipated film, which will be shot in giant 15/70 format using IMAX 3D cameras, will allow moviegoers to experience walking on the moon alongside the extraordinary voyagers who have stepped upon its surface.

Tom Hanks commented, "We went to the Moon. Everyone knows that. We — by proxy in the form of the Apollo Astronauts — flew up into the sky, sailed to the Moon, and landed on Luna Firma. What we know too little of is what we did while we were there. Magnificent Desolation takes the audience to the surface of the Moon — to the Ocean of Storms, the Fra Mauro Highlands and the Taurus Littrow Valley, as well as Sea of Tranquility — as only IMAX can. Exploring the Moon was humankind's most incredible roadtrip. Our film will bring along anyone who wants to take that giant leap for themselves."

"We believe Magnificent Desolation holds the potential to be extremely successful given the exciting subject matter and Tom Hanks' passion and creative vision. The film will be designed by Playtone and IMAX to play at both commercial and institutional IMAX® theaters for many years," said IMAX Co-CEOs and Co-Chairmen Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler.

"We are thrilled to partner once again with Lockheed Martin, which together with NASA and IMAX have created one of the highest grossing large format film franchises, featuring space films that have cumulatively grossed more than $350 million."

"For nearly 20 years, Lockheed Martin has teamed with IMAX and NASA to produce films with the goal of educating and inspiring young and old about the wonders of math, science and technology through the prism of space," said Dennis Boxx, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Lockheed Martin Corporation.

"And through our newly formed partnership with IMAX, NASA and now the creative team headed by Tom Hanks, a new generation will be enticed by the excitement and drama the astronauts of the Apollo program brought into our homes as they dared to dream of space and set foot on the lunar surface."

"NASA is proud to collaborate with Playtone, as well as continue our successful relationships with IMAX and Lockheed Martin," said Glenn Mahone, Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Tom Hanks' enthusiasm for exploration is clearly evident in his previous productions that chronicle NASA's remarkable history, and we believe Magnificent Desolation is a wonderful opportunity to capture the interest and curiosity of the next generation of explorers."

Magnificent Desolation, to be produced by Messrs. Hanks and Goetzman of Playtone and by IMAX, will detail the life-changing experience of the 12 men who walked on the moon by showcasing what these men saw, heard, felt, thought and did while on the lunar surface.

The 45-minute IMAX 3D feature documentary will be directed by Mark Cowen, Emmy Award nominee for the documentary film We Stand Alone Together: The Men Of Easy Company (a.k.a. Band of Brothers), and supervised by Greg Foster, President of Filmed Entertainment, IMAX Corporation. Cowen is also producing, along with Mark Herzog.

Magnificent Desolation will break new ground with never before seen photographs, CGI renditions of the lunar landscape and previously unreleased NASA footage. The film's content will be based on "The Lunar Surface Journals," a massive archival database compiled over the last decade by Dr. Eric Jones, which chronicles the moon walks as recounted by the astronauts.

The film will be brought to life in both IMAX and IMAX 3D on screens up to eight stories tall with 12,000 watts of pure digital surround sound for exclusive release to IMAX theaters in 2005.

Magnificent Desolation is a continuation of IMAX's space film legacy and its unique production partnership with Lockheed Martin and NASA. IMAX space films have been seen by more than 85 million people and played in more than 15 languages worldwide.

The most recent collaboration between Lockheed Martin, NASA and IMAX was the extremely successful release of SPACE STATION, an IMAX 3D film released in April 2002, which has grossed nearly $70 million in box office and continues to play in theaters worldwide.




NASA supports new IMAX 3-D movie

March 3, 2004 (NASA Press Release) — The IMAX Corporation today, in association with Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks, and aerospace technology leader Lockheed Martin Corporation, announced a new IMAX 3-D space film, which will take moviegoers to the moon and allow them to walk side-by-side with the brave astronauts of the Apollo program.

IMAX will produce Magnificent Desolation along with Hanks' and Gary Goetzman's production company Playtone. Lockheed Martin will sponsor it.

"NASA is proud to collaborate with Playtone, as well as continue our successful relationships with IMAX and Lockheed Martin," said Glenn Mahone, Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC.

"Tom Hanks' enthusiasm for exploration is clearly evident in his previous productions that chronicle NASA's remarkable history, and we believe Magnificent Desolation is a wonderful opportunity to capture the interest and curiosity of the next generation of explorers."

The film will take the audience to the surface of the moon, to the Ocean of Storms, the Fra Mauro Highlands and the Taurus Littrow Valley, as well as the Sea of Tranquility, as only IMAX 3-D cameras can. Magnificent Desolation continues IMAX's space film legacy and its unique production partnership with Lockheed Martin and NASA.

"We believe Magnificent Desolation holds the potential to be extremely successful given the exciting subject matter and Tom Hanks' passion and creative vision. The film will be designed by Playtone and IMAX to play at both commercial and institutional IMAX theaters for many years," said IMAX Co-CEOs and Co-Chairmen Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler.

"We are thrilled to partner once again with Lockheed Martin, which together with NASA and IMAX have created one of the highest-grossing large-format film franchises, featuring space films that have cumulatively grossed more than $350 million."

"For nearly 20 years, Lockheed Martin has teamed with IMAX and NASA to produce films with the goal of educating and inspiring young and old about the wonders of math, science and technology through the prism of space," said Dennis Boxx, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Lockheed Martin Corporation.

"And through our newly formed partnership with IMAX, NASA and now the creative team headed by Tom Hanks, a new generation will be enticed by the excitement and drama the astronauts of the Apollo program brought into our homes as they dared to dream of space and set foot on the lunar surface."

IMAX space films have been seen by over 85 million people and played in over 15 languages worldwide. The most recent collaboration between Lockheed Martin, NASA and IMAX was the extremely successful release of SPACE STATION, an IMAX 3-D film released in April 2002, which has grossed nearly $70 million at the box office and continues to play in theaters worldwide.




Magnificent Desolation coming to IMAX

December 6, 2002 (IMAX Press Release) — In the history of mankind, only 12 men have stepped on the surface of the moon... Magnificent Desolation is their story.

IMAX Corporation, in association with Playtone (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and its principals Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, has begun active development on this unique new 3D film which will allow moviegoers to explore the moon as if they were traveling alongside these 12 extraordinary voyagers. The project will detail what these men saw, heard, felt, thought and did while on the surface of the moon. Magnificent Desolation will be shot in the giant 15/70 format using 3D IMAX cameras and will be released exclusively in IMAX theaters.

From 1969, the year of the first lunar exploration by NASA, to 1972, the last time a manned mission was sent to the moon's surface, only 12 men have experienced the feeling of walking on extra-terrestrial ground. In those three short years, man spent almost 300 hours (approximately 12-1/2 days) exploring and documenting the surface of the moon, and has not returned in over 30 years. Buzz Aldrin, of the Apollo 11 NASA mission and the second man to walk on the moon, uttered the now famous descriptor "magnificent desolation" to express the sensation of being on the moon as well as the landscape he observed.

Magnificent Desolation will break new ground for a "traditional" documentary. Filmmakers Mark Herzog and Mark Cowen (recently nominated for an Emmy Award for We Stand Alone Together: The Men Of Easy Company), will use never before seen photographs by Michael Light (Full Moon, 1999) as well as transcripts and commentary, played-out in voice-over by actors, recounting the activities on the lunar surface as documented by noted space scholar Eric Jones. The film will also utilize innovative re-creations and/or CGI renditions of the lunar landscape and previously unreleased NASA footage.

"With a history of successful and meaningful space films including IMAX's recent hit, Space Station, which has set box office records, we realize that moviegoers have a consistent appetite to see these unique films in the IMAX medium. Seeing a film in IMAX's 3D format is the closest audiences can get to the moon without actually being there," said Greg Foster, IMAX's President of Filmed Entertainment.

"We've been so honored to work with Tom Hanks on the recent launch of Apollo 13: The IMAX Experience and look forward to working with him again on this endeavor, along with Gary Goetzman and the rest of Playtone. We believe that Magnificent Desolation will be a popular addition to our current slate of films, one that should play at both our commercial andinstitutional theaters for years to come."


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