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  "First Man" Neil Armstrong feature film updates (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   "First Man" Neil Armstrong feature film updates
Dan Lorraine
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From: Cranston, R.I.
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posted 04-05-2011 08:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dan Lorraine   Click Here to Email Dan Lorraine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Other than his astronaut experiences, the book was a real sleeper. Hopefully they never make the movie because it will be a huge bust!!

Sorry, just my two cents.

capoetc
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From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 04-06-2011 12:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, I know what you mean... all that combat flying in Korea, flying the X-15, emergency return due to the stuck thruster episode on Gemini VIII, almost dying in the crash of the LLTV, preparing for and landing on the moon... yeah, you're right. Definitely not enough action for a movie...

Kite
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From: Northampton UK
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posted 04-06-2011 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well said. Just to add in Korea Armstrong ejected when brought down by a cable, hoping he wasn't in enemy territory, and being rescued. Later flying a B-29 when a propeller came away which could have sliced him in two and still landing it.

There could be humour with his getting stuck with Chuck Yeager when testing the wetness of a dry lake, the 'Nellis Affair' when he and two more NASA pilots temporary closed the base, and leaving Milt Thompson stranded when towing the Parasev glider.

Flying the X-15 on its longest flight when bouncing off the atmosphere and only just making it back would be another exciting part of the film. As already mentioned the close call of Gemini VIII, the crash of the LLTV and the thrilling first moon landing of Apollo 11 when almost out of fuel.

With all these ingredients, made well, this film could rival Apollo 13 in popularity, in my opinion.

issman1
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From: UK
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posted 04-06-2011 04:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the first man on the Moon was as charismatic as Buzz Aldrin, it would be a blockbuster.

And it would have to be a movie that could hold the attention span of the so-called Facebook Generation. Because that's who Hollywood target nowadays. Casting would be the key to its success, and I would suggest Leonardo DiCaprio.

But if "Amelia, a similar aviation-themed biopic, is anything to go by it may not be box office material. A TV movie perhaps, as it seems Hollywood is more interested in remakes.

AJ
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From: Plattsburgh, NY, United States
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posted 04-06-2011 04:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some of the best cinematic projects made in America these days are featured on HBO and Showtime. For one thing, they are far more willing to allow a series to be as long as it needs to be in order to tell a good story. Furthermore, the quality is aces. If it's done well, it could be a great miniseries.

As for "Amelia" there is plenty of interest in Earhart, but I don't believe that the movie was either very good or publicized appropriately.

GoesTo11
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From: Denver, CO USA
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posted 04-06-2011 05:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My biggest concern regarding the viability of a First Man movie isn't that Armstrong's life lacks sufficent excitement or adventure...it's that it lacks drama. At least, the kind of drama that resonates with the public at large and makes a film successful.

The last major (non-documentary) motion picture to chronicle actual people and events in the space program was, of course, "Apollo 13." That film was a commercial and critical success because it was built around an extended life-or-death crisis, and Ron Howard and company did an oustanding job of building and maintaining tension throughout. It also helped that the Apollo 13 drama featured so many key players, allowing the filmmakers to present events from multiple perspectives.

The fact is, straight biography in general does not lend itself well to the "big screen," and even a life as full and fascinating as Armstrong's needs the kind of drama, and dramatic events, that make a LOT of people say, "Yeah, I'd pay 20 bucks to see that."

Unless you'd accept something with near the level of dramatic license, historical revisionism, and outright sensationalism as the film version of The Right Stuff (And I don't think many of us would want that), I don't see "First Man: The Movie" happening.

AJ makes an interesting point, though...First Man might be a very good fit for HBO, and perhaps the same team who gave us From the Earth to the Moon. We can dream, right..?

LM1
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posted 04-06-2011 05:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree that HBO would be the best venue for such a movie, which will require many episodes to cover the life of Neil Armstrong. Neil may not be charismatic, but his life is full of drama. It will be a challenge for writers and directors to come up with a movie like Cast Away or Saving Private Ryan. I nominate Tom Hanks for the role.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 04-06-2011 05:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GoesTo11:
...it's that it lacks drama.
Mathematician John Nash's life (and life's work) is not what I would describe as dramatic, but screenwriter Akiva Goldsman and director Ron Howard crafted a dramatic film nonetheless ("A Beautiful Mind").

I would think Armstrong's aviation and space exploits alone would better lend themselves to the silver screen, and his being (at one time) the most famous man in the world and yet shying away from that same fame would provide Armstrong (in the movie) the inner struggle needed for character development.

GoesTo11
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posted 04-06-2011 07:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"A Beautiful Mind"...great movie indeed.

Understand, Robert (and everyone else), I'm not saying that a biographical feature adapted from First Man COULDN'T work...just that it's not likely to be attempted, at least not as a major feature film.

With the right cast, a great screenwriter, and a creative team committed to both entertaining a mass audience and doing Armstrong's life justice (and I would certainly put Ron Howard and/or Tom Hanks among that group if they decided to take such a project on), it could be brilliant. But my view is that given the current aversion to risk that prevails in "The Industry," and the investment that would be required to make Armstrong's exploits credible on the screen...well, you might as well think of "First Man: The Movie" as "A Beautiful Mind" with a $150 million budget.

I just don't see a major studio rolling the dice on such a project in the current climate. But I'd love to be proven wrong, and have a worldwide audience introduced to the life of a man who will always hold a singular place in human history.

Perhaps someone like Howard or Hanks (or, for that matter, Steven Spielberg or Jerry Bruckheimer) might have the will and the clout to get it off the ground, so speak.

AJ
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From: Plattsburgh, NY, United States
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posted 04-06-2011 07:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJ   Click Here to Email AJ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GoesTo11:
I just don't see a major studio rolling the dice on such a project in the current climate. But I'd love to be proven wrong, and have a worldwide audience introduced to the life of a man who will always hold a singular place in human history.
I agree, basically because the major studios make crappy movies that cater to the lowest common denominator of intelligence and humor. That's another reason why I think it'd be a much better story told on the small screen.

capoetc
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From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 04-06-2011 09:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GoesTo11:
The fact is, straight biography in general does not lend itself well to the "big screen," and even a life as full and fascinating as Armstrong's needs the kind of drama, and dramatic events, that make a LOT of people say, "Yeah, I'd pay 20 bucks to see that."
It seems that Universal and Clint Eastwood must think there is potential, otherwise they would not have purchased the rights...

Rick Mulheirn
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From: England
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posted 04-07-2011 05:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
If the first man on the Moon was as charismatic as Buzz Aldrin, it would be a blockbuster.
Armstrong is just as charismatic as Aldrin in my opinion... just different. I have spent a little time with Armstrong at a private function and the guy has a very evident enigmatic charisma that is difficult to put a finger on. It is a quality that I agree might be difficult to portray well in a movie.

328KF
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posted 11-03-2011 10:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In reading James Hansen's information surrounding the John Young biography, I came across this update on the First Man project:
The film rights to the book are held by Universal Studios and a screenplay for the film has recently been completed by Mike Rich, whose movie screenwriting credits include Finding Forrester, The Rookie, Miracle, Radio, The Nativity Story, and the 2010 Disney release Secretariat.


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