Netflix has released the first trailer for The Midnight Sky, an apocalyptic sci-fi tale directed by and starring George Clooney.
The Midnight Sky’s first trailer focuses on George Clooney’s Augustine, a scientist in the Arctic struggling to get in contact with a spaceship unaware that a global catastrophe awaits them on Earth. Instead of guiding the astronauts home, Augustine thinks it might be better for the ship to find an alternate place in the universe where they could survive.
George Clooney’s Augustine, and his young daughter, trek through the Arctic in order to reach a more powerful satellite to regain contact with the astronauts and warn them of the dangers on Earth. Throughout this first trailer, The Midnight City looks as though it will jump between Clooney and his daughter on Earth, surviving the menace that has made Earth no longer a viable option, and the astronauts who are flying through space without any guidance.
As is common with many of the films George Clooney has directed in the past, The Midnight Sky has a star-studded cast. Along with Clooney, The Midnight Sky features Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Kyle Chandler (NBC’s Friday Night Lights), David Oyelowo (12 Years a Slave), Tiffany Boone (Beautiful Creatures), and Demián Bichir (A Better Life).
George Clooney is directing from a script by Mark L. Smith, who previously wrote 2007’s Vacancy, 2015’s The Revenant, and 2018’s Overlord. Smith was also previously hired to write the fourth Star Trek film, based on a concept by Quentin Tarantino, which ultimately fell through. The Midnight Sky is based on Lily Brooks-Dalton’s 2016 debut novel Good Morning, Midnight, which The Underground Railroad writer Colson Whitehead called “a remarkable and gifted debut novel.”
The Midnight Sky is George Clooney’s seventh film as a director, his first since 2017’s Suburbicon, although he also co-directed 2019’s Hulu miniseries Catch-22, which also costarred Chandler. George Clooney’s directorial debut came in 2002’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, which was followed by Good Night, and Good Luck., a film which earned Clooney his first Oscar nominations for both Best Writing, Original Screenplay, and Best Achievement in Directing.
Since then, George Clooney has directed a string of less critically-acclaimed films, with 2008’s Leatherheads, 2011’s The Ides of March – which earned him another Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay – and 2014’s The Monuments Men.
Yet George Clooney has also stepped away from acting for quite some time, as The Midnight Sky will mark the actor’s first appearance since 2016’s Money Monster, directed by Jodie Foster. Outside of his own directorial efforts, the last few films George Clooney made before Money Monster were 2016’s Coen brothers film Hail, Caesar!, the 2015 Disney film Tomorrowland, and Alfonso Cuarón’s space epic Gravity in 2013.
“I got the script way before the pandemic, but still there were all these other elements…there’s the denying of climate change but also the idea of how hateful it’s become, how race and all these other things that are tinderboxes in our country really just require anybody to throw a match in it. That’s why I was drawn to the story, because if you play that kind of hatred out over a 20-year period of time, it’s not inconceivable that we destroy ourselves.”
Yet George Clooney’s latest film isn’t a complete downer, as he told Vanity Fair, “I wanted there to be some hopefulness in a fairly bleak story about the end of mankind.”
In an award’s season that will likely be dominated by films from streaming platforms, Netflix seems to be trying hard to become the first streaming service to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Netflix has upped their efforts in recent years, with films like Marriage Story and Roma, but this could be their year, as George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky joins a whole slew of titles vying for Oscar gold.
Already this year, Netflix has had Oscar buzz with Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, and Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7. But still to come in prime Oscar season positioning are Ron Howard’s Hillbilly Elegy, David Fincher’s Citizen Kane story Mank, and Chadwick Boseman’s final film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky fits in perfectly with its December release for Netflix’s big Oscar push.
There’s not much longer to see if George Clooney can save the future of mankind, as The Midnight Sky opens in select theaters this December, before a release on Netflix on December 23.