Netflix will release Apollo 10 1/2, an animation hybrid about the Apollo 11 moon landing of 1969.

By Nick Romano
July 16, 2020 at 01:00 PM EDT
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Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images; Rich Fury/Getty Images

Netflix has officially nabbed the next movie from Boyhood and Where'd You Go, Bernadette director Richard Linklater. And with that news comes more details about the project on which the reclusive filmmaker has been quietly tinkering away.

Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Adventure, based on the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon and inspired by Linklater's own childhood, will be a hybrid film, which completed a live-action shoot in March 2020. Now the hand-drawn and computer-animated imagery will be completed at Minnow Mountain in Austin, Texas, and Submarine production company in the Netherlands.

A behind-the-scenes image released by Netflix shows Linklater directing young actor Milo Coy in a scene during the live-action portion of production. Also announced for the principal cast include Jack Black (Jumanji: The Next Level), Zachary Levi (Shazam!), Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick), Josh Wiggins (Greyhound), Lee Eddy (Mercy Black), Bill Wise (Waves), Natalie L'Amoreaux, Jessica Brynn Cohen, Sam Chipman, and Danielle Guilbot.

Matt Lankes/NETFLIX

Linklater previously used animation for his 2001 movie Waking Life, an ethereal film about a man locked in a dream state, having all kinds of philosophical conversations with a variety of characters. He now writes and directs Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Adventure, which tells the story of the first moon landing from the perspectives of the astronaut, mission control, and an excited kid living near NASA watching the moment on TV. According to Netflix, it's both an exacting re-creation of this special moment in history and a kid's fantasy about being plucked from his average life in suburbia to secretly train for a covert mission to the moon.

"It struck me years ago that this was my film to make, from both a chronological and proximity level—I was there, going into 3rd grade," Linklater said in a statement. "Our unique animation style allows both the conjuring of a world long gone, and the flowing, playful expression of memory and imagination. It’s been a fun, creative journey to incorporate things like 3D graphics into a live-action shoot to help bring this story to life."

Linklater, a five-time Oscar nominee, released Where'd You Go, Bernadette with star Cate Blanchett in 2019. He's also currently developing an adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim’s musical Merrily We Roll Along, which will be filmed over the course of the next 20 years with actors Beanie Feldstein and Ben Platt.

The director's Detour FilmProductions banner will produce Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Adventure with Submarine.

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