The upcoming Neil Armstrong biopic “First Man,” from “Whiplash” and “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle, premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday to rave reviews and early Oscar buzz. But the movie doesn’t include a key scene in Armstrong’s mission to the moon and an integral moment in American history.
The movie omits the American flag being planted on the moon, and the movie’s star Ryan Gosling, who plays Armstrong, defended the decision when asked about it at Venice (via The Telegraph).
Gosling, who is Canadian, argued that the first voyage to the moon was a “human achievement” that didn’t just represent an American accomplishment, and that’s how Armstrong viewed it.
“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it,” Gosling. “I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”
Gosling added, “He was reminding everyone that he was just the tip of the iceberg — and that’s not just to be humble, that’s also true. So I don’t think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero. From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.”
Gosling also joked that he’s Canadian, so he “might have a cognitive bias.”
“First Man” arrives in theaters October 12 and also stars “The Crown” star Claire Foy as Armstrong’s wife, Janet. It currently has a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.