In addition, this film also reveals Neil Armstrong’s worries before leaving for the Moon: If he could not return to Earth. In fact, here, there are loved ones who are waiting for him. Namely, his wife and children.
First Man does show how stressful and dangerous the work done by astronauts is. Especially, when they tested prototype spacecraft in the 1960s. Test flights, at that time, could be fatal. And, it’s been proven, has claimed many victims.
Neil Armstrong himself, in the end, was chosen as commander of Apollo 11. Which would head to the Moon. Not only because of his ability and mental maturity, but also because he is one of the few surviving astronauts to qualify.
Apart from causing confusion, the Apollo 11 mission also strained Neil Armstrong’s relationship with his wife. They both knew he would not quit the program. Besides, they both knew that the mission, perhaps, would kill him. However, they chose not to discuss it.
The story of First Man itself is very focused on the life of Neil Armstrong and his wife. Meanwhile, other Apollo 11 characters, such as Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (second man to walk on the Moon) and Michael Collins (pilot who piloted their spacecraft on the Moon), got a very small portion.
Because First Man is almost entirely Neil Armstrong’s point of view, viewers will see and hear what he felt during the preparations for the mission to the Moon first. Including sadness. When his daughter, Karen (Lucy Stafford), who was only three years old, died after suffering from brain cancer.
During his lifetime, Neil Armstrong was known as a humble man, but not very good at communicating. In addition, he is also very competent, but will immediately get depressed when something reminds him of his late daughter.
Btw, if you go back, the film project to lift the life story of Neil Armstrong, in fact, has been around since the beginning of 2003. At that time, the legendary actor and director Clint Eastwood, together with Warner Bros. studio. Pictures, purchased the rights to film the First Man book from James R. Hansen. However, for some reason, the project pioneered by Clint Eastwood was never realized. Until, finally, in mid-2010, Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures acquired this First Man film project.
Although it was delayed for a long time, the production process for First Man finally started in 2017. This film is the first film produced by Universal Pictures to use an IMAX camera. The director is a young, talented filmmaker: Damien Chazelle. Which, previously, was a huge success through Whiplash (2014) and La La Land (2016).
Damien Chazelle understands, First Man is not the first film that tells the story of Neil Armstrong. Therefore, his task is to make this new film different. Best Director Oscars 2017 must present things that have never been revealed before.
And, furthermore, after being officially appointed as the director of First Man, the first step that Damien Chazelle took was to determine the cast of Neil Armstrong. Which, according to him, has only one name. Namely: Ryan Gosling. From the start, the La La Land star was an irreplaceable choice.