Have you ever taken a trip down the Information Superhighway, and found a billboard proclaiming that the 1969 Moon landing was fake? Did you just want to get off at that exit because you had to know if it’s true or not?
Well, a planned new film might answer some of those burning questions. And maybe make you laugh at the same time.
Jonny Campbell, a director known for directing Alien Autopsy a decade ago – a film about the faking of one of the bigger television events of the 1990s – will tackle a new alternative history project involving Stanley Kubrick.
It’s called 1969: A Space Odyssey, and it will explore once and for all whether the United States really did beat the Soviet Union to the Moon.
OK, it won’t answer those questions, but it’s expected to make you laugh.
The script is from Stephany Folsom, part of the team of writers who is bringing the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok to life. The goal, according to Fortune, is to have the film in front of cameras by April, with a release before the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing.
The plot centers on Barbara Penn, a White House public affairs official who is told by the CIA that a contingency plan is needed in case Russia beats the United States to the Moon. After watching Kubrick’s epic 2001: A Space Odyssey that evening, she sets out to find the director in New York and try to persuade him to go to NASA to shoot a fake Moon landing.
The story, of course, is historical fiction, but it does feed into the urban legend that our entire belief we’ve made it to the Moon was orchestrated by the late Kubrick in a Hollywood studio. There are even some, including those who produced the documentary Room 237, who believe Kubrick left massive clues everywhere, including using The Shining in 1980 as a confessional.
Yet, people on the other side of the debate say there should be no debate, and can point to major flaws in the conspiracy theory – including the fact that more than two hours of video was broadcast live from the Moon on the night of the landing, which would’ve required video technology that didn’t exist in 1969.
Campbell’s Alien Autopsy actually chronicled real history dating back to a 1995 television special hosted by Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Jonathan Frakes that had purported to be video of an actual alien autopsy recovered from film archives dating back to the 1940s. The film, however, was actually a hoax perpetrated by Ray Santilli.
Most of Campbell’s work otherwise is in television including Doctor Who in 2010, the J.K. Rowling series The Casual Vacancy, and the Oct. 30 episode of HBO’s Westworld, “Contrapasso.”
No casting for 1969 have been announced, nor any timeline on when Steel Springs Pictures could release it. The studio is a new one from former Open Road Films executive Peter Lawson, whose producer credits include John Wick in 2014 and last year’s Oscar winner for best picture, Spotlight.
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