NEW YORK — The science fiction film "Europa Report" is set to hit movie theaters Friday (Aug. 2), but tonight, the film will launch at one of the major science centers in the Big Apple: the American Museum of Natural History.
"Europa Report" documents the fictional tale of the first manned mission to Jupiter's icy moon Europa on a hunt for life. The film features mock interviews with people involved in the mission as the truth about the harrowing trip to the moon is revealed. [See photos from the film "Europa Report"]
"The American Museum of Natural History is the perfect venue to premiere 'Europa Report,'" associate producer Matt Levin said in an email. "There's no better place than the Hayden Planetarium to showcase a film about the spirit of human exploration and our search for extraterrestrial life."
"Europa Report" director Sebastián Cordero will be in attendance during tonight's premiere and Bear McCreary, the composer of the movie's music, will perform the score from the film. Actors Christian Camargo, who portrays scientist Daniel Luxembourg, and Karolina Wydra, who plays marine scientist Katya Petrovna in the movie, will also be in attendance.
Cordero, Camargo, Wydra, McCreary and producer Ben Browning will take part in a question and answer session with a sold-out crowd moderated by Popular Science's Dave Mosher after the screening.
Some fans of the film are billing it as one of the most scientifically accurate movies about human spaceflight in recent memory. The realism of "Europa Report" was part of the reason Cordero was interested in the script — written by Philip Gelatt — in the first place.
"One of the first things that drew me to the script was the fact that, as I was reading it, everything in there seemed to be at least inspired by what we know both about space travel and the possibility of what could be found on Europa while at the same time keeping a great equilibrium with making a movie that was also thrilling and interesting that kept me gripped until I finished the last page of the script," Cordero told SPACE.com.
Two NASA scientists — Kevin Hand and Steven Vance — acted as science advisors for the film. They were involved throughout production and post-production, helping the cast and crew understand the science of Europa.
"Europa is what I study, and of course, I was a little bit nervous because it's a subject matter that's near and dear to might heart," Hand told SPACE.com. "If they were going to tackle that subject matter I wanted to make sure that they were committed to getting the science correct. Thankfully that team, the writer, the director, the producers, the actors were very dedicated to telling the compelling story and getting the science right."
In addition to launching in theaters nationwide on Friday, "Europa Report" has also been available via video on demand services since late June.