'First Man': New Neil Armstrong Biopic Trailer Dials Up Apollo 11 Drama

The first trailer for "First Man," the Neil Armstrong biopic, looked phenomenal. And its follow-up, unveiled today (Aug. 29), is even better, dialing up the drama of all the events that led up to the incredible launch of the first-ever mission to land astronauts on the moon: Apollo 11.

Written by Oscar-winning "Spotlight" and "The Post" co-writer Josh Singer, "First Man" is based on the book "First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong" by James R. Hansen, which chronicles the iconic astronaut's life and career. Armstrong died in 2012.

The film focuses on Armstrong's life from 1961 to 1969, when he commanded Apollo 11 and became the first person to walk on the moon. Ryan Gosling plays Armstrong in the film, with Emmy-winning "The Crown" actress Claire Foy playing Armstrong's wife, Janet.

Ryan Gosling portrays astronaut icon Neil Armstrong in "First Man," which hits theaters on Oct. 12, 2018. (Image credit: Universal Pictures)

In the new trailer, we also get a closer look at actor Corey Stoll's portrayal of Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the moon. The impressive cast also has Jason Clarke playing Ed White, Shea Whigham playing Gus Grissom and Cory Michael Smith as Roger Chaffee. 

When "First Man" debuted footage at CinemaCon in April, director Damien Chazelle told audiences that the film would look at not only Armstrong's first steps on the moon, but also his personal life leading up to that moment, with a particular interest in his family life and "difficult marriage," according to Variety.

Perhaps of most interest to space fans, the movie focuses on the risk of humanity's greatest endeavor. 

The new trailer starts off with Armstrong's narrow escape from a Lunar Landing Research Vehicle crash (which nearly killed him in 1968). Then, the spot repeatedly returns to the risk of spaceflight, with scenes of Armstrong and his wife discussing the odds of his survival with their young sons, as well as the harrowing Gemini 8 mission. In that mission, Armstrong and astronaut Dave Scott performed the world's first space docking, only to suffer a major malfunction that endangered their lives and forced them to end the mission early.

Perhaps the new film will spur audiences to realize how the momentum of human space exploration has slowed since Armstrong's time, though NASA is once more aiming to send astronauts to the moon. 

"First Man" opens Oct. 12. Time to rewatch HBO's "From the Earth to the Moon," with the films "The Right Stuff" and "Apollo 13" thrown in for good measure.

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Scott Snowden

When Scott's application to the NASA astronaut training program was turned down, he was naturally upset...as any 6-year-old boy would be. He chose instead to write as much as he possibly could about science, technology and space exploration. He graduated from The University of Coventry and received his training on Fleet Street in London. He still hopes to be the first journalist in space.