'Apollo 11' Trailer, Poster Show Enormity of First Moon Landing Mission

To paraphrase the words spoken by Buzz Aldrin when he first set foot on the moon, the new trailer for "Apollo 11" is "magnificent resolution."

Released on Monday (Jan. 28), four days after the documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, the two-minute video offers a glimpse of some of the film's never-before-seen footage from the historic first moon landing mission 50 years ago.

"The enormity of this event is something only history will be able to judge," says Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins in the "Apollo 11" trailer. The film, directed by Todd Douglas Miller of Statement Pictures and presented by Neon and CNN Films, captures that enormity and reframes it as a cinematic journey told using only archival footage and audio. [Apollo 11 Moon Landing Pictures]

Disclosure: The author of this article, collectSPACE.com editor Robert Pearlman, served as the historical consultant on "Apollo 11."

Like the film and its first movie poster, which was also revealed on Monday, the trailer opens with the Saturn V, the towering rocket that powered Neil Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins to the moon in July 1969. In a series of brief clips, the trailer shows the booster being carried out to the pad and igniting for launch between shots of the astronauts suiting up for the mission, all in spectacular 70mm format.

The movie poster for Todd Douglas Miller's "Apollo 11" features an image of the Saturn V rocket taken from never-before-seen 70mm footage of the first moon landing mission. "A cinematic event 50 years in the making," the 93-minute documentary is coming soon to theaters. (Image credit: Neon/CNN Films)

The "Apollo 11" trailer also includes scenes capturing the activity inside the Launch Control Center at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Mission Control at the Manned Spacecraft Center (now Johnson Space Center) in Houston, Texas. From the earlier, one particular scene centers on JoAnn Morgan, the only woman to work at a console in the Apollo 11 firing room.

Miller and his team worked with NASA and the National Archives to source and digitally scan (at resolutions up to 8K) every available piece of footage from Apollo 11, including a previously unknown cache of wide high-resolution film documenting the preparations for the mission, the launch and the astronauts' recovery back on Earth. "Apollo 11" also incorporates newly-synced audio from an archive of 11,000 hours of recordings from inside Mission Control.

Just before closing on the lunar module Eagle approaching a landing on the moon, the trailer turns its the focus back on us — the millions of people who stopped what they were doing to watch the mission unfold. The scenes of spectators and space program workers are set against the on-screen words, "witness the last time we were one," a reference to what President Richard Nixon told Armstrong and Aldrin during his call to the astronauts on the lunar surface.

"Apollo 11" is coming soon to theaters.

Watch the new trailer for "Apollo 11," presented by Neon and CNN Films, at collectSPACE.

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Robert Z. Pearlman
collectSPACE.com Editor, Space.com Contributor

Robert Pearlman is a space historian, journalist and the founder and editor of collectSPACE.com, an online publication and community devoted to space history with a particular focus on how and where space exploration intersects with pop culture. Pearlman is also a contributing writer for Space.com and co-author of "Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space” published by Smithsonian Books in 2018. He previously developed online content for the National Space Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped establish the space tourism company Space Adventures and currently serves on the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Generation and leadership board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he was inducted into the U.S. Space Camp Hall of Fame in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he was honored by the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History.