Harrison Ford Narrates First Moonwalker's Words in 'Armstrong' Film

Movie poster for "Armstrong," the new documentary about the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong.
Movie poster for "Armstrong," the new documentary about the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong. (Image credit: Gravitas Ventures)

Harrison Ford gives voice to the first man to walk on the moon in a new documentary coming to theaters just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.

"Armstrong," directed by David Fairhead, features never-released home movies that together with still images and footage from NASA's archives chronicle the late astronaut Neil Armstrong's life. Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, will release the 100-minute "Armstrong" in theaters and through on-demand video services on July 12.

"Telling this story is a documentary filmmaker's dream," Fairhead said in a statement. "When Neil made his small step onto the lunar surface, it marked his transformation from mere man to global celebrity — something he spent the rest of his life trying to avoid. Through the testimony of colleagues, friends and family we outline his achievements and tell the seemingly familiar, yet also little known tale of the first man on the moon."

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"Armstrong" filmmakers with Neil Armstrong's Gemini 8 spacecraft at the Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Ohio. (Image credit: Tin Goose Films)

In addition to sharing their family's private film reels, Mark and Rick Armstrong, Neil Armstrong's sons, also collaborated with the filmmakers, on and behind the camera.

"He got his pilot's license before he got he his driver's license," recounts Mark Armstrong of his father in the film's newly-released trailer. "It was more important for him to be able to fly."

Others featured in the trailer include David Scott, Armstrong's Gemini 8 crewmate; Charlie Duke, capcom for Armstrong's Apollo 11 mission; and flight director Gerry Griffin. The film also includes interviews with Michael Collins, Apollo 11 command module pilot; flight director Chris Kraft; Admiral Tom Hayward, who flew in combat with Armstrong during the Korean War; the late Janet Armstrong, Armstrong's first wife; and June Hoffman, Armstrong's sister.

"He's the best person of all of us to have been the first man on the moon," says Scott in the trailer.

Armstrong died in 2012 at the age of 82. The film lets Armstrong speak for himself, though, by having actor Harrison Ford narrate the astronaut's own words.

"To stand on the surface of the moon and look at the Earth high overhead is certainly a unique experience. The importance of protecting and saving that home has never been felt more strongly," says Ford, reading from Armstrong's remarks.

"Armstrong" is Fairhead's second turn directing a documentary about the Apollo program. In 2017, he and "Armstrong" producers Gareth Dodds and Keith Haviland helmed "Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo" about the men who monitored from the ground Armstrong's and the other astronauts' journeys.

"Armstrong" filmmakers light the Apollo Lunar Module LTA-8 at Space Center Houston during production of the film. (Image credit: Tin Goose Films)

Fairhead, Dodds and Haviland also worked together on the 2014 documentary "The Last Man on the Moon" about Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan.

"We were delighted to collaborate with the filmmakers, who did such a remarkable job with 'The Last Man On The Moon' and 'Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo,' on this wonderful portrait of our dad," said Mark and Rick Armstrong. "We hope audiences enjoy the opportunity to see some very rare footage of him and to share in celebrating his memory and his achievements."

Gravitas Ventures previously released both "Last Man" and "Mission Control."

"We are very excited to continue our partnership with David, Keith and Gareth on this captivating documentary about Neil Armstrong. Gravitas is proud to be releasing this film just as we as a nation celebrate the 50th anniversary of Armstrong's famous moon landing," said Nolan Gallagher, founder and CEO at Gravitas Ventures.

Gravitas Ventures acquired the North American rights and all worldwide rights excluding the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia to "Armstrong." Altitude Film Distribution will release the film in the UK and Irish cinemas, also on July 12.

Click through to collectSPACE to watch the new trailer for the "Armstrong" documentary.

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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.