James Webb Space Telescope stars in breathtaking new IMAX documentary

A large elliptical galaxy surrounded by many smaller similar galaxies as seen by the James Webb Space Telescope.
(Image credit: ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, P. Kelly)

Salutes to the miraculous achievements of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope are pouring in from around the world.

The sophisticated observatory marks its one-year anniversary this summer as a groundbreaking astronomical platform orbiting the sun some 1 million miles (1.6 million km) from Earth. Joining the celebration with a new James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) documentary is "Deep Sky," a passion project uniting the IMAX Corporation with Crazy Boat Pictures Ltd. and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn. 

News of the 40-minute film's completion was announced this past week during events recognizing the telescope's "first image" anniversary at the National Academy of Science in Washington, D.C.

Related: See amazing images from James Webb Space Telescope's 1st year gazing deep into the cosmos (photos)

"Cosmic Cliffs" image as seen in the IMAX film, "Deep Sky." (Image credit: NASA)

Golden Globe winner Michelle Williams narrates the cinematic salute to the James Webb, which is scheduled to light up across IMAX's institutional theater network sometime in October of 2023.

"I've always been fascinated by the beauty and magnitude of space," said Williams in an IMAX statement. "I'm excited to work with Nathaniel and IMAX to tell the story of the captivating images taken by this new telescope."

"Deep Sky" was penned, produced and directed by Nathaniel Kahn with Bonnie Hlinomaz acting as co-producer. John Turner serves as Executive Producer for IMAX, the global entertainment giant that has aligned itself here with financing partner Northrop Grumman Foundation, in cooperation with NASA, ESA, CSA, the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy.

"'Deep Sky' represents an exciting return to form for IMAX Documentaries and our long tradition of immersive space films," said John Turner, Head of Documentaries for IMAX, in an official press release. "Nathaniel Kahn's Oscar-nominated documentary 'My Architect' is iconic and his Emmy-winning 'The Hunt for Planet B' served as the fascinating first step in telling the story of the people who built this telescope. Now we get to see the breathtaking images brought to life in a way that no one has ever seen before."

This inspiring documentary explores the $10 billion JWST's engineering and construction process, historic Dec. 25, 2021 launch, and the release of its first full-color, galaxy-sprinkled images on July 12, 2022 witnessed by the entire planet. 

"If there ever was a subject tailor-made for IMAX screens, this is it," said director Nathaniel Kahn. "The IMAX format allows you to appreciate the astonishing resolution of NASA's new telescope and to immerse yourself in cosmic landscapes that leave you filled with awe."

"Deep Sky" will appear in all its large-format IMAX glory in October 2023.

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.