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Get Your First Look At The Midnight Sky From Director George Clooney

It's been four years since we last saw George Clooney in a major motion picture, and fans are wondering: What's his beard like these days? Well, wonder no longer, as a first look at his new movie, The Midnight Sky, has just dropped.

The film, which Clooney also directed, is an adaptation of the 2016 novel by Lily Brooks-Dalton, Good Morning, Midnight. It tells the story of Augustine (played by Clooney,) a scientist operating out of the Arctic, as he tries to stop Sully (Felicity Jones of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story fame) and her fellow astronauts from reentering the Earth's atmosphere. Unlike most people attempting to thwart a group of astronauts' plans to come home, his decision appears not to be based on the glory hounding one expects from a bunch of space explorers doing a victory lap after a successful voyage. Rather, the planet has undergone a mysterious catastrophe, and Augustine is attempting to save the group from an eerie and gruesome fate.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Clooney gave a few fleeting hints about his part in The Midnight Sky, especially with regard to his transition to older roles. "There was a stillness to the character that I really liked," said Clooney. "You need to be of a certain age for it to actually hurt. When you're younger, we don't feel like we've had enough life experiences for things like this to actually hurt you in your chest. And so, it felt like I was the right age, and it was a good time for me to move into this kind of role." In characteristic self-deprecating form, he also quipped, "I'm not even 60 yet, but the character is 70. Unfortunately, I'm looking closer to that. I've always looked a little older, but now I really look like I am. I'd say I look like my father, but my father looks better than me."

You can't keep Felicity Jones out of space

As for what you can expect from The Midnight Sky, the forecast calls for bleakness. Clooney gave away the game a little when describing the process of preparing for his role, saying "I just took a shaver and shaved all my hair off, and I tried to do it kind of badly so that it looked patchy. And I've got some pretty funky scars on my head in general. Since he is clearly dying of something that he has to have a transfusion for, which is usually some form of cancer, it was important to me to add some elements so that I didn't look like I look normally. I have had a lot of people, the first couple of shots in the movie, not realize it's me. They're like, 'That's you?' My wife was very happy when I finished shooting this."

As for the endangered crew of the film's ship Aether, they're headed by Felicity Jones' Sully, the group's mission specialist. Jones' role was rewritten during production after it was revealed that the actress was pregnant, which Clooney has stated adds a new element to the story — an old man trying to protect future generations in the face of death. Alongside flight commander Adewole (David Oyelowo, Selma, The Cloverfield Paradox) and flight engineer Maya (The Chi, Hunters) she attempts to make contact with Earth after communications go dark. The script comes from Saturn Award-winning screenwriter Mark L. Smith, best known for his work on The Revenant and 2018's critically acclaimed Overlord.

The Midnight Sky is set to release on Netflix in December of 2020.