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The Midnight Sky - What We Know So Far

In case you've been wondering what George Clooney has been up to lately, here's your answer: It's called The Midnight Sky, and it's coming soon. 

As you might have noticed, Clooney hasn't appeared in a film since 2016's Hail, Caesar!, and while he did appear in the television series Catch-22, he has generally leaned more into behind-the-scenes work as of late — such as directing the 2017 movie Suburbicon. For those who have missed seeing Clooney as a leading man, though, you'll be excited for The Midnight Sky's arrival on Netflix in December, a movie for which he is also the director and producer. 

Production began on the film in October 2019, and ended in February of 2020 (right before many film productions had to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Netflix has just released the first trailer as well as a release date, and it has a pretty prime spot for consideration in next year's awards ceremonies. By all accounts, it looks like Clooney has crafted a heady science-fiction story with plenty of topical messages for the modern world. 

Here's everything we know about The Midnight Sky right now.

What's the release date for The Midnight Sky?

It looks like Netflix has given everyone a bit of a Christmas surprise when it comes to its latest film, which is sure to spark discussion around many families' dinners this year. Netflix has set The Midnight Sky to be released on December 23rd, 2020. 

A report from Indie Wire also states that Clooney's next feature-length film will receive a short theatrical release. However, as of right now, it's unclear where exactly the movie will be able to play in theaters, with the COVID-19 pandemic still requiring shutdowns across the United States, and expected to continue doing so into 2021. You'll need to keep an eye on theaters near you to see if you'll be able to catch it on the big screen, or if you'll have to watch it in your living room. The movie has a prime release date right before awards season, so expect Netflix to push the movie hard, to try to gain some nominations. 

Who's in the cast of The Midnight Sky?

George Clooney has managed to assemble quite the talented roster of actors to take part in the sci-fi epic. Clooney, of course, plays the lead role of Augustine Lofthouse, a lonely scientist living in the Arctic. His mission is to get a message to a team of astronauts currently up in space. The team seems to be led by Sully, played by Felicity Jones. Her character is pregnant in the film, and according to reports, this is due to the fact that Jones became pregnant in real life, so they just added it to her character and built her scenes around that (via Vanity Fair).

Augustine is joined in his lonely existence by a young girl, Iris (Caoilinn Springall). She becomes dependent on him for survival and plays a key role in his race to contact the astronomers. Rounding out the cast are David Oyelowo as Commander Tom Adewole, Kyle Chandler as Mitchell, Tiffany Boone as Maya, and Demián Bichir as Sanchez. 

What is the plot of The Midnight Sky?

The Midnight Sky is based on the novel Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton, and the story is being advertised as a combination of The Revenant and Gravity. The story takes place in the year 2049, after the planet has undergone an immense environmental collapse. The world as we know it is gone, and George Clooney plays a scientist who's stuck in an Arctic observatory all by himself. He's been struck with cancer, so he's living out the rest of his days in isolation. 

However, he soon discovers he's not alone after all. A little girl, Iris, has made her way to the lab — but she's the least of Augustine's problems, at the moment. There's a group of astronauts in outer space who are all set to return home, not realizing the planet is uninhabitable, and they'll most likely die upon coming back. Augustine and Iris have to race to get to a nearby station that has communication equipment powerful enough to send a message to the space crew, to inform them of what has happened. Along the way, the pair will have to contend with the forces of nature, which must be overcome if they are to achieve their mission. 

The fascinating trailer for The Midnight Sky is now online

Everything sound interesting so far? 

You can get a better sense of the tone of the film by watching the trailer, which Netflix released on October 27th. It's clear, from the footage revealed so far, that the movie is aiming for an optimistic tone, despite being set against a post-apocalyptic backdrop. Augustine even has a line in the trailer where he mentions the Aether, the spaceship the astronauts are on, was supposed to be a symbol of hope for the future, but it's clear things went south before a full civilization could be sent to space. "Things may look down now, but humanity will find a way to overcome" seems to the prevailing message, making it somewhat similar to Interstellarin that regard. 

Based on the trailer, it looks as though there will be ample action within both storylines, particularly when it comes to Augustine and Iris getting into trouble with the elements, including at one point seeming to fall under the ice into freezing cold water. Simultaneously, the astronauts have their own problems, which become exacerbated because of the radio silence coming from Earth. 

In a year where it has felt like the world could end at any moment, this may just be the collective experience we all need, going into 2021. Prepare yourself for The Midnight Sky, and get ready when the film drops on December 23rd.