Actor/director George Clooney bills this project as Gravity (2013) meets The Revenant (2015), noting, “They’re not natural fits, so it was a constant balancing act.” The fact Midnight Sky (2020) would resemble Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Oscar-winning adventure epic The Revenant (2015) is not by accident, as the project was written by The Revenant screenwriter Mark L. Smith.
The Revenant part of the script kicks in during the film when Augustine (played by Clooney) and the girl are forced “to venture through the increasingly toxic air and melting arctic landscape to reach an observatory that has a communications array powerful enough to reach the starship.”
The astronauts, meanwhile, set out on their own adventure while taking a shortcut on their journey to Earth. Working on Gravity prepared Clooney for the challenges of directing a space epic.
“One of the things that I learned from working with Alfonso about space is, once you’re in the anti-gravity kind of world, there is no north and south or east or west, because it doesn’t exist in space. Up isn’t up, and down isn’t down,” Clooney said.
“So the camera can be upside down, characters can be upside down, and it’s hard to do, because you’re constantly rotating the camera, and hoping you’re not doing it so much you make everybody sick. Alfonso did it just beautifully.”