Combining elements of “Boyhood” and his animated films like “A Scanner Darkly” and “Waking Life” with frequent collaborators like Jack Black (“School of Rock,” “Bernie”) and Glen Powell (“Everybody Wants Some!!”), Richard Linklater has returned with “Apollo 10 1/2.” The new film makes its debut at the South by Southwest Film Festival this week before hitting Netflix on April 1.
The film is set in Houston, Texas, in the summer of 1969 and is a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the moon landing. Linklater grew up in the shadow of NASA and said he was inspired to make the film while contemplating his own childhood during the making of “Boyhood.”
“‘Boyhood’ is about the minutiae of life. ‘Apollo’ is about minutiae as well, but it’s also about probably the biggest and grandest thing people have ever accomplished,” Linklater told Indiewire. “But this very much grew out of ‘Boyhood.’ I started ‘Boyhood’ thinking, ‘Oh, I don’t have a special place in my childhood to make a movie about.’ None of it was that interesting. I was trying to cover the whole slough of growing up. It was really after I became a parent that I started thinking that I wanted to make a film about childhood. I felt like I didn’t really have that specific moment in childhood, so I wanted to make a film about all of it.”
Linklater shot the live-action cast – which includes Powell and Zachary Levi as NASA operatives – in the weeks before the coronavirus pandemic exploded in March 2020. The last two years, the director said to Indiewire, were spent fine-tuning the film in the editing process as well as completing the animation.
“Our unique animation style allows both the conjuring of a world long gone, and the flowing, playful expression of memory and imagination,” Linklater previously said of choosing to make this an animated feature. “It’s been a fun, creative journey to incorporate things like 3D graphics into a live-action shoot to help bring this story to life.”
“Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood” is set to be released by Netflix on April 1, 2022.
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