Netflix's originals have grown in quantity and quality alongside the platform, and the coronavirus pandemic has further shifted what might be appropriate for a premiere on the streamer. Just a year ago, the idea of George Clooney starring in a Netflix movie would sound laughable. Now it’s just the way Hollywood operates. The trailer for Clooney’s sci-fi thriller The Midnight Sky dropped and everything about it from its A-list talent to its incredible look would have been out of Netflix’s grasp in another time.
The story follows an explorer, played by Clooney, who must find a way to communicate with a team of astronauts in space to keep them from coming back to Earth. An unexplained event has made the Earth largely uninhabitable and the future of humanity depends on the people who were off-world when it started. Among the cast are Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Kyle Chandler, Ethan Peck, Sophie Rundle, and Demián Bichir.
Clooney was handed the story, adapted from the Lily Brooks-Dalton novel Good Morning, Midnight, by Netflix. The streamer was hoping Clooney would star in it, but he realized he wanted to direct the story as well.
“The guys at Netflix sent it over to me to act in it. I read it and loved it, and thought I’d actually rather take a swing at directing it,” the two-time Oscar-winner said earlier this year. “I’d done a couple of space movies, so I knew how complicated the space stuff was going to be, but this one felt like a really intimate story about what mankind is capable of doing to mankind. I also liked the idea of a story of redemption, and this was kind of the ultimate story of redemption.”
Clooney admitted he’s upset the IMAX-ready project will be watched on laptops, phones, and home televisions. “We shot it on 65 [mm] so that we could take it to IMAX,” he said. “And you got to watch it on a screen about [the size of an iPad].”
The Midnight Sky is set to release Dec. 23. Take a look at the first trailer up top.