Moon: Inspirations for the new Sci-Fi

“Moon,” starring Sam Rockwell and directed by Duncan Jones, is being released June 12, 2009 by Sony Pictures Classics.

Director Duncan Jones—a self-described “sci-fi geek”—has long been fascinated with both the lunar landscape and the cinematic classics of the outer space genre: “Alien, Silent Running, Outland, and 2001: A Space Odyssey—the golden era sci-fi films I grew up with. If Gerty [the computer voiced by Kevin Spacey], the Sarang [the moon station], the rovers and harvesters have a retro aesthetic to their design, it’s no accident. We were creating an homage to that golden era.”

The moon itself also inspired Jones’s story treatment, upon which Nathan Parker’s screenplay is based. “The moon is an obvious but ignored location for a science fiction story. It’s only been 40 years since we first traveled to the moon, and it gives me goose pimples to think that the moon could be the source of enough renewable energy to keep our entire planet energy-sated for the next few hundred years. More than that, everyone feels a personal connection to the Moon. Every night, it is science fiction sitting in our eye line.” 

MOON’s human element drew inspiration from a very human source: “MOON was written for Sam Rockwell,” says Jones. Rockwell, recently seen in the critically acclaimed Ron Howard feature Frost/Nixon, is known for picking diverse roles, ranging from The Assassination of Jesse James to Charlie’s Angels to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to Choke. “I’d met with Sam about a year before making MOON to talk to him about another project. It didn’t work out, but it came up that Sam was into sci-fi and that if I had something in that genre, he would love to see it. As soon as the meeting was over, I got to work. I needed to write a sci-fi film starring Sam Rockwell!”