Richard Linklater spent 12 years filming Boyhood. And the first and last film in his Before trilogy premiered 18 years apart. But those are nothing compared to the time put into his newest movie. Because in some ways, the writer-director has been working on it for over 50 years. Linklater’s own young life serves as the inspiration for Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood. However, the movie’s first trailer from Netflix shows why this story isn’t autobiographical. Instead, it’s a long-held fantasy come to life.
Richard Linklater returns to his Scanner Darkly roots for his next animated tale. Starring Jack Black and Zachary Levi, the film follows a man who is narrating “stories of his life as a 10-year-old boy in 1969 Houston.” That includes “weaving tales of nostalgia with a fantastical account of a journey to the moon.” Now we’re no NASA historians, but we’re fairly certain an Apollo 10½ mission did not actually exist. But then again, this trailer does say the flight was highly classified.
What we do know for sure is how Linklater’s own childhood shaped Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood. Here’s the official synopsis from Netflix:
Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood tells the story of the first moon landing in the summer of 1969 from two interwoven perspectives – the astronaut and mission control view of the triumphant moment, and through the eyes of a kid growing up in Houston, Texas who has intergalactic dreams of his own. Taking inspiration from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Richard Linklater’s own life, Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood is a snapshot of American life in the 1960s that is part coming of age, part societal commentary, and part out-of-this-world adventure.
The film also stars Glen Powell, Josh Wiggins, Milo Coy, Lee Eddy, Bill Wise, Natalie L’Amoreaux, Jessica Brynn Cohen, Sam Chipman, and Danielle Guilbot.
Linklater’s Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood debuts at SXSW this month, on March 13. It then safely lands at Netflix on April 1. More than 50 years after its creator first started dreaming about it.