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What Darren Aronofsky Wants to Achieve with ONE STRANGE ROCK, His Nat Geo Series

What Darren Aronofsky Wants to Achieve with ONE STRANGE ROCK, His Nat Geo Series

Darren Aronofsky is heading to the small screen for the first time, but he doesn’t want his next project to be just another TV show. The legendary filmmaker is teaming with National Geographic for a 10 episode docu-series One Strange Rock about the fragility and uniqueness of Earth. He thinks “it is a very different show than you’ve seen before.”

“There’s been shows that have been about animals and there’s been shows that have been about different cultures, there’s been shows that have been about science,” he said at the 2018 Winter Television Critics Association press tour. “What was exciting about this was taking all of it–astronomy, anthropology, biology, chemistry, physics–and trying to blend them together to talk about this home that we’re all living on and talk about all the systems that have to work to make this single spaceship traveling through this huge void work together as one.”

One Strange Rock, hosted by Will Smith and executive produced by Jane Root with her production company Nutopia, sent photographers and camera crews “all over the planet to the most extreme and crazy locations on this planet as well as up into the space station” to capture footage for a mind-bending, thrilling journey exploring what makes the Earth work. And Aronofsky’s job was to make sure that all of the different teams were working together to create one cohesive story.

“My idea was to create a visual bible that all these different teams could follow,” he said. “There was a relationship between all the different footage from all over the world that could come together to tell a story of this single home that we’re all living in.”

Working closely with astronauts to bring their stories of space travel to life, Aronofsky was shocked to discover that no matter who went up into space, everyone came back with the same change of perspective in how they view the world. “What was interesting for me in this journey was that all of these amazing people…whether they went up in space for eight days or 600 days, they all had a very, very similar experience,” Aronofsky said. “When you’re here on this strange rock, it’s hard to look outside it.”

As soon as all the astronauts were able to look down on Earth from space, they essentially “discovered” the planet for the first time in a life-changing moment. “It can change the way we think,” Aronofsky explained. “It’s something [that] as people we forget all the time. We forget how amazing it is that we can go home and watch Nat Geo or have a dog or play instruments or do all the amazing things we can because of these incredible systems. That perspective that all of these people had in that moment when they left the earth and looked back is something very spiritual, I don’t know the word you want to use, it could be awe, could come out of religion, it could come out of science, but they all had this experience that we try to capture through the beauty of the planet.”

And that’s exactly what Aronofsky is trying to achieve with One Strange Rock. And hey, if some college kids also want to get high and watch the show at a party, he’s down with that too. “I’ve been to millennial parties where Planet Earth was playing in the background,” he said before joking that marijuana is “legal now in California.” So Aronofsky can now add party planner to his resume along with TV series showrunner!

One Strange Rock premieres Monday, March 26 at 9:00 p.m. on National Geographic.

Images: National Geographic

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