Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong film to blast off at Venice film festival

Actor Ryan Gosling, director Damien Chazelle, and actor Claire Foy
Actor Ryan Gosling, director Damien Chazelle, and actor Claire Foy(Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CinemaCon)

Director Damien Chazelle’s much anticipated Neil Armstrong film will launch at the upcoming Venice International Film Festival.

Variety confirmed that Chazelle’s film, “First Man,” starring Ryan Gosling, is set to open the festival on Aug. 29. Chazelle’s previous film, the Academy-award winning “La La Land,” also premiered at the Venice International Film Festival back in 2016. (That film starred Gosling, too, along with his frequent costar Emma Stone.)

Josh Singer wrote the “First Man” screenplay, based on James R. Hansen’s biography of Armstrong, the spacecraft commander of Apollo 11 and the first man to walk on the moon. In April, Singer told the Globe that “First Man” is an action film, not a biopic. 

“Neil’s heroism isn’t because he landed on the moon,” Singer said, “it’s because he had the wherewithal to live through it all.”

Along with Tom McCarthy, Singer took home the Academy Award for original screenplay for “Spotlight,” the film based on The Boston Globe Spotlight investigative team’s work uncovering years of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. “Spotlight” won the Oscar for best picture in 2016.

Universal Pictures announced an Oct. 12 US premiere date for “First Man.” In addition to Gosling, the “First Man” cast includes Kyle Chandler and Claire Foy.

Lillian Brown can be reached at