Danny Bloom
I seek the truth wherever it lies.

New sci-fi, cli-fi movie starring George Clooney set for December debut

Brace yourself for George Clooney’s apocalyptic cli-fi movie “The Midnight Sky,”
in which he plays a dying scientist facing the end of the world. And remember this: science fiction in Hollywood has a long history and dates way back.
The Polish writer Stanisław Lem (1921-2006) wrote the 1961 sci-fi novel ”Solaris” — later turned into a film in 1972 by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky and again in 2002 in a new Hollywood remake by Steven Soderbergh, starring, yes, Mr. George Clooney.
From “Soylent Green” in 1973 to “The Day After Tomorrow” in 2004, movies began to venture into a new genre of science fiction that since 2012 has been dubbed “cli-fi” or ”climate change fiction.”
In the upcoming Clooney movie, already shot and in the can, the crew of a NASA ”starship” is returning to Earth  after exploring a newly-discovered moon of Jupiter, which turns out to have a breathable atmosphere and a habitable climate. But as they emerge from a communications blackout they find that the discovery of a potential new home for human beings has been overshadowed by the death of the old one — Earth!
“It’s science fiction,” says Clooney, “which unfortunately is less fictional as we move through the days.”
In the film, which is based on a novel published in 2016 titled “Good Morning, Midnight” by Lily Brooks-Dalton, the cascade of cataclysms that consume Earth in the year 2049 are not specified, but Clooney the director imagines they aren’t very different from the traumas that have defined 2020: widespread illness, environmental collapse, political strife.
“There’s the sadness in the movie of what humans are capable of doing to other humans and how easily it can just be taken away,” Clooney adds.
But don’t give up hope, says Clooney, who is not new to cli-fi themes. Remember “Tomorrowland.”
He believes that there is a chance of salvation, even in the more dire world of ”The Midnight Sky.”
“I wanted it to be about redemption in a way,” Clooney says. “I wanted there to be some hopefulness in a fairly bleak story about the end of humankind.”
An aging, bearded Clooney plays a 70-year-old character named Dr. Augustine Lofthouse, a scientist at a remote Arctic research station who may be the last human on Earth. The astronomer is dying from cancer, and he chooses to remain at the snowbound observatory to end his days alone, the same way he lived them.
The Netflix flick intertwines two very different plots, according to industry sources: the NASA crew on a collision course with Earth and the frail scientist battling brutal Arctic elements.
Think “Gravity” and think “The Revenant.” Two very different movies.
Clooney’s new vision is cli-fi on speed.
About the Author
Dan Bloom curates The Cli-Fi Report at www.cli-fi.net. He graduated from Tufts University in Boston in 1971 with a major in Modern Literature. A newspaper editor and reporter since his days in Washington, D.C., Juneau, Alaska, Tokyo, Japan and Taipei, Taiwan, he has lived and worked 5 countries and speaks rudimentary French, Japanese and Chinese. He hopes to live for a few more years.
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