‘The Midnight Sky’ Meet The Cast: George Clooney, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Caolinn Springall and the rest of the stars of the Netflix movie
Ready to watch George Clooney's new science fiction Netflix film? Here are all the actors and an in-depth analysis of their characters
“There’s a longing in this story,” George Clooney — who earlier starred in space films like ‘Solaris’ and ‘Gravity’ — says with a twinkle in his eye. “It’s a real need to connect, deeply connect. And there’s also this conversation about what mankind is capable of doing to mankind that creeps up on you.”
An end-of-the-world tale, ‘The Midnight Sky’ follows two parallel threads. In one, a lonely scientist occupying a snowy Arctic outpost rides out the last days of humanity’s earthly existence. In another, a team of interplanetary explorers aboard an advanced spacecraft hopes to finally return home after years away. These astronauts, trapped in their own isolation, are unaware of what’s happened to the planet.
“Even when times didn’t seem as apocalyptic as they do right now, we’ve always liked those kind of stories,” Clooney says, mentioning a tradition that spans from Stanley Kramer’s 1959 classic, ‘On the Beach’, to the perennially popular zombie TV show, ‘The Walking Dead’. “In recent years, things have gotten scarier and, I think, a little more polarized, but that’s cyclical. We still always like a good apocalyptic story.”
What's the plot of the movie?
Based on Lily Brooks-Dalton’s acclaimed novel ‘Good Morning, Midnight’, the post-apocalyptic film follows Augustine (Clooney), a lonely scientist in the Arctic, as he races to stop Sully (Felicity Jones) and her fellow astronauts from returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.
The summary goes: After a mysterious global catastrophe devastates the human race, an Arctic-stationed scientist attempts to warn a deep-space astronaut and her crew of the dangers of returning home. Even in the face of extinction, the human impulse toward connection travels light-years to link two of humanity’s last survivors.
Mark L Smith, who penned down the script, said, “It had some of the same ideas that attracted me to ‘The Revenant’ — a journey, man against nature, what a person could overcome... The most important thing is that it felt grounded and real. It’s not sci-fi. It’s not fantasy. These are real characters with real problems and real emotions. They’re dealing with problems here on Earth now. We never wanted to stray too far with the technology.”
Meet The Cast: Who are the actors?
The ensemble includes Academy Award-nominated Felicity Jones, Golden-Globe nominated David Oyelowo (Selma), Emmy-winner Kyle Chandler and Academy Award nominee Demián Bichir. Rounding out the main cast are Tiffany Boone, Ethan Peck, Sophie Rundle, Miriam Shor and eight-year-old newcomer Caoilinn Springall.
Here's a look at all actors and an in-depth analysis of their characters:
George Clooney as Augustine Lofthouse
Who doesn't know George Clooney? With three Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards in his kitty, he is best known for his roles in ‘From Dusk till Dawn’ (1996), ‘The Descendants’ (2011) and ‘Argo’ (2012). Did you know his breakthrough role was playing Dr Doug Ross on the medical drama ‘ER’ from 1994 to 1999? The 59-year-old earlier wore the director's hat in ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’ (2002), ‘Good Night, and Good Luck’ (2005) and ‘The Ides of March’ (2011).
What does George Clooney play?: Augustine is a graying astronomer and loner with an unfortunate front-row seat to civilization’s collapse. Clooney's character is the only scientist to stay behind at an Arctic outpost after a global catastrophe. Terminally ill, he is suffering from an unnamed illness, perhaps one ravaging the planet, and a
condition that requires constant blood transfusions.
He is charged with preventing a group of astronauts from returning to the ruin and forms a close bond with a mysterious young girl named Iris. Smith said of the character: “Anyone can relate to someone trying to right a wrong, trying to correct a mistake they’ve made. It doesn’t matter where you live, what language you speak.” Ethan Peck — known for playing a young Spock in ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ and is all set to be a part of ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ — reprises the role of young Augustine.
Caolinn Springall as Iris
Born and raised in England, Caolinn is eight years old and has a twin sister. Talking about how she got the part, Springall told Variety, “We did an audition in London, and I didn’t expect anything. And then we got a phone call to meet George, Grant [Heslov] and the casting director. I was pretty excited and a little bit nervous. I went numb. George told me to do this important scene as Iris, and then we waited a couple of weeks. Then we got the phone call that we’ve got it, and I was jumping up and down. And then I found out that we were going to Iceland, and I was sad that I would leave my family behind, but at least I was going to Iceland.”
What does Caolinn Springall play?: A mysterious little girl who doesn't talk much, Iris comes into contact with Augustine at the Arctic base, and she soon becomes his only companion when he is left behind.
Felicity Jones as Sully
Born in Birmingham, the actress began acting at the age of 11 and is best known for her role in ‘The Theory of Everything’ — for which she clinched nominations for Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA and Academy Award for Best Actress. She has also starred in films like ‘Like Crazy’, ‘Inferno’, ‘A Monster Calls’ and ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’.
What does Felicity Jones play?: Millions of miles away on the spaceship Aether, astronaut Sully tries to regain communications with home planet Earth that’s mysteriously silent after a mission to the planet K23. In the movie, she is shown to be in a relationship with Commander Tom Adewole and is pregnant with their baby girl.
David Oyelowo as Commander Tom Adewole
Born in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, the Nigerian actor has eight middle names, among which are ‘Animamoma’, ‘Chukwudi’, and ‘Oyerogba’. Best known for playing Martin Luther King Jr in the biographical drama ‘Selma’ (2014), he also starred in ‘A United Kingdom’ (2016) and was seen as a chess coach in ‘Queen of Katwe’ (2016).
What does David Oyelowo play?: Commander Adewole is an experienced astronaut and the commander of the mission to K23. “He enjoys the solitary nature of being in space,” says Oyelowo of his character. “He’s had eleven expeditions, all of which have been fairly long, and one of the things that he shares with Sully is that they kind of like isolation. I think that’s what makes them gravitate toward each other. They’re people for whom looking at the stars is a passionate preoccupation and they want to share that. I think they recognize that they’ve found a kindred spirit in each other.”
‘The Midnight Sky’ releases globally on Netflix on December 23, 2020. Catch the 125-minute movie once it drops at exactly 3.01 am EST.