Photo by: Larry Horricks/Netflix
We were joined on the Popternative show by director Johan Renck (Chernobyl, Breaking Bad) to discuss his new sci-fi film, Spaceman, streaming now on Netflix. Based on the novel Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfař, the film stars Adam Sandler (Leo, Hustle), Carey Mulligan (Maestro, Promising Young Woman), Kunal Nayyar (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, The Big Bang Theory), Lena Olin (Hunters, Alias), with Isabella Rossellini (Julia, Blue Velvet) and Paul Dano (Dumb Money, Little Miss Sunshine).

Spaceman follows astronaut Jakub (Sandler) six months into a solitary research mission to the edge of the solar system who realizes that the marriage he left behind might not be waiting for him when he returns to Earth. Desperate to fix things with his wife, Lenka (Mulligan), he is helped by a mysterious creature from the beginning of time he finds hiding in ship. Hanuš (voiced by Dano) works with Jakub to make sense of what went wrong before it is too late.

(L-R): Johan Renck and Adam Sandler with crew members on the set of Spaceman. Photo by: Jon Pack/Netflix

This isn’t Sandler’s first project in a genre outside of comedy, and Renck discusses working on a sci-fi drama with him: “When we were shooting Spaceman he hadn’t even done Hustle. Uncut Gems had just come out, but neither him or I [dwelled on the past]. For him it was about his curiosity in exploring aspects of his profession he hadn’t done before, playing characters that are meaningful for him but also [which] diverge from stuff he’s done before. He’s a very grace courageous actor who has no fear in being in an unknown territory.”

The film is also open to interpretation from the audience as Renck explains, “It’s all in the eyes of the beholder; everyone’s personal experience is going to guide what they think about something,” but for him, he explains “this is a film about humanity that happens to take place in space.” Watch the full conversation with Johan Renck below.

Spaceman is streaming on Netflix.

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