NASA Consulted on Tomorrowland Script, Thinks It Could Inspire Real-Life Exploration

Friday, 22 May 2015 - 12:56PM
Friday, 22 May 2015 - 12:56PM
NASA's legally not allowed to endorse films, but this comes pretty close. Bert Ulrich, NASA's multimedia liaison for film and TV collaboration, recently told Blastr that NASA made a "couple of tweaks" to the script for scientific accuracy, and that he thinks the optimistic, forward-thinking film could inspire real-life scientific exploration.

"We got a call from Jeffrey Chernov's office -- he's the producer of the film -- and Damon Lindelof submitted a script to us," said Ulrich. "We reviewed the script, and we added a couple of little tweaks for accuracy. They asked if they could shoot some scenes at Kennedy Space Center, so they did a little bit of filming, as you can see in the movie."

When asked to specify what those tweaks were, Ulrich elaborated, although kept it pretty vague: "We were concentrating on the NASA backstory about where Casey came from, which grounded her throughout the movie. Her father is a NASA engineer, and she is this brilliant young woman who was interested in engineering. Through her imagination and knowledge and ingenuity, [she] was able to save the world."

Ulrich also stated that he believes the film could inspire viewers to imagine and participate in real-life scientific innovation, just as classic sci-fi movies inspired current NASA astronauts. "This film may very well spark [viewers'] curiosity in what entails real exploration. If you ask a lot of NASA scientists and astronauts and engineers what inspired them, a considerable number say 2001 [the 1968 Stanley Kubrick movie] inspired me, or Nichelle Nichols inspired me. There's a relationship with these types of productions and films in popular culture that gets people thinking in interesting ways. This movie does that, I think. It's a very inspirational film and a very hopeful one."

Tomorrowland essentially explores the ways in which scientific innovation can make the world a better place. When asked how NASA is conforming to that maxim, Ulrich said, "NASA is continually trying to gain knowledge and increase humanity's knowledge of what's out there... We have a really exciting journey to Pluto in the New Horizons mission, on July 14. We're readying an Orion mission capsule that's being tested for eventual travel to deep space. We're preparing for a journey to Mars eventually. We have the Curiosity rover up on Mars. We have the Mars 2020 rover that's getting prepared...

"All of this is helping with the present, because we're gaining knowledge about humans, about what space exploration is about and where we can go as we live through the history of the space age."

Tomorrowland comes out in theaters today, May 22.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies

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