Having appeared in Solaris and Gravity, George Clooney is no stranger to outer space – and the Hollywood icon is returning to the atmosphere for his new film The Midnight Sky, in which he stars and directs.
The film is set shortly after an unspecified event which has had catastrophic repercussions for life on Earth, and sees Clooney play Augustine Lofthouse, a scientist who must communicate with an outer space crew to warm them of the imminent danger upon their return.
In addition to Clooney, the film's cast includes an array of talent, including an Emmy winner, two Oscar nominees and a British TV favourite – read on for everything you need to know.
George Clooney plays Augustine Lofthouse
Who is Augustine Lofthouse? Augustine is the sole scientist to stay behind at an Arctic outpost after a global catastrophe and is charged with preventing a group of astronauts returning to the ruin. He is terminally ill, and during his mission, a mysterious young girl named Iris appears in base.
What else has George Clooney been in? One of Hollywood's biggest stars, Clooney has a huge number of credits to his name both behind and in front of the camera. He first gained huge attention for his turn as Dr. Doug Ross in ER before appearing in a number of prominent film roles including From Dusk till Dawn, Out of Sight, the Oceans trilogy, and Syriana –which earned him an Academy Award for Best Picture.
Other credits include Gravity, Michael Clayton, Up in the Air, and The Descendants, the latter three of which saw him bag nominations for the Best Actor Oscar, while his directorial career has seen him helm Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Good Night and Good Luck, Leatherheads, The Ides of March, The Monuments Men and Suburbicon – all of which he starred in bar the latter.
Ethan Peck plays young Augustine Lofthouse
What else has Ethan Peck been in? Peck descends from acting royalty – being the grandson of legendary Golden Age star Gregory – and has a number of credits to his name including playing Young Spock in Star Trek: Discovery, and film appearances in The Holiday Calendar and Eden.
Felicity Jones plays Sully
Who is Sully? An astronaut on the spaceship Aether, Sully is attempting to regain communications with Earth after a mission to the planet K23. She is in a relationship with Commander Gordon Adewole and is pregnant with their baby girl.
What else has Felicity Jones been in? Jones has been acting professionally since she was a child and has numerous credits to her name including a long-running voice role on The Archers. Since then, she has appeared in a range of high profile films, with career highlights including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance as Jane Hawking in The Theory of Everything and a starring role as Jyn Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Other recent credits include A Monster Calls, On the Basis of Sex, and The Aeronauts.
David Oyelowo plays Commander Gordon Adewole
Who is Commander Gordon Adewole? An experienced astronaut and the commander of the mission to K23, Gordon Adewole is in a relationship with his crewmate Sully. Oyelewo says of his character: "He enjoys the solitary nature of being in space. 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."
What else has David Oyelewo been in? Oyelewo is probably best for his role as Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma – a performance that saw him widely praised, notching a Golden Globe nomination in the process. Other prominent film credits include A United Kingdom, The Queen of Katwe and recent feature Come Away, while on the small screen he starred as Danny Hunter on Spooks and as Javert in BBC One's 2018 miniseries of Les Misérables.
Tiffany Boone plays Maya
Who is Maya? The youngest and most inexperienced crew member on Aether, Maya is a flight engineer on her first ever mission. Speaking about the character Boone has said, "Everything’s brand new to her. She’s the one that wears her heart and her fear on her sleeve throughout everything that they’re going through. And she’s desperately looking for connection with each of her flight members.”
What else has Tiffany Boone been in? Boone has had something of a breakout year in 2020 after gaining attention for her lead role, opposite Al Pacino, in Amazon Prime video's series Hunters while she also appeared in two episodes of another Amazon show, Little Fires Everywhere. Previous credits include The Following, The Chi and the 2013 film Beautiful Creatures.
Demián Bichir plays Sanchez
Who is Sanchez? Another astronaut on Aether, Sanchez is an astrodynamicist and navigation specialist in charge of charting the ship’s course. Bichir has said that he thinks the character "wanted to go into back-to-back missions to run away from his own personal issues".
What else has Demián Bichir been in? Bichir appeared in a number of telenovelas in his homeland Mexico before embarking on a Hollywood career – the highlight of which has been an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his turn in the 2011 drama A Better Life. Other film credits include The Hateful Eight, Alien: Covenant, and The Nun.
Kyle Chandler as Mitchell
Who is Mitchell? Aether’s pilot, Tom Mitchell is desperate to get home to his family at the end of the mission. Says Chandler, "In my world, Tom’s marriage is what keeps him going. He and his wife support each other in what they do a hundred percent. And there’s a promise that he made to her and the kids, who are also part of the decision before he went on this mission, that his end goal is to get home to the family.”
What else has Kyle Chandler been in? Chandler has been a fixture on TV and film since the '90s, with perhaps his most prominent role being that of Eric Taylor in Friday Night Lights –which saw him win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Other notable film roles have included King Kong, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Super 8, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, The Wolf of Wall Street, Carol, Manchester by the Sea, Game Night and First Man.
Caoilinn Springall as Iris
Who is Iris? A mysterious little girl who speaks very few words, Iris is discovered by Augustine at the Arctic base having presumably been left behind, and he soon takes her under his wing.
What else has Caoilinn Springall been in? This is eight-year-old Springall's first on-screen role.
Sophie Rundle as Jean
The Midnight Sky is available to stream on Netflix from Wednesday 23rd December. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best TV series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide.