Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Has Some Thoughts On First Man’s Flag-Planting Controversy

In the days since its international and domestic premieres, Damien Chazelle's First Man has been at the center of a very specific controversy. Specifically, some are upset that the movie doesn't include the moment during the first moon landing when Neil Armstrong planted an American flag. This past weekend the astronaut's sons came out in support of the film in the squabble, however, Buzz Aldrin - the second man to walk on the moon - has now explicitly let his thoughts on the matter be known:

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In the wake of First Man's flag planting controversy, Buzz Aldrin took to his personal Twitter account and posted a very pointed message and series of photos. While he doesn't specifically mention the movie - in which he's portrayed by Corey Stoll - the timing is impossible to ignore, and with hashtags like #proudtobeanAmerican #freedom, #honor, and #onenation, it's pretty clear where he comes out on the issue.

As for why First Man doesn't include the scene of Neil Armstrong planting the flag, Ryan Gosling explained it by saying that the act of landing on the moon wasn't so much an American achievement so much as it was an achievement for all mankind. He added that he wanted the movie to reflect the opinions of the man he was portraying, and he gleaned from interviews with friends and family that he did bathe himself in a specifically patriotic light. Armstrong's sons, Mark and Rick Armstrong, have supported the choice, noting that they have seen the film multiple times while most haven't seen it at all, and added that the work is "quite the opposite" of "anti-American."

While there may be some public discussion on this matter, and it is certainly noteworthy that Buzz Aldrin would speak out about it, we probably shouldn't expect to hear any news about the film being changed between now and its theatrical release. Surely the complaints will continue, but it sounds like First Man and its creatives are standing behind the movie that they've made. Of course, if anything does change, you'll be able to read about all of the details right here on CinemaBlend.

Damien Chazelle's follow-up to the Oscar-winning La La Land, First Man is an examination of the life of Neil Armstrong leading to and including his participation in the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. In addition to Ryan Gosling and Corey Stoll, the film has a stacked cast that includes Claire Foy, Pablo Schreiber, Ciaran Hinds, Kyle Chandler, Ethan Embry, Jason Clarke, Patrick Fugit, Shea Whigham and more. Universal Pictures will be launching the film into theaters on October 12th, and it's expected to be mentioned frequently during this year's awards season

To see what else is heading to theaters this fall, check out our 2018 release schedule.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.