George Clooney is no stranger to science fiction. He has collaborated on deep-space dramas with both Steven Soderbergh (Solaris) and Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) before attempting to tell one himself in the upcoming Netflix movie The Midnight Sky. Half of Midnight Sky takes place in space, as the crew of a manned space ship returns from a long mission. Because of the galactic sequences, and the anti-gravity space walk scenes, it reminded me of Clooney’s Gravity character, who met a very terrifying fate.
Spoilers for Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar-winning thriller, in case you haven’t yet seen the 2014 masterpiece.
So, at a pivotal moment in Gravity, George Clooney’s astronaut, Matt Kowalski, becomes disconnected from their space craft, and tangled in cords. Knowing that Sandra Bullock has to let him go if she herself is going to survive, Kowalski untethers… and floats off into deep space.
So when I had the chance to speak with George Clooney on behalf of his new film The Midnight Sky, I asked him if he managed to sneak a floating Kowalski into the background space scenes of his own directorial effort. And that led to the hilarious story at the top of this page.
I can’t stress how badly I need to see that deleted scene. Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity was my Number One movie the year that it came out, and Clooney’s decision to unclasp from his space craft and drift out into the unknown remains a terrifying nightmare scene that I’ll never live down. Knowing that the perpetually sarcastic storyteller found a way to bring Matt Kowalski back from the “dead” and catch up with him years later, suggesting the possibility of rescue, is hilarious.
Has Netflix ever included a deleted scene, or an extra scene, as part of its presentation? I can’t recall seeing it, though if George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky ends up on a DVD, you know that this scene just has to be part of the bonuses offered to fans.
The irony of this fact is that Clooney didn’t even HAVE to put on the astronaut gear for any point of The Midnight Sky. In his adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s novel Good Morning, Midnight, Clooney plays an earthbound survivor of an unexplained global tragedy who tries to communicate with the returning shuttle, to tell them not to come back. Clooney’s astronauts are played by the likes of Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Kyle Chandler and Demian Bichir. Clooney only got into the astronaut suit for the benefit of the Gravity gag.