Richard Linklater is no stranger to the world of animation, having directed modern masterpieces such as Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly which managed to translate the surreal visions of dreams and nightmares to the cinematic medium. Now, Linklater is back with another animated project which will use similar rotoscoping techniques like those two gems.
Titled Apollo 10½, Linklater is making an animated sci-fi film that is partly based on his own experiences. The film will revolve around the life of a 10-year-old boy in Texas who is subjected to the monotony of a regular existence just like every other kid until NASA approaches him for a lunar mission because he is the only one who fits into their tiny capsule.
With this film, Linklater wanted to explore the suffocating fear he had felt as a child about the impending climate crisis, the overpopulation of the planet and a general pessimism for the future of humanity. Oscillating between the crippling paranoia of a nuclear holocaust and the irresistible dream of escaping into space, Apollo 10½ promises to be an interesting project.
“It’s not point-by-point autobiographical, but parts of it,” Linklater explained in an interview. “My big idea here was while we have a lot of movies about astronauts and their big missions, what about a film that really captures what it was like to be alive? What was it like to be adjacent to all that? Being a kid, that’s the autobiographical part.”
“In the movie, I was trying to capture the dissonance in a young person’s head,” the director added, while claiming that this will be an essential coming-of-age experience about the bleak reality of adult life and the unlimited fantasy of space. “It’s the age where you can still have these fantastic fantasies and dreams, but you just don’t understand how the adult world works.”
Watch the trailer for Richard Linklater’s Apollo 10½ below.