Was Hanuš real in Adam Sandler’s ‘Spaceman’?
(Credits: Netflix)

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Was Hanuš real in Adam Sandler’s ‘Spaceman’?

Adam Sandler’s latest venture into science fiction, Spaceman, has climbed to the third spot on Netflix’s top ten films list globally. Apart from splitting critics, the film has also sparked intriguing debates among viewers regarding the existence of one of its most enigmatic characters: the alien arachnid Hanuš. 

Directed by Johan Renck, this Netflix original film follows Czech astronaut Jakub Procházka, portrayed by Sandler, on an introspective journey through space. Paul Dano lends his voice to Hanuš, a giant talking spider with telepathic abilities. Hanuš’s presence in the story blurs the lines between reality and imagination in what has been aptly touted as ‘sad dad sci-fi’ by Charlotte Simmons in Mary Sue

Spaceman unfolds as Jakub sets on a mission to investigate the Chopra cloud, a mysterious glittery cosmic phenomenon that has appeared beyond Jupiter four years before our story begins. Six months into his solitary journey, Jakub grapples with loneliness and regret, exacerbated by his strained relationship with his wife, Lenka (played by Carey Mulligan). As Jakub confronts his inner demons and confronts the isolation of his claustrophobic spaceship, he encounters Hanuš.

This creature delves into his memories and provides solace as they rattle through the vast void of the universe.

Is Hanuš an actual creature in Spaceman?

The character of Hanuš serves as both a confidant and a catalyst for Jakub’s healing. As Hanuš steps in as an eight-legged therapist and helps Jakub unearth forgotten memories, Hanuš challenges our lonely space cowboy to confront his past traumas and reconcile with his present reality.

Towards the end of the film, Hanuš bids Jakub farewell before seemingly being consumed by the Gorompeds. Before disintegrating into space dust, he assures Jakub that he still has hope to salvage his marriage and life back on Earth. While Hanuš may be an actual alien creature full of philosophical curiosity about human beings, it is more likely that he was a schizophrenic manifestation of Jakub’s sadness and desire to make sense of his misery.

Renck’s deliberate ambiguity surrounding Hanuš’s reality in Spaceman invites audiences to interpret the story through their own perspectives. In a recent interview with Radio Times, Renck acknowledged that he welcomes the diverse interpretations of Hanuš’s character, stating, “I’ve shown this film to friends. Some people think that Hanuš is real. Some people think that Hanuš is a figment of Jakub’s imagination and his inner monologue, you know, so to speak.”

Instead of giving a conclusive answer, Renck continued, “It’s like, yeah, whatever floats your boat, man, there is no truth to these matters. It’s like reading a book, listening to a song, or reading a poem, whatever. It’s like, it’s what your own experiences will guide how you take in the film, basically.”

You can watch Spaceman on Netflix and make your own deductions.