'First Man' to Make U.S. Debut in Washington, D.C., Amid Flag Controversy

Damien Chazelle's Neil Armstrong biopic, premiering tonight at the National Air and Space Museum, sparked outrage for omitting the iconic shot of Buzz Aldrin planting the U.S. flag on the moon.
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Damien Chazelle's First Man, which sparked controversy for omitting the iconic shot of Buzz Aldrin planting the U.S. flag on the moon, is scheduled to be feted with a Washington, D.C., premiere Oct. 4.

Though President Trump has said he won't see the film, Universal has an opportunity, depending on who does attend, to counter the narrative that First Man is for blue-state voters only. The film already can count one political heavyweight as a fan: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who caused a stir when he hit the Toronto premiere afterparty.

But the presence of Trudeau, who has sparred with Trump over everything from immigration to tariffs, is in no way part of a globalist conspiracy. Trudeau is a friend of fellow Canadian Ryan Gosling, who plays Neil Armstrong. The PM is also a devotee of the film's Claire Foy. Trudeau told the actress that he met Queen Elizabeth when he was 7 years old, and Foy's performance in The Crown was spot-on.

This story first appeared in the Oct. 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.