There was huge news from the scientific community today with the first-ever direct look at a black hole thanks to the Event Horizon Telescope. The array of eight radio telescopes around the world working together created the eye of Sauron-like image, giving humans their very first look at one of the most fascinating aspects of our universe. Understandably, social media lit up with reactions to the photo -- but Event Horizon star Sam Neill may have had the best one of all.
Neill, whose Twitter feed is usually populated by photos, videos, and tweets about the various animals on his farm, today shared a link to the BBC Breaking News tweet about the photo's unveiling with a decidedly (and jokingly) unimpressed response.
"Been there, done it. #EventHorizon #BlackHole," he wrote.
Neill's tweet is referencing the 1997 horror film Event Horizon. Set in 2047, Event Horizon followed a crew of astronauts sent on a rescue mission after a missing spaceship -- named the Event Horizon -- spontaneously vanishes in orbit around Neptune. While searching for signs of life, the rescue crew discovers that the ship was a test bed for an experimental gravity drive engine that had somehow torn open a rift in the space time continuum, leaving the universe completely with a hostile entity possessing the ship instead.
It's an interesting premise -- space, black holes, and terrifying unknown entities generally seem like fodder for a good story -- but the film was both a critical and commercial failure, failing to make back even half of its $60 million budget at the box office. However, the film has done well on home release, gaining a cult following of sorts with the film frequently being referenced and parodied in popular culture.
As for Neill, his tweet is particularly entertaining given his role in Event Horizon. In the film, Neill played Dr. William "Billy" Weir, the designer of the Event Horizon who ends up being possessed by the hostile entity so when he says, "been there, done it", he's not kidding -- at least in terms of his character's experience. And Neill's followers had a bit of fun with the tweet as well, replying to the actor that he wasn't alone in thinking of the horror film when news of the black hole image broke.
"Your role is one of the first things I thought of," one fan replied.
What do you think? Did you think of Event Horizon when the black hole photo was released today? Let us know in the comments below.
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