Fly Me to the Moon: Director Greg Berlanti Calls Space Race Film a "Lifetime Experience"

Fly Me to the Moon hits theaters on July 12th.

Greg Berlanti has embarked on a lunar expedition. The mastermind behind The CW's Arrowverse signed on to direct Fly Me to the Moon in 2022, replacing original director Jason Bateman. This film, set on the backdrop of the Space Race, had been in development for a couple of years and eventually garnered momentum when it was acquired by Apple Studios. Despite working in Hollywood for nearly three decades, Fly Me to the Moon would represent just his fourth directorial endeavor, as Berlanti had spent the majority of his career as a producer. Berlanti's lack of directing credits comes by choice, as he finds himself drawn mostly to producing, but he saw Fly Me to the Moon's story as too strong to not embrace it to the fullest.

(Photo: Sony Pictures, Apple Studios)

"When I do do those things, it's [an] every day [commitment]. It's the job for two years because of the vastness of the job that you're taking on. It really has to be the right story for me," Berlanti told ComicBook. "I'm not a director by nature. I don't wake up every day being like, 'What am I going to direct today? I am a storyteller, so I'm drawn to stories. I read this script by Rose Gilroy. It reminded me of when I was a kid, going to the movies in the '80s every weekend when we'd just take a trip and see the kinds of movies that were all playing against each other. It was unbelievable what was out and they were all original."

Part of what appealed to Berlanti in regards to the story was just that, its originality. Fly Me to the Moon takes the real-life events of the 1960s Space Race but adds a conspiratorial twist. As Channing Tatum's Cole Davis is preparing NASA to put astronauts on the moon, Scarlett Johansson's Kelly Jones is at work on Project Artemis, a top-secret government plan to film a fake moon landing as backup footage in case the legitimate mission fails.

"The fact that that it was an original story for the audience," Berlanti shared praise for the script. "I feel like audiences are so desperate for more and more of that right now."

Beyond the sentimentality, Berlanti was itching to collaborate with the talent already on board. Johansson, who was originally attached just to produce, echoed the same desire as Berlanti to be involved as much as possible.

"Just the fact that Scarlett was going to throw her weight as a producer and then also as an actor behind an original story of this size and this magnitude, I thought that's like a [once in a] lifetime experience that I can't pass up," Berlanti added. "It was who was involved. Someone like Scarlett, knowing the kind of caliber of actor I'd get to work with."

Fly Me to the Moon hits theaters on July 12th.