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‘Lucy in the Sky’: Noah Hawley’s Space Drama Could Land at Fall Festivals

The "Fargo" and "Legion" showrunner spoke to IndieWire about Fox Searchlight's plans to release his feature directorial debut.

Lucy in the Sky Natalie Portman eyes

Natalie Portman in “Lucy in the Sky”

Fox Searchlight

For any fan of ambitious storytelling, space dramas, or, well, Natalie Portman, “Lucy in the Sky” is high on the list of the year’s most-anticipated films. The good news about Noah Hawley’s space drama is it’s just about ready to go. The better news is that Fox Searchlight is targeting the fall festival circuit for the film’s debut.

“The movie is locked,” Noah Hawley told IndieWire in a recent interview. “I’m mixing right now, and I’m doing the final finishing touches. The studio has their strategy that they’re building toward a release, and it’s Searchlight, so unlike Disney, which dates their movies three years in advance, they’re quite used to going out [to festivals]. And all those festivals that are in anticipation of fall are starting to look at movies now, so we’re going through that process to figure out the best strategy to release it.”

Fox Searchlight released the first trailer for the film last month, though no release date was set at the time. A firm release date has not yet been provided — Fox Searchlight declined to comment for this story — but with fall festivals being targeted, an Oscar season premiere is likely for the star-studded (in more ways than one) feature.

Hawley also clarified unsubstantiated rumors regarding reshoots for the film, countering any speculation that “Lucy in the Sky” was in trouble.

“We did one day of additional photography to put a button on the movie, basically,” Hawley said. “It was just an ending sequence, which I think is very common — less common on movies of a certain budget, but endings are in some ways the most important part. In a movie like this, in the journey we were on, it needed an extra piece.”

Hawley isn’t averse to making significant alterations in post-production, or snagging extra material when needed. While shooting the Season 2 finale of “Legion,” FX ordered an additional episode at the showrunner’s behest after Hawley felt the season was missing a “critical piece” — a rare occurrence in the TV world. The season was expanded from 10 episodes to 11 in order to compensate the expanded story.

“Lucy in the Sky,” formerly titled “Pale Blue Dot,” is loosely based on the true story of an astronaut who returns home from a long mission and finds herself losing her connection to her family. Starring Portman as the eponymous space traveler, Jon Hamm as her co-pilot, Zazie Beetz as a fellow astronaut, and “Legion” star Dan Stevens as Portman’s earthbound husband, the film’s first trailer featured expanding and retracting aspect ratios, a truck bed separating itself into sections, and people making love in the vast darkness of outer space.

“I’m really thrilled with it,” Hawley said. “It was a great experience to make it with Natalie, Jon Hamm, and Dan Stevens. I’m excited to share it with everybody.”

Watch the trailer below. “Lucy in the Sky,” written by Brian C. Brown and Elliott DiGuiseppi, is expected later this year from Fox Searchlight. “Legion” Season 3 premieres Monday, June 24 at 10 p.m. on FX.

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