Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson Team Up in Dramedy ‘Fly Me To The Moon’

Channing Tatum in Fly Me to the Moon / Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

“This movie is so much fun and, in my opinion, smart and big,” says Channing Tatum of his new comedy drama Fly Me to the Moon. “And mounting a movie of this size is kind of like shooting a rocket to the moon.”

Fly Me to the Moon is a stylish, multi-faceted comedy drama with a hint of romance set against the high-stakes backdrop of NASA’s historic Apollo 11 moon landing. Scarlett Johansson, who also produces the film, plays marketing maven Kelly Jones, tasked by the White House to stage a fake moon landing as back-up – and this mission does not sit well with launch director Cole Davis, played by Tatum.

Channing Tatum in Fly Me to the Moon / Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

Of the story, Tatum says, “It was unlike any script that I’ve been reading lately. It’s a movie you don’t see get made anymore. It has an older tone, but it does feel modern. When I met with Greg Berlanti, the director, I thought we were going to do this very, like, pastiche sort of tone, like His Girl Friday or something like that, but he was like, ‘No, definitely I want it to be you guys and really play with it.’ He really wanted us to improv a little as well, and that kind of made it a little bit more modern and not so rigid. It just has a really strange tone that I really loved, and set in a big, epic setting of our history in time in America.”

Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum in Fly Me to the Moon / Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

One of the film’s strengths is the chemistry between its two leads, Johansson and Tatum. “Cole was a very good pilot and he always wanted to go to the moon, that’s why he came to NASA,” says Tatum about his character. “Turns out he had a medical condition that wouldn’t let him go, and now he’s going to take it upon himself to basically get all his friends that are pilots themselves [to the moon]. They’re very close and he’s going to be responsible for coaching them to get to the moon. At the time, it was really, really bad. They were not winning this race, and he was feeling the pressure. And then a saving grace angel comes in and gets him the money that he actually needs to be able to do this but kind of against his will.”

Speaking more about Johansson’s marketing maven character Kelly, Tatum says, “She definitely comes in and mixes things up in a man’s world. She just comes in like a bowling ball and just starts wrecking things –”

“ – or fixing things, I would say,” Johansson playfully interjects.

“ – wrecking them and then putting them back together in a better way, is what I was going for,” admits Tatum with a laugh.

Channing Tatum in Fly Me to the Moon / Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

Besides Johansson and Tatum, the film also stars Woody Harrelson, Ray Romano and Jim Rash, who play characters that are just as memorable. Johansson, who, as one of the producers had a hand in choosing the director, gives credit to Greg Berlanti, whose previous credits include Love, Simon and DC’s Arrowverse. “Greg is such a champion for all of the characters,” says Johansson. “He really loves actors and performance so much, and celebrates comedy and nuance.”

Like Tatum, Johansson was also very impressed with the film’s story. “It’s so unusual these days that a film is offered in theaters that has an original story, and has this kind of scope,” she says. “It’s a big movie but the story itself is very intimate, it’s like a character piece that’s in this massive, huge set piece. To me, getting to experience that in the fullest, watching it on the screen with an audience and get carried away, there’s a certain kind of nostalgia, a kind of magic to that tone of film that is not common now. So being able to experience that in theaters is like a wonderful night out.”

Will they make it or fake it? Find out when Fly Me to the Moon, also starring Woody Harrelson, Ray Romano and Jim Rash, opens in cinemas July 10. Fly Me to the Moon is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International, #FlyMeToTheMoon @columbiapicph

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