The pregnancy of Felicity Jones led to some changes in the storyline for her new Netflix movie, “The Midnight Sky”, written, produced and directed by George Clooney.
In an interview with Empire (via DigitalSpy), Clooney said that it was early on in production that the actress called him to deliver the news. His reaction, however, wasn’t one of congratulations, given the film’s shooting schedule.
“About three or four weeks into shooting, I got a call from Felicity,” he said. “We started shooting the Iceland parts in October of last year, and we were going to shoot the space parts in January. She calls me and goes, ‘Uhhh, I’m pregnant.’ I was like, ‘Oh, s**t! You’re kidding!'”
In “The Midnight Sky”, based on the novel Good Morning, Midnight, Clooney stars as a scientist stationed alone in the Arctic. He finds himself racing against time to prevent a crew of astronauts — one of which is Jones’ character, Sully — from returning home after what the synopsis describes as “a mysterious global catastrophe.”
Given that Sully doesn’t become pregnant in the script, a variety of options were considered.
“The first thing we tried to do was shoot her and just do head replacement. Meaning we shoot each scene with her three times: once with her, once with a body double, and once with nothing in it,” Clooney explained.
“But we started looking at it and thought, ‘She’s not comfortable in this sort of thing.’ And there’s already enough space stuff, on wires and things. None of us felt comfortable putting her in any kind of position of stress.” he continued.
As a result, Clooney and his team decided instead to write her pregnancy into the script by making Sully and expectant mom, a decision Clooney thinks actually improved the plot.
“Then it was really simply sitting down and going, ‘Okay, so, you know, people have sex! They’re going to be in space for a long time and she’s pregnant’. I think it ends up adding to the story, in a way,” he said. “It makes it kind of beautiful by the end.”
In addition to Clooney and Jones, “The Midnight Sky” also stars David Oyelowo, Kyle Chandler, Tiffany Boone and Sophie Rundle.
“The Midnight Sky” is scheduled to debut in December 2020.