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Films >> Apollo 13 (1995) >>

Ron Howard’s blockbuster hit is based on Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger’s national bestselling book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13. This novel details America’s fifth mission to the moon, providing in-depth character development of each of the three astronauts but most prominently the protagonist, Captain James Lovell. When Lovell was first approached about the film, he was enthusiastic and thought that Kevin Costner would be a good fit to play him, given the physical resemblance. Instead, Tom Hanks was given the role. In order to prepare, Hanks visited the Lovells at their home in Texas and even went for a ride in Lovell’s private airplane. William Broyles Jr. and Al Reinert, authors of the screenplay, adapted and dramatized what they found in Lost Moon. Howard also “went to great lengths to create a technically accurate movie, employing NASA's technical assistance in astronaut and flight controller training for his cast, and even obtaining permission to film scenes aboard a reduced gravity aircraft for realistic depiction of the "weightlessness" experienced by the astronauts in space.” So, while the screenplay and plot were slightly dramatized, the story is incredibly realistic from a technical standpoint. Dave Scott, “the film’s technical advisor, who as commander of Apollo 15 was the seventh man to walk on the moon,” had a telling statement regarding Apollo 13’s attention to detail: “There must be more than 400 controls, switches, circuit breakers, buttons and lights in the spacecraft. . . . I spent about three months looking at them all and found just one little, insignificant thing wrong: the color of a small scribe on a window.”