Now that "Gravity" is pulling audiences into theaters, moviegoers are getting their first look at the dramatic thriller about stranded spacewalkers.
The Warner Bros. Pictures' feature, which opened Friday (Oct. 4) nationwide, is a visual spectacle, in no small part due to director Alfonso Cuarón's desire to pay tribute to space exploration, a subject that has fascinated him since childhood.
"For me that whole idea of doing the setting in space and honor what is in there, not trying to invent, that was the thing," he told collectSPACE.com. "Why invent when you have the most amazing technology up there?" [See Photos from the new film "Gravity"]
"Gravity" showcases the space shuttle, the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station, and Russia's Soyuz spacecraft in stunning precision, including details that only those who share Cuarón's passion for spaceflight may recognize as being true to life. The film is "a piece of fiction," as the director puts it, and does take liberties with how the spacecraft operate in orbit, but Cuarón did not set out to make a documentary.
He did however, include some obvious and not so obvious nods to real space history — and even past space films. These may not be "easter eggs" in the traditional sense of hidden in-jokes or references, some of them may not have even been intentional, but here are five details that space enthusiasts might only notice in "Gravity." [Easter Egg: Find the Hidden Link to a “Gravity” Surprise]
Given what is about to happen in "Gravity," it could be the film's take on Tom Hanks' famous "Apollo 13" movie line, "Houston, we have a problem." (In reality, the real James Lovell radioed "Houston, we've had a problem," a nitpick, but one that space enthusiasts are quick to point out.) In "Gravity" however, the "bad feeling" is only a segue into a funny story.
But who is that answering Kowalski's call from Mission Control? Though never seen on screen, the voice belongs to none other than Ed Harris, who portrayed flight director Gene Kranz in the 1995 Ron Howard film (and while we're playing "Five Degrees of [Spaceflight] Separation," Harris also appeared in "The Right Stuff" as John Glenn).
You hear that Dr. Ryan Stone? Failure is not an option!