Smith to Act as Guide in 10-Part Event Series From Acclaimed Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky and Award-Winning Producer Jane Root
The Nutopia and Protozoa Pictures Series Redefines Natural History and Science Genres With an Epic Journey Filmed Across 45 Countries, Six Continents and Outer Space
Elite Group of Astronauts Recruited to Tell the Extraordinary Story of Earth Through the Unique Perspective of Experiencing the Planet from Outer Space: Chris Hadfield, Jeff Hoffman, Mae Jemison, Jerry Linenger, Mike Massimino, Leland Melvin, Nicole Stott and Peggy Whitson
National Geographic announces Academy Award®-nominated actor Will Smith (“Ali,” “Pursuit of Happyness,” “Men in Black I, II, III”) as host of its new 10-episode global event series ONE STRANGE ROCK (#OSR), from Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (“mother!,” “Black Swan,” “Requiem for a Dream”) and award-winning producer Jane Root (“America The Story of Us,” “The 80s: The Decade That Made Us”). Smith made the official announcement on his Facebook page with a short teaser video. With Smith guiding viewers on an epic journey across the globe and into outer space, ONE STRANGE ROCK promises to be a thrilling, mind-bending trip within and beyond planet Earth, affirming that there really is no place like home. The Nutopia and Protozoa Pictures series is slated to premiere globally on National Geographic in March 2018 in 172 countries and 43 languages.
See YouTube teaser trailer.
ONE STRANGE ROCK is the extraordinary story of Earth — our curiously calibrated, interconnected planet — and why it is special and uniquely brimming with life among a largely unknown but harsh cosmic arena. Anchoring the series is an elite group of astronauts who see Earth’s bigger picture; they provide unique perspectives and relate personal memoirs of our planet seen from space.
With ONE STRANGE ROCK, Aronofsky is excited to collaborate with one of his favorite talents. “I am thrilled to have Will Smith on board to guide our series. His charisma, intelligence and humanity will add greatly to the project, helping welcome viewers into this unique narrative about the mind-blowing wonders that make life on Earth possible,” he said.
“By pairing the incomparable, out-of-this-world, global appeal of Will Smith with our rock-star astronauts, who literally went out of this world, we tell the incredible story of the complexities of our planet,” says Tim Pastore, president, original programming and production, National Geographic. “With the distinctive storytelling from Aronofsky and Root, ONE STRANGE ROCK will be an incredible visual treat, taking audiences from the microscopic to the cosmic, leaving viewers to see and appreciate our planet as never before.”
“Our goal here is to reimagine factual programming and give viewers a cinematic spectacle like they have never seen before,” says Jane Root. “We’ll unpack the science behind our marvelous planet, and provide stories that are entertaining and provocative; and who better to do that with than the visionary Darren Aronofsky and his partners at Protozoa Pictures, the incomparable Will Smith and our team of legendary astronauts?”
Adding to Smith’s appeal, ONE STRANGE ROCK’s astronauts bring singular insight and emotion to the narrative, weaving dramatic, inspiring sequences and science to reveal the magical twists of fate that allowed life on Earth to emerge, thrive and survive. Their personal experiences are portals to vital themes explored throughout the series, including the genesis of life, death, breath, cosmic violence, human intelligence, sacrifice, terraforming and more.
- Chris Hadfield – The first Canadian astronaut to command the International Space Station and the only Canadian to have ever boarded the Russian Space Station Mir while in orbit, Hadfield has left Earth three times and spent a total of 166 days in space.
- Jeff Hoffman – Logging 21.5 million miles in space, Brooklyn-born astronomer and former astronaut Hoffman has flown to space five times, one of which was the first mission to reach the Hubble Space Telescope.
- Mae Jemison – Former astronaut Jemison just celebrated the 25th anniversary of her mission to space aboard the Endeavour, making history as the first African-American woman to go to space.
- Jerry Linenger – Former astronaut Linenger, who survived the most severe fire ever aboard an orbiting spacecraft, spent nearly five months on the Russian space station Mir and logged 50 million miles on that mission alone.
- Mike Massimino – The first person to send a tweet from space, former astronaut Massimino flew on two space shuttle missions to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
- Leland Melvin – The only person drafted into the NFL to have flown to space, former astronaut Melvin blasted off to space twice and logged more than 565 hours there.
- Nicole Stott – Known as the “Artistic Astronaut,” former astronaut and aquanaut Stott, who became the first astronaut to paint in space, logged 104 days in space and nearly three weeks on Aquarius undersea habitat.
- Peggy Whitson – Astronaut Whitson just completed her third journey to space, setting a NASA record for the most days in space — 665.
About Will Smith
As an actor, producer and musician, two-time Academy Award® nominee and Grammy Award winner Will Smith has enjoyed a diverse career encompassing films, television and multiplatinum records.
Smith’s vast filmography includes transformative portrayals of true-life icons in “Ali,” “The Pursuit of Happyness” and “Concussion.” He has headlined an extraordinary list of films, including “Hitch,” “I am Legend,” “I, Robot,” “Independence Day,” “Men in Black I, II, and III” and “Suicide Squad” and most recently appeared in “Collateral Beauty.” His next project is the upcoming fantasy cop drama film “Bright,” which is scheduled for release on Dec. 22 exclusively for Netflix. Smith is currently in production on Disney’s “Aladdin,” in the role of the Genie, to be released May 24, 2019, and will also star in Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man.”
He began his career as a musician selling millions of records worldwide before crossing over into television with the beloved “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” In 1998 he and partner James Lassiter founded production and management company Overbrook Entertainment, which has produced numerous top film and television projects.
In addition to his artistic achievements, he founded the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation with his wife, Jada. WJSFF is a nonprofit, philanthropic organization committed to improving lives and investing in organizations and initiatives that empower traditionally overlooked communities.
Rounding out the ONE STRANGE ROCK production team, Arif Nummohamed (Earth’s Natural Wonders,” “How to Build a Planet”) is co-executive producer and showrunner.
National Geographic Presents:
A Nutopia and Protozoa Pictures and Overbrook Entertainment Production
“ONE STRANGE ROCK”
Hosted by Will Smith
Music by Daniel Pemberton
Co-Executive Producer Arif Nurmohamed, Executive Producers Darren Aronofsky, Jane Root, Ari Handel, Peter Lovering, Scott Franklin, Tim Pastore, and Matt Renner
About National Geographic Partners LLC
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
About Protozoa Pictures
Protozoa Pictures is Academy Award®-nominated director Darren Aronofsky's production company. Founded in 1996, based in Brooklyn and headed by Aronofsky, partners are Ari Handel, and Scott Franklin. The company has first look deals with Paramount Pictures to develop films and Fox Networks Group to develop television. Credits include the critically-acclaimed films: mother!, Jackie, Noah, Black Swan, The Wrestler, The Fountain, Requiem for a Dream, and π. One Strange Rock is Protozoa’s first television project to be aired. The next feature film to be released is White Boy Rick, directed by Yann Demange, starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Eddie Marsan, Bruce Dern, Brian Tyree Henry and Jonathan Majors. It will be released by Sony Pictures.
Nutopia is a leading television production company creating innovative, award-winning, premium content on a global scale. Founded in 2008 by Jane Root, former President of Discovery Channel US, Controller of BBC2 and co-founder of Wall to Wall TV, Nutopia created the ‘mega doc’ model, blending huge scale history series and high-profile talent from the worlds of documentary and drama. In 2017, the company entered into a creative partnership with Academy Award®-nominated feature film producers Roast Beef. Nutopia has become synonymous with creating high quality content that stands out from the crowd, working with some of the most prominent global broadcasters including Netflix, CNN, National Geographic, the BBC, PBS and A+E Networks. Critical successes include the Emmy Award-winning series HOW WE GOT TO NOW; two seasons of ratings smash FINDING JESUS. FAITH. FACT. FORGERY; Emmy Award-winning series AMERICA THE STORY OF US and MANKIND THE STORY OF ALL OF US. Upcoming projects include CIVILISATIONS for the BBC and PBS, and BABIES for Netflix.