AceShowbiz - Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin slammed Neil Armstrong biopic "First Man" after he learned that the upcoming film would not feature a scene of Armstrong planting the American flag on the surface of the moon. Taking to his Twitter account, the 88-year-old former astronaut expressed his disappointment on Sunday, September 2.
Aldrin, who was the second man to step a foot on the moon, posted two historical pictures of U.S. flag being planted on the moon's surface during a mission in 1969. "#proudtobeanAmerican #freedom #honor #onenation #Apollo11 #July1969 #roadtoApollo50," he captioned the post.
Many Twitter users agreed with Aldrin as they criticized director Damien Chazelle's decision to not show the flag planting scene. "Omitting the planting of the flag on the moon is omitting a piece of history. The film is dishonest," one user wrote in the reply section. "Thank You Mr. Aldrin for your great service and for post this picture, I got all choked up. I will not be seeing the movie out of respect for you and the other astronauts," a follower said.
"I stand with Buzz Aldrin on this. I saw the Saturn 5 lift up and disappear into the sky. I was stationed in McCoy AFB. Saw the rocket from my base. It was a proud moment. I am upset with this movie. Inaccurate with history," another one added.
Armstrong's sons Rick and Mark, however, defended the Academy Award-winning director as they said in a statement, "Although Neil didn't see himself that way, he was an American hero. He was also an engineer and a pilot, a father and a friend, a man who suffered privately through great tragedies with incredible grace."
"This is why, though there are numerous shots of the American flag on the moon, the filmmakers chose to focus on Neil looking back at the earth, his walk to Little West Crater, his unique, personal experience of completing this journey, a journey that has seen so many incredible highs and devastating lows," they explained.
Ryan Gosling, who portrays Armstrong in the biopic, also came to Chazelle's defense following his controversial decision. "I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that's how we chose to view it," the 37-year-old actor told reporters at Venice Film Festival. "I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible," he added.
Chazelle previously explained that his decision was not political as the flag planting moment was not the thing he chose to focus on in the film. "The flag being physically planted into the surface is one of several moments of the Apollo 11 lunar EVA that I chose not to focus upon," the "Whiplash" director told Associated Press.
"To address the question of whether this was a political statement, the answer is no. My goal with this movie was to share with audiences the unseen, unknown aspects of America's mission to the moon, particularly Neil Armstrong's personal saga and what he may have been thinking and feeling during those famous few hours," he continued.
Set in 1961, "First Man" follows the journey of Armstrong who became the first man to land on the moon. The film is set to hit U.S. theaters on October 12.