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Concept Art Friday — Contact

July 23, 2021

There’s surprisingly little out there on the web about the development of Robert Zemeckis’ CONTACT. But it’s Friday, I’m a big CARL SAGAN fan, & I recently watched the film — so let’s TAKE A RIDE!

There may not be much because the film was initially developed by GEORGE MILLER, the director of such incredible films as Mad MaxMad Max: Fury Road, and Babe. In fact, it was Carl Sagan himself (along with his wife/partner Ann Druyan) who reached out to Miller specifically. Unfortunately, there was a falling out between the studio and Miller, thus Zemeckis stepped in to replace him. All that remains of the Sagan-Miller venture seems to comes from PETER POUND, an Australian artist who has worked on many of Miller’s films. Here we have a few sketches of Ellie. Note the number of corporate sponsors adorning her spacesuit…

Next, we have the dodecahedron-shaped vehicle itself. It appears Miller intended to retain the five crew members found in Sagan’s novel (as opposed to Ellie traveling by herself.) Also: look at the size of the thing! It’s huge! And I love the idea of each ship fitting a specific shape/wormhole! Very cool!

Here we have a cryogenically frozen Hadden (and his partner!) being launched in a solar yacht. In the final movie, he died of cancer. But here it appears he’s hoping to be saved by future generations. It’s been twenty years since I read the novel, so I’m having a hard time remembering if this also adheres more to the source material.

All of this fascinates me. But like I said, details are hard to come by. Hopefully, Miller’s script will someday make its way onto the internet, but if you hear or know of anything, please share!! Thanks!

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