But Armstrong's family disagrees, pointing out that "there are numerous shots of the American flag on the moon" in the film.
President Donald Trump is not interested in seeing Ryan Gosling's next movie, "First Man," because the Neil Armstrong biopic doesn't include a scene of the astronaut planting an American flag on the moon.
"It’s unfortunate. It’s almost like they’re embarrassed at the achievement coming from America, I think it’s a terrible thing," he told The Daily Caller. "When you think of Neil Armstrong and when you think of the landing on the moon, you think about the American flag."
"For that reason, I wouldn’t even want to watch the movie," Trump said.
Gosling teamed up with his "La La Land" director, Damien Chazelle, for the new space drama that hits theaters on Oct. 12. Claire Foy ("The Crown") co-stars as Armstrong's wife, Janet, and Corey Stoll ("House of Cards") plays fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin -- the second man to walk on the moon on July 21, 1969.
Gosling, Chazelle and Armstrong's family have already defended the decision to not include the iconic image of the first man to ever step foot on the moon planting the U.S. flag.
The actor said at a press conference that NASA's successful Apollo 11 mission "transcended countries and borders," adding, "I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it."
He also joked, "I’m Canadian, so [I] might have cognitive bias."
On a more serious note, he said while researching the role he did not get a strong feeling that Armstrong "viewed himself as an American hero."
"From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil," Gosling said.
Armstrong's sons, Rick and Mark, released a statement backing the filmmakers' portrayal of the historical moment after "First Man" premiered at the Venice Film Festival last month. You can read the entire thing below, and pay special attention to the part where they point out "there are numerous shots of the American flag on the moon" in the film.
This is a film that focuses on what you don’t know about Neil Armstrong. It’s a film that focuses on things you didn’t see or may not remember about Neil’s journey to the moon. The filmmakers spent years doing extensive research to get at the man behind the myth, to get at the story behind the story. It’s a movie that gives you unique insight into the Armstrong family and fallen American Heroes like Elliot See and Ed White. It’s a very personal movie about our dad’s journey, seen through his eyes.
This story is human and it is universal. Of course, it celebrates an America achievement. It also celebrates an achievement 'for all mankind,' as it says on the plaque Neil and Buzz left on the moon. It is a story about an ordinary man who makes profound sacrifices and suffers through intense loss in order to achieve the impossible.
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.
In short, we do not feel this movie is anti-American in the slightest. Quite the opposite. But don’t take our word for it. We’d encourage everyone to go see this remarkable film and see for themselves.
Chazelle chimed in with this statement: "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."
Meanwhile, Buzz Aldrin sparked speculation that he's not too happy with the decision to not prominently feature the flag with this tweet.View Photos Getty