Felicity Jones’s pregnancy was written into the fabric of new Netflix movie The Midnight Sky, after director George Clooney intervened.
Jones plays mission specialist Sully in the sci-fi thriller, which follows the crew of a starship returning home from one of Jupiter’s moons — having found it potentially habitable — only to discover that catastrophe has afflicted the Earth.
Clooney told Vanity Fair that the film is “science fiction, which unfortunately is less fictional as we move through the days”.
The 59-year-old actor and director said he received a call from Jones while he was shooting his own scenes — as possibly the last man on Earth — in Iceland.
Jones informed him she was pregnant and Clooney hatched a plan to shoot alternate takes of scenes with a body double, then graft Jones’s head on to that body digitally.
He said: “We did that for about a week, and then she felt she was trying so hard not to look like she was putting on baby weight and stuff.
“And I finally just said: ‘You know what? You’re pregnant. People have sex, and you got pregnant. And we’re going to just build it into it.’”
This change to the script added a fresh tension to the story, as David Oyelowo’s flight commander is the father.
“They’re still very professional,” said Clooney, who added: “But when they get back home, they’ve got some stuff to deal with.”
As well as Jones and Oyelowo, with Clooney back on Earth, the movie’s cast includes Tiffany Boone, Kyle Chandler and Demián Bichir as part of the spaceship crew.
Clooney’s film, penned by The Revenant co-writer Mark L. Smith, is based on Lily Brooks-Dalton’s 2016 novel Good Morning, Midnight.
The director said his handling of the space sequences was inspired by the work of Alfonso Cuarón in Gravity, which featured Clooney alongside Sandra Bullock.
The Midnight Sky will be released on Netflix in December.