Netflix’s Spaceman: Where Was Adam Sandler’s Space Movie Filmed?

Helmed by Johan Renck, ‘Spaceman’ transports us to the lonely edges of our solar system alongside Jakub Prochazka, an astronaut on a solitary mission to uncover a cosmic phenomenon around Jupiter. After half a year of complete isolation, Jakub begins to long for home and misses his wife. The monotony of his days is brought to a sudden end with the emergence of a mysterious creature from the bowels of his ship. The spider-like being claims to be an explorer just like him, while Jakub wonders if he is losing his mind. The telepathic entity offers assistance in exploring Jakub’s emotions through mindreading, helping him work through his unraveling relationship with Lenka, his pregnant wife.

The mind-bending sci-fi Netflix film is an adaptation of the 2017 novel, ‘Spaceman of Bohemia,’ by Jaroslav Kalfař. Its narrative takes us on an imaginative journey through the mindscape of Jakub as well as the glittering void of space. A few segments in the film even showcase Jakub exploring a surreal world teeming with densely forested landscapes while his memories take us back to Earth. The film showcases reality-bending visuals, juxtaposing darker grounded situations and memories with vibrant fantastical visions, raising questions regarding the real-world sites used in their creation.

Spaceman Filming Locations

‘Spaceman’ was filmed using locations around New York City and the Czech Republic. In pre-production, the film was set to retain the title of its source material, ‘Space of Bohemia,’ but with the beginning of shooting it was altered to ‘Spaceman.’ Principal photography began in New York City on April 19, 2021, and was wrapped on June 30 of the same year in the Czech Republic. Let us embark on an exploratory mission into the filming locations behind the sci-fi movie.

New York City, New York

The majority of ‘Spaceman’ and its surreal scenes of space were created using soundstages in Long Island, New York City. These soundstages provided the production team with the flexibility and control needed to create the intricate visual effects and sci-fi environments that define the film’s aesthetic. Filming in New York City also offers logistical advantages, with easy access to top-tier facilities, post-production services, and a skilled labor force.

To simulate the zero gravity environment at the studio, director Renck tasked their cinematographer, Jakob Ihre, with figuring out camera movements that would simulate the feel of the characters floating in space. Jakob placed powerful cameras on 60-foot cranes that constantly moved along an axis, simulating the feel of weightlessness in scenes. Additionally, actor Adam Sandler was hoisted from wires tied to a canopy, which when combined with visual effects, simulated his zero gravity sequences. Sandler faced a similarly lonely experience to his character while shooting these scenes.

With the crew out of sight, and a tennis ball standing in for the CGI spider, Sandler delivered lines in isolation for the entire duration of the studio shoot. Talking about the challenging circumstances of his co-star, actor Paul Dano, who voices the spider, said, “I came by the set a few times. But Adam — I don’t think it can be undersold that he was hung up by wires, talking to a tennis ball or a stand-in. It takes a really big commitment of the imagination to let yourself go where he went.” Furthermore, the harnesses and wires seemingly hurt the aging actor, and he was coached by the stuntmen in performing movements that would create believability in zero-gravity scenes.

Prague, the Czech Republic

The film crew traveled to the Central European country of the Czech Republic to lens a number of scenes for ‘Spaceman’ around Prague. The narrative and characters of the film are from the Czech Republic, with Jakub portrayed as the country’s first astronaut in the movie. Therefore to authentically depict the memories of his home and wife, the production team utilized sites around the country’s capital city.

All the flashback sequences between Jakub and Lenka (Carey Mulligan) were shot in the Czech Republic. Sandler, who was now away from home, felt further parallels with his character as he missed his family. “Man, I miss home,” said the actor. “When you’re running around, when you’re making movies, you’re getting to be a lucky human being. It’s loads of fun, but to be away…it hurts. It hurts to wake up without your family.”

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