Press Release

The International Space Station Discovers ‘Planet 51’- Upcoming Animated Comedy Hitches Ride on Space Shuttle

By SpaceRef Editor
October 20, 2009
Filed under , ,
The International Space Station Discovers ‘Planet 51’- Upcoming Animated Comedy Hitches Ride on Space Shuttle

To celebrate the Solar System Premiere of Columbia Pictures’ new animated comedy Planet 51, which will be released in theaters on Earth November 20, 2009, the film is currently orbiting the planet on the International Space Station!

The film was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on August 28, 2009, and was transferred to the space station by the astronauts a few days later. The film is now cruising high above Earth at 17,500 miles per hour and orbiting the planet every 90 minutes, which is the exact running time of the movie, so it will make a full Earth orbit as the movie premieres on the ground.
In a joint statement, producers Guy Collins and Ignacio Perez said that, “Planet 51 is a fun film for all the family and one of its strong messages, particularly for children, is to not be afraid of the unknown. That is what NASA has been showing the world for 50 years and I hope that our film will encourage children to increase their understanding of the Universe and NASA’s work.”

Joshua Ravetch, a Senior Vice President at HandMade Films who arranged for the movie to get to the space station said, “What’s really amazing about this is that the movie will open day and date domestically, internationally and now, even a copy of the film will be available ‘orbitally’ circling the Earth for the astronauts to view at their leisure.”

In a photo accompanying the announcement, a disc of the film can be seen floating weightlessly in space, observing Earth as it floats by a Space Station window. The photo mimics a shot from the film, in which Lem, an alien from Planet 51, observes his home planet from the window of a spaceship for the first time.

About the film:

Planet 51 is a galactic sized animated alien adventure comedy revolving around American astronaut Captain Charles “Chuck” Baker, who lands on Planet 51 thinking he’s the first person to step foot on it. To his surprise, he finds that this planet is inhabited by little green people who are happily living in a white picket fence world reminiscent of a cheerfully innocent 1950s America, and whose only fear is that it will be overrun by alien invaders…like Chuck! With the help of his robot companion “Rover” and his new friend Lem, Chuck must navigate his way through the dazzling, but bewildering, landscape of Planet 51 in order to escape becoming a permanent part of the Planet 51 Alien Invaders Space Museum. The film is directed by Jorge Blanco, written by Joe Stillman, and produced by Guy Collins and Ignacio Perez Dolset.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in more than 130 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at


HandMade is a UK public company quoted on the English Stock Exchange with offices in London and Los Angeles. HandMade’s group activities include film production, sales and financing, and the license and exploitation of existing HandMade assets which includes ownership of a library of over 100 films. HandMade Films International is the sales & marketing arm of the Group and is a wholly owned subsidiary.

Current films on the HandMade slate include animated CG feature Planet 51, which features the voices of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Jessica Biel and Seann William Scott. The film is released across the US on Thanksgiving weekend in November on 3,500 screens and will roll out from day & date across the rest of the world. Cracks starring Eva Green, Juno Temple and Imogen Poots. Executive Producer Ridley Scott’s daughter Jordan directs the film. Other titles include 50 Dead Men Walking starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Jim Sturgess, and 2010’s remake productions of The Long Good Friday and Mona Lisa.
HandMade also owns and exploits the rights to Eloise, one of the best known and much-loved fictional characters in the United States. A live action feature film to be directed by Charles Shyer and featuring the mischievous character, Eloise In Paris, will shoot in Early 2010 starring Uma Thurman.


Ilion Animation Studios was founded in 2002 to create state-of-the-art computer animated movies for worldwide theatrical release using its own purpose-built cutting-edge technology. Ilion Animation Studios and companies Zed and Pyro Studios, were founded and are run by Ignacio Perez Dolset (CEO of Ilion and Pyro) and Javier Perez Dolset (CEO of Zed). Zed develops and markets entertainment and community products and services for mobile and the Internet. The company is the leading mobile value-added services (MVAS) player in the world in terms of revenue and geographical footprint, operating in 53 countries across 5 continents. Pyro Studios, creator of the international best-seller video game saga Commandos is dedicated to latest generation video game development for the international market.

SpaceRef staff editor.