Fact Check

Does This Footage Show Stanley Kubrick Directing the Moon Landing?

According to conspiracy theorists, the clip proved that the whole mission was faked.

Published Jul 4, 2023

 (Screenshot via Twitter)
Image Via Screenshot via Twitter
Claim:
Archived footage from Stanley Kubrick showed him shooting scenes for the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, proving that it was faked.
Context

A portion of the in-question video was behind-the-scenes footage from the set of the 2018 movie "First Man" starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong.

On June 27, 2023, a tweet claimed to prove the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing was faked by sharing footage of the alleged simulation and saying Stanley Kubrick directed it. The video showed a film crew standing on a landscape that resembled the moon alongside people wearing astronaut costumes.

The tweet (archive) said: "Archive footage of Stanley Kubrick that he requested to be published after his death and a cover letter in which he says, among other things: 'With the cooperation of the US government & NASA, we faked the moon landings. ALL moon landings were faked and I filmed them all."

A video claims to show people on the moon. The caption to the video says, "BQQQQQM Archive footage of Stanley Kubrick that he requested to be published after his death and a cover letter in which he says, among other things: "With the cooperation of the US government & NASA, we faked the moon landings. ALL moon landings were faked and I filmed them all." (@JackStr42679640/X)

The footage did not depict a shoot by Kubrick, and the scene recorded was not evidence of a film crew and actors faking the moon landing. A portion of the video was behind-the-scenes footage from the set of the 2018 movie "First Man," which was a fictionalized account of the moon landing starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong.

The first shot in the Twitter video shows crew members roaming the Apollo 11 spacecraft. We found that exact clip at the 3:12 mark in the YouTube video below titled, "FIRST MAN | Behind the Frame IMAX Featurette." The second shot in the Twitter video (it shows three men standing against a bright light, two of whom are wearing space suits) is the same as the scene at 3:44 in the YouTube video below. The shot of an "astronaut" climbing the moon shuttle's stairs at the 10-second mark in the Twitter video is also the same as the shot at 2:27 in the YouTube video.

The second half of the Twitter video shows people in astronaut suits bouncing, jumping, and tripping on the moon's surface. The clip of an astronaut tripping and bouncing back up was taken from the 1989 documentary, "For All Mankind," which used authentic NASA footage of astronauts on various space missions, ranging from Apollo 7 to Apollo 17. (The tripping clip is at the 1:00:20 mark.) It was not known from where the clip in the Twitter video of someone bouncing around a pole (00:40 mark) originated.  

The June 2023 tweet was not the first instance of someone claiming that Kubrick shot and directed footage of the 1969 moon landing, proving it was faked. In 2015, one particular rumor centered on an alleged interview with the famed director in which he supposedly said he helped NASA shoot a moon-landing video. The interview was fake (it did not actually show Kubrick) and originated with a film from T. Patrick Murray, titled "Shooting Stanley Kubrick."

A spokesperson for Kubrick's widow confirmed that interview was falsified. "Stanley Kubrick has never been interviewed by T. Patrick Murray the whole story is made up, fraudulent and untrue," the spokesperson said.

Given that a portion of the in-question footage was pulled from a fictionalized Hollywood film about the moon landing, the real clips of astronauts were unrelated to that movie and misrepresented, and Kubrick's family spoke against his alleged involvement in such a conspiracy theory in the past, we rated this claim "False."

Sources

Evon, Dan. "Did Stanley Kubrick Fake the Moon Landings?" Snopes, 11 Dec. 2015, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/false-stanley-kubrick-faked-moon-landings/. Accessed 29 June 2023.

"FIRST MAN | Behind the Frame IMAX Featurette." www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFREJIsDHZ0. Accessed 29 June 2023.

"For All Mankind - 1989 – English Language (1080p)." www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3opxf1X3d4. Accessed 29 June 2023.
 

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.