Neil Armstrong Biopic Won't See Astronaut Plant American Flag on the Moon

It was 1969 when Neil Armstrong and the Apollo 11 crew made history by becoming the first people to ever land on the moon. While the mission in itself was an iconic moment for mankind, the space adventure was also a great accomplishment for the United States after Armstrong so famously planted an American flag on the moon and left it there.

When moviegoers finally get to see the upcoming Armstrong biopic, First Man, starring Canadian actor Ryan Gosling, they won't see Armstrong leaving a flag behind during his mission.

The film, directed by La La Land director Damien Chazelle, premiered with rave reviews during the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday. It's already racked up an impressive 88 percent on Rotton Tomatoes. Nonetheless, some viewers were taken aback by the decision to leave Armstrong's patriotic gesture completely out of the film.

Gosling was asked about the missing American flag scene and if it was intentionally left out of the movie, to which the 37-year-old responded that Armstrong's accomplishment "transcended countries and borders," British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

"I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that's how we chose to view it. I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible," Gosling said. "He was reminding everyone that he was just the tip of the iceberg - and that's not just to be humble, that's also true."

Gosling said based on time spent with Armstrong's family and friends in preparation of the role, he didn't "think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero." The Oscar winner noted it was important for "the film to reflect Neil" for more than just his incredible mission.

He added: "I'm Canadian, so might have cognitive bias."

Planting the flag on the moon was a rather controversial moment even for Armstrong. There was a ton of debate regarding whether or not it should have been an American or United Nations flag left on the moon long before Armstrong, Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. and Michael Collins made the launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida on July 16, 1969.

"In the end, it was decided by Congress that this was a United States project. We were not going to make any territorial claim, but we were to let people know that we were here and put up a US flag," Armstrong once said about the planting of the flag. "My job was to get the flag there. I was less concerned about whether that was the right artifact to place. I let other, wiser minds than mine make those kinds of decisions."

First Man premieres in theaters on October 12.

Neil Armstrong Biopic Won't See Astronaut Plant American Flag on the Moon | Culture