No diapers in film inspired by NASA astronaut who wore them on wild chase

Lucy in the Sky won't have diapers, and some people are pissed.

Erin Carson Former Senior Writer
Erin Carson covered internet culture, online dating and the weird ways tech and science are changing your life.
Expertise Erin has been a tech reporter for almost 10 years. Her reporting has taken her from the Johnson Space Center to San Diego Comic-Con's famous Hall H. Credentials
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Erin Carson
2 min read

Natalie Portman, not wearing a diaper. 

Video screenshot Erin Carson/CNET

When it comes to movies about astronauts, we generally expect tales of adventure and bravery, images of rockets and spacesuits. And in the case of the upcoming movie Lucy In the Sky starring Natalie Portman and Jon Hamm -- diapers. 

Toronto International Film Festival goers are learning, though, that there's a nary a diaper to be found in the story, which is loosely based on that of astronaut Lisa Nowak.

If that sounds like an odd expectation, here's the backstory: In 2007, Nowak drove 900 miles from Houston to Orlando, Florida, to confront a woman she thought was (as The New York Times put it) "a rival for the affections of a fellow astronaut." One notable detail that surfaced from the incident? Police said the determined Nowak wore a diaper so she wouldn't have to stop to take breaks. Nowak eventually pleaded guilty to felony burglary of a car and misdemeanor battery, accepting a plea deal.

In a new Los Angeles Times interview, the film's director, Noah Hawley (Fargo, Legion) reveals why there's no diaper. "Given that it's not a documentary, part of the work I did was trying to create a character journey that you could really relate to and stay with, even when she went to places you didn't want her to go," he said. "That detail just didn't fit into the story."

On social media, however, folks are a bit bothered by the omission. "But there is only a movie because of the diapers," one wrote. Said another, "So why did they make this movie then?" But at least one person was OK with the decision, saying, "Since it's only loosely based on the real life events, it's fine. Besides, I have a 1-year-old -- I get enough diapers as it is."

Lucy in the Sky opens in the US Oct. 4 and in the UK Dec. 6. No date for Australia has been announced yet.