Contact: About The Story

Buy this video from

Books from
Buy The Book.

Music from
Buy The Soundtrack.

She's known it since she was a young girl, when her father would sit her at his shortwave radio, magically connecting her with voices from across unfathomable distances. She's known it since college, when she chose the search for intelligent extraterrestrial messages as her discipline, despite the scorn of the scientific community. She's known it since she bargained for just hours a week of satellite time to sweep the heavens for evidence. And every time she stares at the countless stars dappling the infinite night sky, she knows it:

Something is out there.

And after a lifetime of waiting, Dr. Eleanor "Ellie" Arroway (Foster) is finally being proven right.

From the distant star Vega, a message comes to Earth and is discovered by Ellie. As the countries of the world unite in an effort to decode the transmission, the planet faces the mystery with equal parts hope and fear. Confronted for the first time with proof of intellectual life from afar, speculation ranges from the dawning of either a new era in evolution or certain Armageddon.

Amid the worldwide tumult, Ellie finds herself as a lightning rod of controversy. Fighting for her rightful place as leader of the scientific investigation, she turns to her one ally among those jockeying for influence on the world stage: Palmer Joss (McConaughey), a respected spiritual scholar and top-level government advisor who has followed Ellie's career and believes in her instinct and drive. As events propel them through the highest corridors of power, Ellie and Palmer establish a relationship and shared reverence for the potential of the message.

As humanity warily approaches the brink of a new millennium, Ellie vies to be selected as the single representative who will explore the secrets conveyed from the unknown extraterrestrial source . . . and become the first person to make contact.

Among the ensemble cast portraying the kaleidoscopic range of figures involved in the international drama are John Hurt as influential and enigmatic billionaire S.R. Hadden and James Woods as National Security Advisor Michael Kitz. Tom Skerritt plays David Drumlin, Ellie's former mentor who becomes her competitor in the selection of the planet's representative, while David Morse portrays Ellie's father, Ted, who inspires her love of astronomy as a young girl. William Fichtner is Ellie's longtime colleague, Kent Clark, and Rob Lowe appears as Richard Rank, the leader of a powerful conservative religious coalition. Angela Bassett plays Rachel Constantine, a high-ranking presidential advisor who recognizes the fire that motivates Ellie.

"Contact" is produced by Robert Zemeckis and STEVE STARKEY, also an Oscar winner for "Forrest Gump." The executive producers are JOAN BRADSHAW and LYNDA OBST. The screenplay is by MICHAEL GOLDENBERG based on the novel by Carl Sagan and the story by Sagan and ANN DRUYAN. Sagan and Druyan also serve as co-producers. Warner Bros. will distribute "Contact" worldwide.

To create both the world we know and worlds not yet imagined, Zemeckis and Starkey have reunited virtually all of their award-winning team from "Forrest Gump," including director of photography DON BURGESS, costume designer JOANNA JOHNSTON, editor ARTHUR SCHMIDT and composer ALAN SILVESTRI. Also working with the filmmakers is production designer ED VERREAUX.

Sony Imageworks is creating the elaborate visual effects for the film under the masterful supervision of long-time Zemeckis collaborator and five-time Academy Award-winner KEN RALSTON.

Back to "Contact"

Look for Search Tips

Copyright 1994-2008 Film Scouts LLC
Created, produced, and published by Film Scouts LLC
Film Scouts® is a registered trademark of Film Scouts LLC
All rights reserved.

Suggestions? Comments? Fill out our Feedback Form.