Contact is a 1997 American science fiction drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is a film adaptation of Carl Sagan’s 1985 novel of the same name; Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan wrote the story outline for the film. Jodie Foster portrays the film’s protagonist, Dr. Eleanor “Ellie” Arroway, a SETI scientist who finds strong evidence of extraterrestrial life and is chosen to make first contact. The film also stars Matthew McConaughey, James Woods, Tom Skerritt, William Fichtner, John Hurt, Angela Bassett, Jake Busey, and David Morse. Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan began working on the film in 1979. Together, they wrote a 100+ page film treatment and set up Contact at Warner Bros. with Peter Guber and Lynda Obst as producers. When the project to make the film became mired in development hell, Sagan published Contact as a novel in 1985 and the film adaptation was rejuvenated in 1989. Roland Joffé and George Miller had planned to direct it, but Joffé dropped out in 1993 and Warner Bros. fired Miller in 1995. Robert Zemeckis was eventually hired to direct, and filming for Contact lasted from September 1996 to February 1997. Sony Pictures Imageworks handled most of the visual effects sequences. The film was released on July 11, 1997, to mostly positive reviews. Contact grossed approximately $171 million in worldwide box office totals. The film won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and received multiple awards and nominations at the Saturn Awards. The release of Contact was publicized by controversies from the Clinton administration and CNN, as well as individual lawsuits from George Miller and Francis Ford Coppola.
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