The Plutonians

Tim Delaney, Writer/Director

Shao Min Chew Chia, Producer

Sloan Grant(s) Received:
2020, Sloan Commissioning Grant, Sundance Institute
2020, Sloan Feature Film Prize, NYU

Project Type: Feature 

Genre: Comedy 

Length: 108 pages 

Field of Science: Astronomy, Planetary Science 

Stage: Pre-Production 


As the ninth planet’s foremost expert, Alvin Gibbs’ life revolves around Pluto. Even when his wife leaves him, fed up with his obsession over a distant rock, he feels certain the cost was worth it…until the day Pluto comes under attack. Debate is growing around the definition of a “planet”, and many astronomers believe Pluto does not belong. Alvin parachutes into a sleepy international conference, hoping to nip the debate in the bud and sneak in a definition that includes Pluto—but his plan backfires spectacularly. His definition is hugely unpopular. Now that the issue is up for a vote, anti-Pluto forces are unleashed, turning a dry academic symposia into a battle over the fate of the Solar System. Alvin assembles a team of outsiders into a Pluto defense force, but his increasingly desperate ploys barely cover his fear that his life’s work may ultimately be worthless.