RocketMan (film) When a member of the first manned mission searching for life on Mars is injured during training, NASA turns to a very unlikely replacement, the designer of the ship’s operating system, Fred Z. Randall, who, for a rocket scientist . . . is no rocket scientist. Comic chaos ensues en route to the Red Planet, as Fred butts heads with no-nonsense crew as captain William Overbeck, falls hopelessly in love with beautiful, but humorless, Officer Julie Ford, and teams up with Ulysses, a trained chimpanzee. Directed by Stuart Gillard. Released on October 10, 1997. Stars Harland Williams (Fred Z. Randall), Jessica Lundy (Julie Ford), William Sadler (William Overbeck), Jeffrey DeMunn (Paul Wick), Beau Bridges (Bud Nesbitt). Ulysses is played by Raven, a three-year-old female chimpanzee, whose principal trainer was Advid Allsberry. 94 min. Location filming took place in and around Houston, Texas, so the filmmakers could utilize NASA’s Johnson Space Center and the Sonny Carter Training Facility for authenticity. For the surface of Mars, the filmmakers moved to Moab, Utah, where they found giant cliffs, red rocks, a lack of vegetation, and an overall scale of what could be a distant planet.