The name "Gattaca" is composed entirely of the letters used to label the nucleotide bases of DNA. The four nucleotide bases of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) are adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine.

This is the futuristic story of a genetically imperfect man, an “invalid,” and his goal to travel in space, which is reserved only for the genetically engineered “valids”.  Released in 1997.  Length 101 minutes.  English/Esperanto.

Public address announcements in the Gattaca Corporation headquarters building are in Esperanto, an artificial language invented in the 19th century.

The winding stairs in Jerome’s apartment have the structure of a double helix, like DNA.

Uma Thurman’s character is named Irene Cassini.  Cassini is the surname of the 17th century French-Italian astronomer, Jean Dominique Cassini, who discovered the prominent gap in Saturn’s main rings, as well as the icy moons, Iapetus, Dione, Rhea, and Tethys.  The space mission in Gattaca is destined for Saturn.  A space probe named Cassini was launched by NASA in 1997 on a 7 year journey to Saturn to learn more about the planet.  It is a joint U.S./European project called the Cassini-Huygen Mission.  It is still on course and sending back pictures and information.

Jude Law’s character asks to be called by his middle name, Eugene. “Eugene” comes from the Greek for “well born,” which Jerome is.  “Eugenics (the science of improving the hereditary qualities of a race or breed) is the central theme of the film.

The Gattaca building (interiors and exteriors) is, in reality, the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael, CA.  American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, designed it in 1957.  The largest Wright design ever constructed, it was largely built after his death in 1959.  The central dome (prominent in the roof-cleaning scene) contains the county library.

The FBI agents are called “Hoovers,” a reference to legendary top G-man, J. Edgar Hoover, but also a clever reference to a vacuum cleaner brand.  There are numerous shots of vacuums being used go gather DNA evidence.



Ethan Hawke


Vincent Freeman / Jerome Morrow

Jude Law


Eugene Morrow

Uma Thurman


Irene Cassini

Alan Arkin


Detective Hugo

Xander Berkeley



Loren Dean


Anton Freeman

Gore Vidal


Director Josef


Thanks Paul!