National Geographic, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company, and Warner Horizon Scripted Television are all teaming for a TV series adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s 1979 book “The Right Stuff”.
The book recounts the early days of the U.S. space program and its astronauts with the first season kicking off in 1958, the height of the Cold War, with the Soviets leading the space race and the U.S. launching NASA’s Project Mercury.
The property was previously adapted for the screen into Philip Kaufman’s celebrated multi-Oscar winning 1983 film starring Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, Fred Ward, Lance Henriksen, Barbara Hershey and Jeff Goldblum.
The series take is described as “a clear-eyed, non-nostalgic look at the lives of these ambitious astronauts and their families, who became instant celebrities in a competition that would either kill them or make them immortal”. Subsequent seasons will deal with the Apollo Space Program, the moon landing, and other missions.
DiCaprio, David Nutter, Will Staples, Mark Lafferty and Jennifer Davisson will executive produce with Lafferty serving as showrunner and Nutter directing the premiere episode. Filming begins in the Fall.
The project was the big announcement at NatGeo’s TCA panel over the weekend. They also announced that the third season of scripted anthology series “Genius” will have Aretha Franklin as its subject matter rather than author Mary Shelley as originally intended.
They’re also planning a ten-episode TV series adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Proulx’s 2016 novel “Barkskins” about America’s deforestation. David Slade will helm the premiere episode.
Source: TV Line