La La Land's Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle and his star Ryan Gosling are uniting again for Universal's biopic adaptation of James R. Hansen's First Man: A Life of Neil A. Armstrong, chronicling the adventures of famed moon walker Neil Armstrong and NASA's seemingly impossible Apollo mission to place human beings on the lunar surface.
The best-selling 2012 biography contains rare interviews with Armstrong, who was notorious for his privacy after "one small step for man" during the Apollo 11 touchdown at the Sea of Tranquility on July 20, 1969, and details the charismatic Ohioan's journey from ace test pilot to global celebrity. Armstrong passed away in 2012 at the age of 82.
Universal has announced First Man will start filming in early 2017 with an official release date of October 12, 2018.
Here's the source novel's description, which will be adapted by Josh Singer, the Oscar-winning Spotlight screenwriter.
When Apollo 11 touched down on the moon's surface in 1969, the first man on the moon became a legend. In First Man, Hansen explores the life of Neil Armstrong. Based on over 50 hours of interviews with the intensely private Armstrong, who also gave Hansen exclusive access to private documents and family sources, this "magnificent panorama of the second half of the American twentieth century" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) is an unparalleled biography of an American icon.
Upon his return to earth, Armstrong was honored and celebrated for his monumental achievement. He was also — as James R. Hansen reveals in this fascinating and important biography — misunderstood. Armstrong's accomplishments as engineer, test pilot and astronaut have long been a matter of record, but Hansen's unprecedented access to private documents and unpublished sources and his interviews with more than 125 subjects (including more than 50 hours with Armstrong himself) yield this first in-depth analysis of an elusive American celebrity still renowned the world over.
In a riveting narrative filled with revelations, Hansen vividly recreates Armstrong's career in flying, from his 78 combat missions as a naval aviator flying over North Korea to his formative trans-atmospheric flights in the rocket-powered X-15 to his piloting Gemini VIII to the first-ever docking in space. These milestones made it seem, as Armstrong's mother Viola memorably put it, "as if from the very moment he was born — farther back still — that our son was somehow destined for the Apollo 11 mission."
For a pilot who cared more about flying to the Moon than he did about walking on it, Hansen asserts, Armstrong's storied vocation exacted a dear personal toll, paid in kind by his wife and children. For the 45 years since the Moon landing, rumors have swirled around Armstrong concerning his dreams of space travel, his religious beliefs and his private life.
In a penetrating exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex legacy of the First Man, as an astronaut and as an individual. In First Man, the personal, technological, epic and iconic blend to form the portrait of a great but reluctant hero who will forever be known as history's most famous space traveler.
Are you anticipating Gosling portrayal of one of America's greatest heroes, and do you think the charismatic actor can knock it out of our orbit?
(via Coming Soon)