Phil Lord and Chris Miller have signed on to direct Ryan Gosling‘s new astronaut movie. First Man 2: Electric Boogaloo? Not quite, it’s based on the untitled upcoming novel from The Martian writer Andy Weir.
The project is in the works at MGM, but Universal’s Donna Langley had to give the deal her blessing, as her studio just signed a lucrative first-look deal for film with Lord and Miller. The duo plan to make this their next live-action project. Gosling had also reportedly been lobbying to work with the directors, and MGM’s Michael De Luca convinced his longtime friend Langley to sign off on the deal.
Amy Pascal (Little Women) is also on board to produce the film. She has a history with Lord and Miller, sharing an Oscar win for Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, while the directors also have some history with Weir, as they were developing an adaptation of his book Artemis, though it’s unclear where that stands right now.
Weir’s new book won’t be published until next spring, so it’s hard to know any details, but the title may be Project Hail Mary, as that’s what it’s being referred to by sources. Variety describes it as a solitary tale of an astronaut on a space ship who is tasked with saving the planet.
It’s slightly surprising that Gosling would want to play an astronaut again so soon after First Man, although it seems unlikely this movie will be that similar to Damien Chazelle‘s film. Lord and Miller dabble in multiple genres, but their work usually has an energetic, comedic tone, which Gosling actually thrives at when given the chance. Think The Nice Guys and Crazy Stupid Love.
De Luca and his MGM colleague Pamela Abdy said of the project in a joint statement: “All of us at MGM are incredibly excited by this literal dream team coming together around Andy’s astounding novel. With their masterful ability to balance drama, action, and humour, Phil and Chris are the perfect filmmakers to take on this unique material”.
Under De Luca’s leadership, MGM has been making some interesting moves. They acquired George Miller‘s fascinating Three Thousand Years Of Longing, which stars Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton, Ron Howard‘s untitled Thai Cave Rescue project, and Ridley Scott‘s Gucci which will star Lady Gaga.