Neil Armstrong Biopic Lands at Universal
I have a extra special appreciation for our country's space program of the 60s and 70s. Ron Howard's Apollo 13 and October Sky are two of my personal favorite movies. There's just some magic about seeing our country achieve something as phenomenal as landing on the moon. Universal has just acquired the right to James R. Hansen's non-fiction book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong and will be adapting it into a feature film about Armstrong - the first person to set foot on the moon. I'm not exactly sure where this project is heading, be it a very low budget indie or something more grand, but I can tell you I'm already looking forward to it.
NASA historian James R. Hansen got rare direct access to Armstrong, a test pilot-turned-astronaut who was so driven to reach the moon and play the role of American hero that he became known as "the Ice Commander." Screenwriter Nicole Perlman recalls: "The closer he got to the moon, the further away he became from his family. He had a family tragedy before Apollo that turned him into this driven astronaut, and he became such a perfect hero that while Buzz Aldrin was announced to be the first man on the moon, NASA reversed its decision because Neil was regarded as more heroic."
Armstrong returned from the moon as one of the most famous men on Earth but didn't capitalize on it with a political career or endorsements. He reconnected with his family, shut out the world and became an intensely private man. You can pick up a copy of the book on Amazon.com.
New up-and-coming screenwriter Nicole Perlman has a nack for adapting biographies. In addition to tackling a script about the Wright brothers based on the book "One Day at Kitty Hawk", she is also writing a script called Kiss and Tango and Challenger, the latter of which is based on Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman's investigation into the 1986 Space Shuttle tragedy. Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, who is also involved in the Gears of War movie, will produce.
Does this sound like an interesting project to anyone else or am I alone here? As long as the production side of this goes in the right direction, we might have another solid biopic in the works. At least another good non-fiction Space Race movie to look forward to.