'Whiplash' Director Steps Towards Neil Armstrong Biopic 'First Man'
The theatrical debut of the Sundance sensation Whiplash is coming next month, and while director Damien Chazelle already has the musical La La Land in the works, reuniting him with star Miles Teller, he's taking a a giant leap to a different project at Universal too. THR reports Chazelle is in talks to direct First Man, a biopic focusing on astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. The film is based on James Hansen's biography First Man: A Life of Neil A. Armstrong. The project has been kicking around Hollywood for more than 10 years and once had Clint Eastwood attached to produce and direct too.
It's not clear just how much of Armstrong's life the film will cover, but the author had unlimited access to Armstrong's family and NASA when he was writing the book, so there's a lot of material that can be used. Armstrong has quite an impressive resume beyond his time as an astronaut since he also flew as a Navy bombing pilot in 78 missions, and that was before he turned 23. In addition he was part of the tests in the 1950s and 1960s, testing the boundaries of experimental planes. It wasn't until the mid to late 60s that he started climbing the ranks of NASA and ended up leading the infamous Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
That sounds like a hell of a life story. However, it turns out this won't be Chazelle's next film, with La La Land taking precedence. This has the chance to get lost in the shuffle all over again, but hopefully Universal will stick with the project from screenwriter Josh Singer, who wrote the Julian Assange story The Fifth Estate and the Catholic Church sex scandal drama Spotlight for Thomas McCarthy. If Chazelle can deliver a sophomore effort that's just as good as Whiplash, then this filmmaker should have a bright future. Stay tuned to see how his projects develop.