With La La Land currently mounting a successful theatrical rollout and continuing to build up steam for the Oscars, star Ryan Gosling and director Damien Chazelle are already making plans for their next project together. Chazelle has officially signed on to direct First Man, a biopic about astronaut Neil Armstrong for Universal Pictures with Ryan Gosling attached to play the lead. Gosling had first been rumoured for the project over a year ago but at the time the script was still in the process of being written. The film is based on James Hansen’s 2005 biography, First Man: A Life Of Neil A. Armstrong. Here is an excerpt from the book’s synopsis:
“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 fifty 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test pilot, and astronaut have long been a matter of record, but Hansen’s unprecedented access to private documents and unpublished sources and his interviews with more than 125 subjects (including more than fifty hours with Armstrong himself) yield this first in-depth analysis of an elusive American celebrity still renowned the world over.”
It would appear that the movie will not be just about Armstrong’s journey getting to the moon, but also the personal toll it took afterward. Clint Eastwood was previously attached to direct the movie at Warner Brothers, but eventually Universal picked up the rights instead. The latest script was written by Oscar-winning scribe Josh Singer (Spotlight, The Fifth Estate) and it is expected to start production in early 2017. Do you have any interest in a Neil Armstrong biopic?