Tag: Appian Way

Our First-Look at Tom Wolfe’s ‘The Right Stuff’ Is Here!

Last June 20th was the anniversary of the first moon landing. Would you believe that it happened back in 1969? Were you even alive back then? Well, you get your chance to live through it vicariously or re-live it when National Geographic’s original drama series The Right Stuff comes out.

In the meantime, we have the first look-trailer available below.

 

 

Wow! Can you believe it when retired Navy test pilot Dave Kennedy said, “What we did today is to try to give our actors exposure to the real world of experimental flight test. It’s important when a production understands how important it is to get this kind of exposure”?

Guess Gendry really is going to space!

For those, looking for a bit more context, stick around and scroll down.

Now if you think this story or the title is familiar, don’t worry you’re not going crazy.

Well, maybe you are, I’m not a medical doctor.

Either way, it was confirmed a long time ago that the first season will use Tom Wolfe’s book of the same name as its starting point, meaning the show will begin at the height of the Cold War.

 

Tom Wolfe's 'The Right Stuff'
Image Via Amazon
 

Published in 1979, The Right Stuff follows the United States’ efforts in the early days of the space race, focusing exclusively on the first operational manned space-flight program. Codenamed Project Mercury, the program involved a group known as the “Mercury Seven,” whose members included Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton.

See, early space tests actually rarely required humans to be on board, but in order to ‘give the space mission a human face’, it was decided that humans would be on board anyway. This made celebrities out of those who became known as the Mercury Seven.

The book focuses on the astronauts’ personal lives and individual stories as opposed to the more technical aspects of the space race, pondering the question of “Why?”—hence the title The Right Stuff.

 

The Right Stuff
Image Via IMDB
 

The book was adapted into the 1983 film. Directed by Philip Kaufman, the film starred acting giants Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, and Sam Shepard as well as many others. Despite its status as a box office failure, the film received widespread critical acclaim and went on to earn eight Oscar nominations, four of which it won. Those were Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Sound.

In 2013, the film received the honor of being selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

 

image from 'The Right Stuff' (1983)

Image Via Rodgerebert.com

However, the film adaptation has been criticized for numerous historical inaccuracies, including having Jack Ridley show up in 1963 even though in real life he died in 1957. More humorously, however, the film ends with the narrator stating: “on this glorious day in May 1963 [Gordo Cooper] was the last American to go into space alone,” when, in fact, Joe Walker flew into twice after Cooper in July and August of that same year.

But what film can be completely accurate? Even at 3 hours and 13 minutes, the film does the best it can.

But what if it was a TV show?

This was the question Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way…

… and Warner Horizon Scripted Television asked, and thus they are now the producers behind this new TV show.

 

 

Now we find ourselves here, getting ready to watch the first-look trailer again.

For an extensive look at the cast list and the producers, click here to learn more! Since I wrote the article, however, I will unashamedly steal the closing joke:

Hopeful this show grabs our hearts and takes them to…...to infinity and beyond!

IMAGE VIA WALMART

Production will begin this fall in Cocoa Beach, Florida and is set for a 2020 premiere on National Geographic.

 

 

Featured Image Via Laughing Place

Gendry from ‘GoT’ Is Going to Space in ‘The Right Stuff’!

Gendry in Game of Thrones has been cast in the TV adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s best-selling nonfiction book The Right Stuff!

 

Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff

Image Via Goodreads

 

This 1979 nonfiction book follows the United States’ efforts in the early days of the space race, focusing exclusively on the first operational manned space-flight program. Codenamed Project Mercury, the program involved a group known as the “Mercury Seven,” whose members included Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton.

 

 

The book details how the Mercury Seven became the faces of early space tests which rarely required humans to be on board before, adding a more human element to the missions, and making celebrities of a handful of military test pilots.

As a result of this decision, the book focuses on the astronauts’ personal lives and individual stories as opposed to the more technical aspects of the space race, pondering the question of “Why?”—hence the title The Right Stuff.

 

The Right Stuff 1983

Image Via Rotten Tomatoes

 

The book was adapted into the 1983 film of the same name, directed by Philip Kaufman and starring Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Sam Shepard, and many others. The film was a box office failure, but it received widespread critical acclaim and went on to earn eight Oscar nominations, four of which it won: Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Sound.

In 2013, the film received the honor of being selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Despite this, the 1983 film has been criticized for numerous historical inaccuracies, including having Jack Ridley show up in 1963 even though in real life he died in 1957. More humorously, however, the film ends with the narrator stating: “on this glorious day in May 1963 [Gordo Cooper] was the last American to go into space alone,” when, in fact, Joe Walker flew into twice after Cooper in July and August of that same year.

 

Appian Way

Image Via MrOwl

 

To be honest: Of course the film would have inaccuracies. No film can be completely accurate, and at 3 hours and 13 minutes, the film does the best it can.

“Maybe it should be a TV series instead?” Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and Warner Horizon Scripted Television seemed to have asked and, lo and behold, it shall become one.

 

Mark Lafferty

Image Via Zimbio

 

Here’s the behind the scenes: Mark Lafferty, producer on Castle Rockwill also serve as showrunner with DiCaprio, Jennifer Davvisson, producer of The Revenant, and Will Staples serving as executive producers. Shout out to Michael Hampton, who shepherded this project on behalf of Appian Way. Thank God for him!

 

 

And now Deadline is reporting that Joe Dempsie, who was Gendry in Game of Thrones, and Jake McDorman from the horror-comedy What We Do in the Shadows, have been cast, completing the Mercury Seven.

Here’s the people who will make their way on the small screen:

 

Jake McDorman

Image Via IMDB

 

Jake McDorman, from What We Do in the Shadows fame, will portray one of the best test pilots in Navy history: the furiously competitive Alan Shepard.

 

Joe Dempsie

Image Via Newsweek

 

Joe Dempsie, our own Gendry from Game of Thrones, will portray the youngest of the seven: Lieutenant. Gordon Cooper.

 

Patrick J Adams

Image Via TV Guide

 

Patrick J. Adams, who played Rex Tyler/Hourman in Legends of Tomorrow and Mike Ross in Suits, will portray revered test pilot and committed family man: Major John Glenn.

 

Aaron Staton

Image Via Mad Men Wiki – Fandom

 

Aaron Staton, from Narcos: Mexico, will portray the competitive pilot with a gift for pulling pranks: Wally Schirra.

 

James Lafferty

Image Via Heightline

 

James Lafferty, from The Haunting of Hill House, will portray the soulful Scott ‘The Poet’ Carpenter.

 

Micah Stock

Image Via Zimbio

 

Micah Stock, from Escape at Dannemora, will portray the quiet but incredibly intelligent pilot and engineer: Deke Slayton.

 

Michael Trotter

Image Via IMDB

 

Michael Trotter, from Underground, will portray Gus Grissom, a no-nonsense test pilot who eventually becomes the second man in space.

 

 

Hopefully this series will give each of the seven their due respect in sharing their respective stories. Are you excited? I know I am, because not only will this series adapt The Right Stuff, but word is that subsequent seasons of The Right Stuff will carry through to the epochal Apollo Space Program, from Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon and beyond.

Hopeful this show grabs our hearts and takes them to…

...to infinity and beyond!

Image Via Walmart

Production will begin this fall in Cocoa Beach, Florida and is set for a 2020 premiere on National Geographic.

 

 

Featured Image Via Navy Medicine Live

‘Akira’ Adaptation Gets Release Date!

Taika Waititi’s adaptation of the classic manga, Akira, is set to open May 21st, 2021.

 

AKIRA

Image Via Mycomicshop.com

Set in post-apocalyptic Tokyo, this cyberpunk story revolves around teenage biker gang leader Kaneda, militant revolutionary Kei, a trio of Espers, and Neo-Tokyo’s military leader Colonel Shikishima to prevent Tetsuo, Kaneda’s mentally-imbalanced childhood friend, from using his unstable telekinetic abilities to ravage the city and awaken a mysterious individual with similar psychic abilities named “Akira”.

Initially serialized in the pages of Young Magazine from 1982 until 1990, Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira was collected into six volumes by its publisher Kodansha before Marvel Comics published the book in the United States under their Epic Comics imprint, becoming one of the first manga works to be translated in its entirety into English.

 

AKIRA 1988

Image Via Akira Wiki – Fandom.com

Katsuhiro Otomo adapted his own work, directing the film adaptation in 1988. Akira had a production budget of $9 million, making it the most expensive anime film of its time, but the expense proved to be worth it. The film gained an international cult following following its theatrical and VHS releases, eventually earning over $80 million worldwide from home video sales.

The film paved the way for Japanese popular culture to influence Western culture from animation to comics to film to music to television to video games.

Perhaps it was only inevitable that a live-action adaptation would be made. According to Hollywood Reporter, the film has been in development hell. “Back in 2012, a version that would have starred Garrett Hedlund was shelved, with various filmmakers coming and going on the project that would have been an Americanized version of the story.”

I’m getting Ghost in the Shell flashbacks.

 

Appian Way

Image Via MrOwl

Now Leonardo DiCaprio and Andrew Lazar, through DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way, are producing the film with Taika Waititi as director, who “is expected to go a more authentic route, stating back in 2017 that he would want to cast Asian actors in the roles.”

 

Taika Waititi

Image Via Stuff.co.nz

Taika Waititi is known for his Academy Award nominated short film Two Cars, One Night and his masterpieces Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, as well as this little film called Thor: Ragnarok.

Back in 2017, when Thor: Ragnarok was in full swing, Taika Waititi told IGN:

“Yeah. actually Asian teenagers would be the way to do it for me and probably no, not, like no name, I mean sort of unfound, untapped talent.”

He also told them that:

I actually love the books. Love the movie, but I would not do a remake of the movie. I would do an adaptation of the books

Now, according to Empire, Warner Bros. has dated the film for May 21st, 2021, which puts it up against John Wick 4. Given that John Wick 3: Parabellum has already passed $180 million at the box office, this might be a tough fight.

But as Vulture reports, this could be “an excellent idea for a potential crossover sequel if we’ve ever heard one”.

 

 

Featured Image Via IndieWire