National Geographic Taps Patrick J. Adams as Maj. John Glenn in Global Scripted Series The Right Stuff, Based on Tom Wolfe’s Best-Seller
Adaptation of Wolfe’s Best-Seller Recounts Pioneering Chapter of Historic U.S. Space Race
Appian Way and Warner Horizon Scripted Television, Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Are Executive Producers; Mark Lafferty (“Castle Rock,” “Halt and Catch Fire”) Tapped as Executive Producer and Showrunner; David Nutter (“Game of Thrones,” “Band of Brothers”) Will Direct Premiere Episode
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--National Geographic, with Appian Way and Warner Horizon Scripted Television, announced today that Patrick J. Adams (“Suits”) will star in THE RIGHT STUFF as Maj. John Glenn. This marks the network’s next global scripted series, which is based on Tom Wolfe’s iconic best-selling nonfiction book. The series takes a clear-eyed look at what would become America’s first “reality show,” as ambitious astronauts and their families become instant celebrities in a competition that will either kill them or make them immortal in the quest to be a part of Project Mercury. Production will begin this fall in Cocoa Beach, Fla., and will premiere globally on National Geographic in 2020.
Glenn is a revered test pilot and committed family man with unwavering principles. He is the only astronaut to have experienced fame before Project Mercury, and he immediately locks horns with Alan Shepard in an unrelenting fight to be the first man in space.
The first season of THE RIGHT STUFF, which uses Wolfe’s book as its starting point, starts at the height of the Cold War. To combat a national sentiment of fear and decline, the U.S. government conceives of NASA’s Project Mercury, igniting a space race with the Soviets and making instant celebrities of a handful of the military’s adrenaline-fueled test pilots. These individuals, who come to be known as the Mercury Seven, are forged into heroes long before they have achieved a single heroic act. At the heart of a historic drama populated by deeply human characters, two archrivals — Glenn and Shepard — jockey to be the first man in space.
Subsequent seasons of THE RIGHT STUFF will carry through to the epochal Apollo Space Program, where humankind saw one of its greatest achievements — man setting foot on the moon — and missions beyond.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson are executive producers, along with Mark Lafferty (“Castle Rock,” “Halt and Catch Fire”), who has signed on as showrunner. David Nutter (“Game of Thrones,” “Band of Brothers”) is set to direct and executive produce the series’ premiere episode. Will Staples (“Animals,” “Shooter”) is also an executive producer. Michael Hampton shepherded this project on behalf of Appian Way.
Adams is represented by ICM Partners, Andy Corren Management and attorney Lev Ginsburg.
For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com, or follow us on Twitter using @NatGeoPR.
National Geographic Partners LLC
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between Disney and the National Geographic Society, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 131 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
About Appian Way Productions
Appian Way is a film and television production company founded by Leonardo DiCaprio. Jennifer Davisson serves as president of production. Since its launch, Appian Way has released a diverse slate of films, including Alejandro Iñárritu’s three-time Academy Award® and Golden Globe® winner “The Revenant,” Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award®- and Golden Globe®- nominated “The Wolf of Wall Street” and Academy Award®-nominated and Golden Globe®-winning “The Aviator,” along with “Shutter Island,” Scott Cooper’s “Out of the Furnace,” George Clooney’s Golden Globe®-nominated “The Ides of March,” the psychological thriller “Orphan” and an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s critically acclaimed novel “Live by Night” with Ben Affleck, among others.
The company has put forth strong efforts to gain headway in the documentary world, especially as it pertains to progressive environmental change. Appian Way worked in partnership with National Geographic to produce “Before the Flood,” a documentary that sheds light on climate change. It also worked with Netflix to produce the Academy Award®-nominated “Virunga,” directed by Orlando von Einsiedel. Appian is in partnership with Netflix on several additional documentaries, including the critically acclaimed “Struggle”, “The Ivory Game,” “How to Change the World” “Catching the Sun,” and the documentary series “Fire Chasers”. Last year Appian also produced the critically acclaimed documentary series “Frontiersmen” as a sequel to the “Men Who Built America” for the History Channel, “Jonestown: Terror In The Jungle” for AMC/Sundance and currently is in production on a multi-part documentary series about Ulysses S. Grant, also for History Channel.
The following projects are currently in priority development at Appian: a feature adaptation of the Japanese manga “Akira” directed by Taiki Waititi, a “Grant” feature based on Ron Chernow’s book to which DiCaprio is attached to star and Steven Spielberg is attached to direct; “Da Vinci” based on the bestselling book by Walter Isaacson, “Sam Phillips” based on the bestselling book by Peter Guralnick, also with DiCaprio attached to star, “The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” starring Jonah Hill; as well as “The Twilight Zone.”
Appian’s animated children’s series “Pete the Cat,” based on the famed books by James Dean just received a 2nd and 3rd season pickup by Amazon and Alcon. The company also has multiple television projects in the works with Sony, Warner Bros, NBCUniversal, Fox 21 and MRC.
About Warner Horizon Scripted Television
A division of the Warner Bros. Television Group, Warner Horizon Scripted Television was founded in 2006 and is one of the entertainment industry’s leading producers of dramatic and comedic programming for the cable and subscription/on-demand marketplace. Series produced by Warner Horizon Scripted Television include “Animal Kingdom” and “Claws” for TNT; “Cherish the Day,” “David Makes Man” and “Queen Sugar” for OWN; “Fuller House,” “Medical Police” and “You” for Netflix; “Krypton” for SYFY; “Pennyworth” for EPIX; “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists” for Freeform; and “The Right Stuff” for National Geographic.