Back in March, word arrived that Ryan Gosling was ready to buckle himself back into a space suit for another story set off world after First Man, this time one based on the new book by The Martian's Andy Weir. We wondered who might end up directing it and now we know: Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
According to Variety's sources, Gosling started thinking that the 21 Jump Street/Lego Movie duo might be right for what we can only assume is a more jocular tone in Weir's book than the straight-ahead Neil Armstrong/moon landing film. Originally titled Project Hail Mary, the story finds a man on a space ship who discovers he's the only one who can save planet Earth. Doesn't sound like a laugh riot, but then, The Martian got gags out of being stranded alone on Mars.
Now Lord and Miller – who had already snapped up the rights to adapt Weir's previous book, Artemis, have scored a thumbs up from Universal (where they recently set up a first-look deal) to make this their next film, even though it's for MGM.
Amy Pascal is on to produce alongside Ken Kao and Aditya Sood, who runs the Lord Miller production company (and has experience with Weir-based material as he was among the producers on The Martian). And while we're surprised to see Lord and Miller heading back into space after their disappointing experience on Solo, this certainly feels like a better fit.
Weir's book won't even hit shelves until next year; the film will take even longer to arrive and doesn't currently have a release date.