Rickman rockets to ‘Moon’

Beacon taps scribe

Beacon Pictures has tapped Tom Rickman to pen “Back to the Moon,” an adventure about the hijacking of a space shuttle.

Last fall, Beacon optioned the rights to the novel of the same name by Homer Hickam Jr. (“October Sky”).

Story centers on a disgraced NASA engineer who “borrows” the space shuttle Columbia and a terrified female passenger for a secret mission to the moon (Daily Variety, Nov. 4, 1999) to save life on Earth. Book, published by Delacorte in June, is Hickam’s first novel.

Suzann Ellis, Beacon’s senior vice president of development and production, is overseeing the project. Producer Rudy Langlais (“The Hurricane”) is developing “Moon” with Beacon, which has a first-look deal with Universal Pictures.

“Tom has proven himself to be one of the premiere writers in our business,” said Marc Abraham, Beacon’s prexy of production. “We are very fortunate to have him adapting this wonderful book.”

Rickman recently finished the original script “Operation Moses” for Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

Rickman’s deal was negotiated by Ramses IsHak and Robert Stein at the William Morris Agency, along with attorney Robert Getman of Armstrong, Hirsch, Jackoway, Tyerman & Wertheimer.

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