‘The Help’ Director Tate Taylor Joins ‘In the Event of a Moon Disaster’

FilmNation Entertainment has tapped ‘The Help” director Tate Taylor to helm  “In the Event of a Moon Disaster.”

FilmNation, which is producing and handling international sales, announced that Taylor will also come aboard to produce with his production partner John Norris.

FilmNation developed the Blacklist screenplay, written by Mike Jones (a former Variety reporter).

The project saw its genesis in 2009 when presidential speechwriter William Safire died and a speech called “In Event of Moon Disaster” was discovered in his papers. Written in 1969, the speech was to be read by President Nixon in the event that the Apollo 11 mission to the moon was met with tragedy.

The speech is the inspiration for this film — which plays out as a fictionalization or alternate reality of the actual events. Producers have begun casting with plans to commence  principal photography in early 2015.

FilmNation acquired Jones script in 2011. 

In the actual Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent two hours on the lunar surface. Jones told Variety in 2011 that he was inspired by coming across a speech written by Safire.

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“It’s really a harrowing speech and it was really helpful in pushing me towards creating the story,” he said at the time. “It’s not a monsters on the moon story but more in the vein of ‘The Hunt for Red October.’”

Taylor is in post production on James Brown biopic “Get on Up,” which Taylor co-wrote, directed, and produced through his Wyolah Films shingle. Starring Chadwick Boseman, the film also reunites Taylor with his “The Help” stars Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer.

Taylor and Jones are represented by CAA.


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