National Geographic is developing a scripted series adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s “The Right Stuff.” Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson are serving as executive producers. Will Staples will write and executive produce.
The project is part of a new scripted development deal at National Geographic with DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television.
Based on the 1979 book by Wolfe, “The Right Stuff” tells the story of the U.S. fighter pilots who tested the early aircraft and rockets that became the foundation of the American space program, and of the first Mercury astronauts. The book was adapted into a 1983 feature film.
“Having already had a rich relationship with Leonardo, Jennifer and their production company Appian Way on ‘Before the Flood,’ I’m excited to work with them in a scripted capacity,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks. “With ‘The Right Stuff,’ we’re looking at moment in time where the everyday life, the trials and tribulations, of these men was scrutinized in the public. The story gives a peek into the minds and goals of these astronauts seeking exploration and adventure during the space race of the ’50s, making it the perfect story for National Geographic to tell.”
“National Geographic gave ‘Before the Flood’ an international platform, and we couldn’t think of a better partner to bring The Right Stuff to the world,” added Davisson. “The heroism of these astronauts was rivaled only by the country’s fascination with their story; this series uncovers both the adventure of space exploration and the adventure of being unwittingly thrust into the public eye.”
National Geographic also announced Tuesday an upcoming documentary about Princess Diana, “Diana: In Her Own Words,” set to premiere Aug. 14. The network has also ordered a companion documentary to its upcoming scripted series “The Long Road Home,” from Martha Raddatz, and Lincoln Square Productions.