MGM In Exclusive Talks for Hot Andy Weir Sci-Fi Novel ‘Project Hail Mary,’ Ryan Gosling Attached To Star & Produce
Project Hail Mary, a novel by Andy Weir, the author of the Martian, is in exclusive negotiations to be acquired by MGM in a 7-figure deal. Ryan Gosling will produce with Ken Kao.
The book is described as a solitary tale of an astronaut on a space ship who is tasked with saving the planet. There are some very clever twists that I won’t give away here, but is consistent with the ingenuity that made The Martian a thrilling ride. Ryan is attached to play the astronaut.
CAA is brokering the book deal with David Fugate of Launch Books, after running an auction that hopefully will be the start of more deal making. Book will be published next spring by Random House. Ryan is also repped by CAA, and he’s lawyered by Robert Offer.
After the Best Picture nominated Ridley Scott-directed The Martian, Weir’s prose has been in high demand. His novel Artemis was set as a directing project for Phil Lord & Chris Miller, and the company made a big deal on a Weir idea married to the graphic novel Cheshire Crossing, the first project they set under their new deal at Universal.
Ryan was last seen onscreen playing astronaut Neil Armstrong in the Damien Chazelle-directed First Man.
Update: Fox and New Regency bought the film rights and attached Phil Lord and Chris Miller to direct. The story centers on a solitary astronaut who’s assigned a critical mission to save the world. Ryan Gosling will produce with Amy Pascal, Weir, and Ken Kao, producer of “Mid90s” and executive producer on the Best Picture nominee “The Favourite.” According to Variety, Lord and Miller’s partnership with Pascal, which earned them an Oscar for Animated Feature as producers on 2018’s hit “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” helped get the directors fast dibs on the project.
“Project Hail Mary” will be published by Random House in the spring of 2021. It’s reported that Gosling, after receiving the manuscript, also jockeyed to bring Lord and Miller aboard the film. While Lord and Miller currently have a first-look deal with Universal, that studio gave MGM its blessing to hire the directors for the Weir project. Their last film as collaborating directors was 2014’s “22 Jump Street,” with directing duties taking the back burner to producing after being replaced by Ron Howard on 2018’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”
Lord and Miller were previously developing a film adaptation of Weir’s “Martian” novel followup, “Artemis,” though “Project Hail Mary,” which is not the officially announced title for the film, is now the priority.