Following the recent announcement of a new novel from “The Martian” author Andy Weir, the book, titled “Project Hail Mary,” has already been scooped up by MGM for a cool seven figures. Deadline reports that Ryan Gosling will not only star but also produce the film which, like “The Martian,” pivots on a solitary astronaut who’s assigned a critical mission to save the world. Gosling will produce with Ken Kao, producer of “Mid90s” and executive producer on the Best Picture nominee “The Favourite.”
Author Andy Weir’s debut novel was “The Martian,” which famously turned into an Academy Award-nominated film written by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott, and Matt Damon in the eponymous lead role. “The Martian” was originally self-published in 2011 before being rereleased in 2014. It won Andy Weir the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer at the Hugo Awards.
The film version, which grossed more than $630 million around the world following a Toronto International Film Festival premiere, was released in 2015, and became a Best Picture nominee the following year. Novelist Weir followed up “The Martian” with “Artemis,” published in 2017, centered on a part-time smuggler in the first city on the Moon. Weir was reportedly developing “Artemis” into a film with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (writers and producers who haven’t properly directed a movie since 2014’s “22 Jump Street, after they were booted off “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and replaced by Ron Howard). Weir’s novel “Project Hail Mary” will be published in the spring of 2021 by Random House.
Ryan Gosling is, of course, no stranger to suiting up for outer space, as he previously starred as Neil Armstrong in Damien Chazelle’s 2018 drama “First Man,” in which Gosling also spent a great deal of time alone amid the cosmos. Gosling lost out on a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for the technically impressive film. Matt Damon, however, did receive a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for “The Martian.” The marriage of minds brought together by MGM for “Project Hail Mary” sets this up to be a high-profile project, and the first major film deal announcement amid the total shutdown of Hollywood currently taking place.