Directing power duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller have been tapped by MGM to direct the film adaptation of “The Martian” author Andy Weir’s upcoming novel. Variety first reported the news on Friday. The project has been in the works since March, when the studio scooped up Weir’s forthcoming “Project Hail Mary,” as the book is known, for a cool seven figures.
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.
Aditya Sood, the head of Lord and Miller’s production shingle, will also produce. Sood previously produced Ridley Scott’s Weir adaptation “The Martian,” which grossed more than $630 million around the world in 2015, and became a Best Picture nominee the following year.
“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.
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.”
IndieWire has reached out to MGM for comment.