The 21st Century Fox-owned Nat Geo previously partnered with DiCaprio on major doc Before the Flood, and they will now adapt The Right Stuff together as a scripted series.
Warner Horizon Television is also attached to the project, with DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson executive producing. Will Staples (Shooter) is writer and EP.
The one-hour drama is billed as a “gritty, anti-nostalgic look at what would become America’s first reality show” – the space race between the US and USSR moon landing.
Season one will begin at the height of the Cold War in 1958, following adrenaline-junkie test pilots in the Mojave Desert as the work to beat the USSR in the space race.
A “future season” will look into the moon landing in 1969.
“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 of National Geographic Global Networks
Before the Flood, reached more than 75 million people worldwide following a widespread distribution strategy, and scored a record one billion minutes of viewing across linear, digital, streaming and social platforms.
The 2016 film charted instances of man-made climate changes around the world.
THE DEAL IN QUOTES
Courteney Monroe, CEO of 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 scrutinised 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 fifties, making it the perfect story for National Geographic to tell.”
Jennifer Davisson, part at Appian Way Productions: “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.
“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.”