Whiplash director Damien Chazelle is in talks to direct the Neil Armstrong biopic First Man for Universal. Josh Singer will write the script, an adaptation of the biography First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, by James R. Hansen. Hansen had access to Armstrong’s family and to NASA to write the tome, and at 784 pages, it is thorough.
This project has been kicking around for a decade, and at one point Clint Eastwood was set to direct it for Warner Bros. I think Chazelle is a more interesting choice for the project, though.
For those of you who have been living under a rock/don’t believe in American exceptionalism and therefore have paid zero attention to major world events, Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. Allegedly. (Just kidding, he really did, don’t believe the conspiracy theories.) He was a fighter pilot, then a test pilot, then an astronaut. And even though now most astronauts are sciencey nerdy types (whom we love), early astronauts were basically test pilots in space. They were hardcore.
Armstrong’s constant pushing of the limits is an interesting match for Chazelle, whose movie Whiplash (which is excellent! and opening soon! watch us gush about it here!) is about also about pushing limits. I’m interested to see what he’ll do with the material. We’ll have to wait awhile for it, because before he gets around to First Man he will likely direct La La Land, a musical starring Emma Watson and Miles Teller. We also can’t wait to see that one, for obvious reasons.