Ryan Gosling is attached to produce and star in an adaptation of the sci-fi novel The Hail Mary, from The Martian author Andy Weir. As reported by Deadline, the project is in final negotiations at MGM, with the studio reportedly throwing down a 7-figure sum at auction to acquire it. Weir’s novel, about an astronaut trying to save the world while trapped alone in a spaceship, won’t be published until next year, although pre-publication film deals like this are nothing new.
The novel’s premise sounds similar to The Martian, Weir’s book about a lone astronaut accidentally stranded on Mars and forced to try and survive while waiting to be rescued. That book was adapted into a film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon, which was extremely well-received and turned Weir into a hot commodity in Hollywood. Gosling will play the solitary astronaut in this one, which is familiar territory for him considering his recent role in Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic First Man.
I really enjoyed The Martian. Damon’s performance as an aw-shucks spaceman just doing his damn best to survive completely alone on a hostile planet was a relentlessly engaging story, and I’m hoping Weir’s storytelling is as charming and inventive in The Hail Mary. And maybe being stuck alone in space will give Gosling a chance to break his record of speaking as little dialogue as possible, a bar set by his roles in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive and Only God Forgives.