Drew Goddard is coming aboard Ryan Gosling’s new astronaut movie Hail Mary to help directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller crack the sci-fi story.
The project is based on an upcoming novel from The Martian author Andy Weir, who saw that book adapted for the screen by Goddard, so clearly the two scribes are on the same creative wavelength. Goddard hasn’t formally agreed to write the screenplay yet given his busy schedule, but he may take the writing reins going forward. For now though, he’s just working on the story with Lord and Miller according to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news.
Hail Mary is expected to find Gosling playing an astronaut who wakes up on his spaceship with no memory. Not only is millions of miles away from home, but his two crewmates are both dead, and oh yeah, he’s humanity’s only hope for survival from an extinction-level threat.
Lord and Miller are producing with Gosling and Ken Kao, as well as Amy Pascal and Aditya Sood, the latter of whom runs the directors’ production company Lord Miller. MGM acquired the rights to Hail Mary for $3 million, so the project is a high priority for the studio. No wonder MGM is turning to Goddard early on in the development process, getting his take on the project even if he doesn’t have time to write it himself.
I really like the way this project is coming together, I’m just still not sure what the tone is ultimately going to be. Is Hail Mary a serious “man saves the world” movie or one that’s more tongue-in-cheek? That was my initial read on things after the comedically-minded Lord and Miller signed on to direct, though Goddard strikes me as a more dramatically-minded writer. Now that they’re working together, perhaps they’ll strike the perfect balance.
Goddard is the writer-director of The Cabin in the Woods and Bad Times at the El Royale. He has major geek cred, having worked as a writer on Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Alias, and created Netflix’s Daredevil. In addition to The Martian, his feature writing credits include World War Z and Cloverfield.
You know what would be really cool? This is just a theory… but remember how MGM’s Michael De Luca had to approach Universal’s Donna Langley for her blessing to hire Lord and Miller after the duo just signed a rich first-look deal at Universal? Well the two studios will be sharing Gosling between Hail Mary and Universal’s high-profile Wolfman movie in the future. Wouldn’t it be cool if Goddard signed on to direct Wolfman, but it wasn’t quite ready to go yet, so he had time to work with Gosling on this astronaut movie? Just food for thought!