National Geographic has enlisted six new astronauts for its upcoming series ‘The Right Stuff’, based on the nonfiction book by Tom Wolfe, which was previously adapted into a film in 1983. Patrick J. Adams was previously announced as being cast in the lead, as Major John Glenn. Now we know that he will be joined by six more astronauts, including Jake McDorman and Joe Dempsie.
“To combat a national sentiment of fear and decline, the U.S. government conceives of NASA’s Project Mercury, igniting a space race with the Soviets and making instant celebrities of a handful of the military’s adrenaline-fueled test pilots. These individuals, who come to be known as the Mercury Seven, are forged into heroes long before they have achieved a single heroic act. At the heart of a historic drama populated by deeply human characters, archrivals Glenn and Shepard jockey to become the first man in space.”
McDorman will play Alan Shepard, who is described as “furiously competitive,” and is considered one of the best test pilots in Navy history. Dempsie will portray the youngest of the Mercury Seven, Lt. Gordon Cooper, whose selection for the mission was a surprise to everyone.
The cast of ‘The Right Stuff’ will also include ‘Mad Men’s Aaron Staton as Wally Schirra, “a competitive pilot with a gift for pulling pranks”; ‘One Tree Hill’s James Lafferty as Scott Carpenter, “a soulful man dubbed ‘The Poet’ by his fellow astronauts”; Micah Stock as Deke Slayton, “a taciturn but intelligent pilot and engineer”; and Michael Trotter as Gus Grissom, “a no-nonsense test pilot who eventually becomes the second man in space.”
McDorman was most recently seen on Season 1 of FX’s ‘What We Do in the Shadows’, as well as CBS’ revival of ‘Murphy Brown’. Prior to that, McDorman was the lead on CBS’ adaptation of ‘Limitless’.
Dempsie recently starred on the British miniseries ‘Adulting’ and co-starred on FOX’s ‘Deep State’, but he is perhaps best known for playing Gendry on ‘Game of Thrones’.
With McDorman’s casting as Shepard, and Adams playing John Glenn, that leaves Chuck Yeager as the last main “character” left to be cast. The show is also expected to shine a spotlight on the wives of the astronauts, none of which have been cast yet.
‘The Right Stuff’ originates from Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and Warner Horizon Scripted Television. DiCaprio will serve as an executive producer. Mark Lafferty (‘Castle Rock’) serves as showrunner, and David Nutter (‘Game of Thrones’) is attached to direct and executive produce the first episode.
National Geographic has announced when ‘The Right Stuff’ will arrive, but it is not expected until sometime next year.
Source: TV Line