‘The Right Stuff’: New Series’ First Clip Launches the U.S. Space Program on Disney+

     July 25, 2020

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Disney+’s original scripted series The Right Stuff is all set for launch. The first clip for the real-life dramatic adaptation of author Tom Wolfe’s iconic, bestselling, non-fiction account of the early days of the U.S. space program offered a great look at the new show, which will premiere this fall on Disney+. The eight-episode, scripted series aims to “take a clear-eyed look at what would become America’s first ‘reality show,’ as ambitious astronauts and their families become instant celebrities in a competition that could kill them or make them immortal.”

From Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way and Warner Horizon Scripted Television, with showrunner/EP Mark Lafferty, and EP Jennifer Davisson, The Right Stuff is the first scripted Disney+ original series from National Geographic. As the synopsis describes, it follows “seven of the military’s best pilots on their journey to become astronauts for the newly-formed NASA at the height of the Cold War. Competing to be the first in space, these ordinary men achieve the extraordinary, inspiring America to turn towards a new horizon of ambition and hope.”

The Right Stuff stars Patrick J. Adams as Major John Glenn;  Jake McDorman as Lieutenant Commander Alan Shepard; Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Gordon Cooper; Michael Trotter as Gus Grissom; Aaron Staton as Wally Schirra; Micah Stock as Deke Slayton; James Lafferty as Scott Carpenter;  Nora Zehetner as Annie Glenn; Shannon Lucio as Louise Shepard;  Eloise Mumford as Trudy Cooper; Eric Ladin as Chris Kraft; and Patrick Fischler as Bob Gilruth. Chris Long (The Americans) directed and executive produced the first episode. Will Staples (Shooter) and Howard Korder (Boardwalk Empire) are also executive producers. Academy Award-winner Thelma Schoonmaker (Raging Bull, GoodFellas) and Emmy-winner Danny Strong (Empire, Game Change) are consulting producers. Michael Hampton shepherded this project on behalf of Appian Way and is co-producer.

The Right Stuff is coming soon to Disney Plus. Check out the first look at The Right Stuff below. Get even more Comic-Con@Home news here.

For more, get a previous look behind the scenes of The Right Stuff:

The two men at the center of the story are Major John Glenn, a revered test pilot and committed family man with unwavering principles, portrayed by Patrick J. Adams (Suits), and Lieutenant Commander Alan Shepard, one of the best test pilots in Navy history, portrayed by Jake McDorman (What We Do in the Shadows, Lady Bird).

 

At the height of the Cold War in 1959, the Soviet Union dominates the space race. 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 most accomplished 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. The nation’s best engineers estimate they need several decades to make it into outer space. They are given two years.

 

The rest of the Mercury Seven includes Lieutenant Gordon Cooper, portrayed by Colin O’Donoghue (Once Upon a Time), the youngest of the seven who was selected to everyone’s surprise; Wally Schirra, portrayed by Aaron Staton (Mad Men), a competitive pilot with a gift for pulling pranks; Scott Carpenter, portrayed by James Lafferty (The Haunting of Hill House), a soulful man who was dubbed “The Poet” by the other astronauts; Deke Slayton, portrayed by Micah Stock (Brittany Runs a Marathon), a taciturn but incredibly intelligent pilot and engineer; and Gus Grissom, portrayed by Michael Trotter (Underground), a no-nonsense test pilot who eventually becomes the second man in space.

 

The astronauts’ strengths are equaled only by their flaws. As the men succumb to the temptations that surround them, Project Mercury threatens to come apart. At the heart of the historic drama populated by deeply human characters are two men who become icons — Glenn and Shepard — as they jockey to be the first man in space. The entire program is nearly brought to its knees by their intense rivalry.

 

The series also follows NASA’s engineers, who work against the clock as pressures mount from Washington and a transfixed public. And we witness the underbelly of a myth-making propaganda machine headed by NASA’s PR department and aided by the writers and editors at LIFE Magazine.

Allie Gemmill is the Weekend Contributing Editor for Collider. You can follow them on Twitter @_matineeidle.

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