Neil Armstrong Biopic Takes Flight at Universal

By  · Published on April 2nd, 2008

I don’t know if we have ever explored this here on FSR, but I am a huge — and I mean huge — space race junkie. Having made a few trips to the Smithsonian and a trip to the Kennedy Space Center in my life time, I can tell you that it is one of the most fascinating events in American History, right up there with the battlefields of the Civil War or the first colonies along the Atlantic coast. And when it comes to the cinematic adaptation of such events, I would say that we’ve been pretty lucky in my life time to see some well-made films, documentary and otherwise, that have chronicled the Apollo missions of the 1960s and shown man’s journey to the moon in ways that none of us could have ever imagined.

Everything from the nearly life changing experience that was the HBO series “From the Earth to the Moon” (still my favorite piece of work about Apollo, by far) to Ron Howard’s stellar Apollo 13 to last year’s awesome documentary In the Shadow of the Moon has succeeded in heightening the experience of the journey to Earth’s celestial neighbor. Personally, I cannot get enough of movies based on actual space travel — it is an addiction that may never go away.

So you can imagine that I was excited when the folks at Universal sent over word that they have acquired the nonfiction tome “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong” by NASA historian James R. Hansen, with intentions of turning into a biopic of the first man to ever step foot onto the moon.

Nicole Perlman, who recently wrote a script for a film called Challenger, about a scientist investigating the 1986 Space Shuttle tragedy, has signed on to script the Armstrong film. “The closer he got to the moon, the further away he became from his family,” Perlman said. “He had a family tragedy before Apollo that turned him into this driven astronaut, and he became such a perfect hero that while Buzz Aldrin was announced to be the first man on the moon, NASA reversed its decision because Neil was regarded as more heroic.”

Needless to say, I am excited. They could make a thousand movies about the Apollo space missions and I would be right there on opening night for every single one of them. Additionally, the life of Neil Armstrong is an amazing one, the likes of which will make for a potentially great feature film. So if you are a junkie like me, stay tuned, as we will be keeping a close eye on this production.

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)