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Ryan Gosling, Damien Chazelle to Reteam on Neil Armstrong Biopic

Variety logo Variety 12/29/2016 Justin Kroll
© Provided by Variety

Oscar-nominated director Damien Chazelle and his “La La Land” star Ryan Gosling are officially set to reteam on Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic “First Man” for Universal Pictures.

Chazelle is directing a script by Oscar-winning “Spotlight” scribe Josh Singer. Previously reports said that Gosling was the choice for the role but at the time a script was still being written and no formal offer had been delivered.

Sources now tell Variety that a deal is closed for Gosling to star and it is likely that the film will shoot in early 2017.

The pic is based on James Hansen’s biography “First Man: A Life Of Neil A. Armstrong” and tells the story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969. A visceral, first-person account, the movie will explore the sacrifices and the cost — on Armstrong and on America — of one of the most dangerous space missions in history. Chazelle boarded the pic in 2015 after it had originated at Warner Bros. with Clint Eastwood planning to direct in produce. Temple Hill partners Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen are producing.

Isaac Klausner will executive produce. Hansen is attached to co-produce.

Universal’s VP of Production Sara Scott will oversee the project for the studio.

Chazelle and Gosling are striking while the iron is hot with the box-office and critical acclaim of “La La Land.” The pic leads all films in Golden Globe nominations and also landed Gosling and co-star Emma Stone SAG noms. The pic has also earned 2016’s highest per-screen average for any movie to be released in less then 10 theaters.

Chazelle is repped by WME, manager Gary Ungar of Exile Entertainment, and attorney Don Steele of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller, L.L.P.

Gosling is repped by LBI Entertainment, Anonymous Content, and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.

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