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Disney Plus to Stream National Geographic Original Series ‘The Right Stuff’ in the Fall

Fern Siegel

Tom Wolfe’s best-seller “The Right Stuff” is being transformed into an original series by National Geographic, which will stream on Disney+ this fall.

The eight-episode series chronicles the Cold War period when the U.S. and the Soviet Union were locked in a race to conquer space. The U.S. kicks off U.S. NASA’s Project Mercury in October 1958, fueled by two astronauts, John Glenn (Patrick J. Adams, “Suits”) and Alan Shepard, a heralded Navy test pilot (Jake McDorman, “What We Do in the Shadows,” “Lady Bird”). 

The space program is nearly derailed by their intense rivalry.

The duo are joined by a highly selective group of test pilots, known as the Mercury Seven. The men become national heroes long before a single rocket is launched. Some of their names entered modern American history: Gordon Cooper (Colin O’Donoghue), Wally Schirra (Aaron Staton), Scott Carpenter (James Lafferty), Deke Slayton (Micah Stock) and Gus Grissom (Michael Trotter), who became the second man in space.

The series looks at the totality of the massive space operation, from NASA engineers pressured by Washington politicians to the propaganda machine stoked by NASA and Life magazine.

“This true story of scientific innovation and human perseverance could not be more timely,” said Courteney Monroe, president, National Geographic Global Television Networks. She calls “The Right Stuff” an “aspirational story about exploration, ambition, determination and resilience that reminds us human beings can achieve the extraordinary when united by a common purpose.”

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson are executive producers, along with Mark Lafferty (“Castle Rock,” “Halt and Catch Fire”), who is showrunner.

Chris Long (“The Americans,” “The Mentalist”) directed and executive produced the first episode. Will Staples (“Animals,” “Shooter”) and Howard Korder (“Boardwalk Empire”) are also executive producers. Appian Way’s Michael Hampton is co-producer.

‘The Right Stuff’ Trailer

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