Barry Levinson To Direct Apollo 11 Limited Series From Kevin Costner, Stephen Kronish & Mike Medavoy
The Oscar-winning director behind Rain Man, Good Morning, Vietnam and Diner is set to helm One Giant Leap , a series that will tell the story of the moon landing.
The project is being written and showrun by Kronish, who was a producer and writer on 24 between seasons three and seven, and was also an exec producer of The Kennedys minseries.
It will look at one of the most historic events in U.S. history from a slightly different angle, stressing the personality conflicts within the flight team that almost doomed the mission before it left the launch pad – and how a NASA psychiatrist’s predictions of disaster for astronaut Buzz Aldrin were ignored by her superiors. The series will also look at the Soviet Union’s attempt to destroy Apollo 11 on its way to the moon, and the Cold War victory of America over its Russian enemy as well as celebrate the singular moment of accomplishment that drew together half a billion people around the world.
The team are now set to approach actors to play the four leads of astronauts Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Mike Collins, and NASA psychiatrist Rachel Katherine Ludwig before taking it out to market.
Levinson has recently directed and exec produced Hulu’s Dopesick and previously directed and exec produced HBO’s Paterno and The Wizard of Lies as well as NBC series Shades of Blue.
Exec producers include Costner, Medavoy, via his Phoenix Pictures, Benjamin Anderson ( The Long Road Home ), former Sony boss Sir Howard Stringer and Atrium TV and DRG founder Jeremy Fox, who both now run Thoroughbred Productions.
“I thought I knew the Apollo 11 story. After reading this script it’s even more dramatic, absolutely fascinating and certainly more human,” Levinson said.
“It’s the telling of the moon landing as more than one of the most stunning scientific achievements in history, but as the triumph of all-too-human beings over their own flaws,” added Kronish.
“I’m really excited to bring together this creative group. I have been lucky to have worked with Barry on Bugsy and with Kevin on Dances with Wolves . Collaborating on this project is a great opportunity to bring Steve Kronish’s work to life,” said Medavoy.