Damien Chazelle is a director in demand. Having caught the industry’s attention with the ferocious Whiplash two years ago, Chazelle’s follow-up, La La Land, has muscled its way to the front of this year’s Oscars race – and with scores of other awards nominations already to its name, other contenders will struggle to knock La La Land off its perch.
But Damien Chazelle is already thinking further afield. According to Variety, the writer-director has mapped out plans to reunite with Ryan Gosling for First Man, a biopic centering on the life and times of Neil Armstrong. Universal Pictures had already attracted Gosling to the gestating project some months ago, and news that Chazelle has now officially climbed aboard ensures that it won’t be too long before the wheels are in motion.
James Hansen’s novel, First Man: A Life of Neil A. Armstrong, will serve as the jumping-off point, and Variety notes that Josh Singer of Spotlight fame is attached to adapt. Focusing on the crucial period between 1961 to 1969, when NASA fast-tracked one of the most ambitious – and indeed historic – space missions in human history, First Man is an exciting project for Chazelle to take on, and if La La Land presented an opportunity for the director to up the ante, Universal’s Neil Armstrong biopic will take things into the stratosphere – and beyond. A 2018 release date is the target here, with cameras expected to begin rolling early next year.
La La Land, meanwhile, opened in US theaters earlier this month and is currently the frontrunner going into February’s Oscars ceremony.