Ryan Gosling has signed on to play famous American astronaut Neil Armstrong in La La Land director Damien Chazelle's First Man. Gosling closed a deal Thursday to reunite with Chazelle for the film after circling the project since late 2015, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The film is adapted from James Hansen's 2005 book of the same name, with Spotlight Oscar-winner Josh Singer rocking the script.
The film, which is set to start shooting in 2017, is being considered a biopic for shorthand purposes. However, as Collider reminded us Thursday, Chazelle said back in 2015 that the story centers more on the Moon landing than Armstrong's life. "I sort of hesitate to call it a biopic," Chazelle said. "It's really a mission movie. It's purely about the landing."
First Man will span from 1961 to 1969, studio sources told THR. The story's "goal" is described as an exploration of the "sacrifices and cost" on both Armstrong and the U.S. in completing the historic mission. Hansen's book, based on over 50 hours of interviews with Armstrong, was praised by Publishers Weekly upon its release as an "unparalleled" depiction of the life of the first person to walk on the Moon.
Chazelle's La La Land, starring Gosling and Emma Stone, has emerged from a stacked list of awards contenders as an obvious Best Picture front-runner. The must-see love letter to Los Angeles scored a nomination for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy at the 2017 Golden Globes, with Gosling and Stone bagging Best Performance noms.