Ryan Gosling Will Play Neil Armstrong in the Biopic FIRST MAN Directed Damien Chazelle

Ryan Gosling will reteam with La La Land director Damien Chazelle for a biopic he's directing based on the life of Neil Armstrong. The film will be called First Man, and the script comes from Spotlight scribe Josh Singer.

The movie is based on the biography by James Hansen called First Man: A Life Of Neil A. Armstrong. It tells the story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, and it focuses on Armstrong and the years 1961-1969.

According to Variety, the film will be a visceral, first-person account, that "will explore the sacrifices and the cost — on Armstrong and on America — of one of the most dangerous space missions in history." 

Gosling is a very talented actor who seems like a solid choice to play Armstrong. The film was originally supposed to be directed by Clint Eastwood at Warner Bros. It eventually ended up at Universal Pictures where Chazelle jumped on board. He's a great director who made his mark with the film Whiplash, and it's cool to see his career really taking off. I'm looking forward to seeing what he ends up doing with this Neil Armstrong film.

Here's the full description of the book:

“The Eagle has landed.”

When Apollo 11 touched down on the moon’s surface in 1969, the first man on the moon became a legend. In First Man, Hansen explores the life of Neil Armstrong. Based on over fifty hours of interviews with the intensely private Armstrong, who also gave Hansen exclusive access to private documents and family sources, this “magnificent panorama of the second half of the American twentieth century” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) is an unparalleled biography of an American icon.

Upon his return to earth, Armstrong was honored and celebrated for his monumental achievement. He was also—as James R. Hansen reveals in this fascinating and important biography—misunderstood. Armstrong’s accomplishments as engineer, test pilot, and astronaut have long been a matter of record, but Hansen’s unprecedented access to private documents and unpublished sources and his interviews with more than 125 subjects (including more than fifty hours with Armstrong himself) yield this first in-depth analysis of an elusive American celebrity still renowned the world over. 

In a riveting narrative filled with revelations, Hansen vividly recreates Armstrong’s career in flying, from his seventy-eight combat missions as a naval aviator flying over North Korea to his formative transatmospheric flights in the rocket-powered X-15 to his piloting Gemini VIII to the first-ever docking in space. These milestones made it seem, as Armstrong’s mother Viola memorably put it, “as if from the very moment he was born—farther back still—that our son was somehow destined for the Apollo 11 mission.”

For a pilot who cared more about flying to the Moon than he did about walking on it, Hansen asserts, Armstrong’s storied vocation exacted a dear personal toll, paid in kind by his wife and children. For the forty-five years since the Moon landing, rumors have swirled around Armstrong concerning his dreams of space travel, his religious beliefs, and his private life. 

In a penetrating exploration of American hero worship, Hansen addresses the complex legacy of the First Man, as an astronaut and as an individual. In First Man, the personal, technological, epic, and iconic blend to form the portrait of a great but reluctant hero who will forever be known as history’s most famous space traveler.