National Geographic’s space race just recruited a few more participants. Jake McDorman (Murphy Brown) and Joe Dempsie (Game of Thrones) are among six actors newly cast in The Right Stuff, the cabler’s upcoming NASA drama.
Adapted from Tom Wolfe’s 1979 book of the same name, The Right Stuff tells the story of NASA’s Project Mercury, which ignited a space race with the Soviets and made instant celebrities of the Mercury Seven, a group of the military’s test pilots. “At the heart of a historic drama populated by deeply human characters,” the logline reads, “two archrivals — Maj. John Glenn and Alan Shepard — jockey to be the first man in space.”
McDorman will play the “furiously competitive” Alan Shepard, who is one of the best test pilots in Navy history. Dempsie, meanwhile, will portray Lt. Gordon Cooper, the youngest of the Mercury Seven, who was recruited to everyone’s surprise.
The project has also cast Aaron Staton (Mad Men) as Wally Schirra, a competitive pilot with a gift for pulling pranks; James Lafferty (One Tree Hill) as Scott Carpenter, a soulful man dubbed “The Poet” by his fellow astronauts; Micah Stock (Bonding) as Deke Slayton, a taciturn but intelligent pilot and engineer; and Michael Trotter (Underground) as Gus Grissom, a no-nonsense test pilot who eventually becomes the second man in space.
As previously reported, Suits vet Patrick J. Adams will star in The Right Stuff as John Glenn. The drama’s executive producers include Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson (The Revenant), while Mark Lafferty (Castle Rock) will serve as showrunner.
The Right Stuff is slated for a 2020 premiere. Your thoughts on these new castings? Drop ’em in a comment below.