After spending several years as a captain, Colin O’Donoghue is becoming a lieutenant.
The series, adapted from Tom Wolfe’s 1979 book, 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.
O’Donoghue will play Lt. Gordon Cooper, the youngest of the Mercury Seven, who was recruited to everyone’s surprise. He takes over the role from Game of Thrones alum Joe Dempsie, who, per Deadline, had to depart the project due to issues with his visa.
The Right Stuff also stars Suits‘ Patrick J. Adams and Murphy Brown‘s Jake McDorman, who will respectively play Maj. John Glenn and Alan Shepard, two archrivals jockeying to be the first man in space. Aaron Staton (Mad Men), James Lafferty (One Tree Hill), Micah Stock (Bonding) and Michael Trotter (Underground) round out the main cast.
The drama will mark O’Donoghue’s first major TV role since wrapping Once Upon a Time, where he played Hook for six seasons. Since the show ended in 2018, he has lent his voice to Netflix’s Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia, and he’ll appear in an episode of the streamer’s anthology Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings later this year.
The Right Stuff will debut on Nat Geo in 2020. Your thoughts on O’Donoghue’s casting? Drop ’em in a comment below.