Chad Hartigan, the acclaimed indie filmmaker behind Morris From America and This Is Martin Bonner, has been set to direct the sci-fi romance DEPARTURE for Good Universe, the Tracking Board has exclusively learned.
Based on true stories of documented but never-explained avionic phenomenon, Departure follows a brilliant man in 1973 Miami as he investigates how a 727 suddenly vanished into thin air, and then reappeared in the exact same spot just 10 minutes later. As mysterious occurrences continue to transpire with increasing frequency in the skies, the investigation becomes personal when the love of his life is on one of the planes affected.
The story is inspired by the book “Ghosts of the Air” by Martin Caidin, which documents real accounts from pilots who have experienced flight anomalies.
Oscar-nominated scribe Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) wrote the original script and will produce the movie with Jim Whitaker (American Gangster), while Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane will executive produce alongside John Middleton and Roy Lee.
Brady Fujikawa will oversee the project for Good Universe, and Adam Borba will oversee it on behalf of Whitaker Entertainment.
Hartigan is an award-winning filmmaker whose crowd-pleasing coming-of-age comedy Morris from America was selected as one of the Top 10 Independent Films of 2016 by the National Board of Review. The film also won two prizes last year at Sundance, where Hartigan’s previous film This is Martin Bonner won the Best of NEXT Audience Award in 2013.
Dan Freedman negotiated for Good Universe, which had previously attached David Frankel to direct the project.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief