Consummate character actor Shea Whigham, who’s always a welcome presence on the big and small screens, is in negotiations to join the cast of Damien Chazelle’s space drama FIRST MAN, the Tracking Board has exclusively learned.
Ryan Gosling is set to star as Neil Armstrong, while Claire Foy (The Crown) will play his wife. Corey Stoll, Kyle Chandler and Jason Clarke will co-star as Buzz Aldrin, Deke Slayton and Ed White, respectively.
Whigham is making a deal to play Gus Grissom, one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts, who was killed along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee during a pre-launch test at Cape Canaveral.
Based on the book by James R. Hansen, First Man tells the riveting story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong during the years between 1961 and 1969. The movie will explore the sacrifices and the cost — on Armstrong and on the nation — of one of the most dangerous missions in history.
Written by Oscar winner Josh Singer (Spotlight), the film will be produced by Temple Hill’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen as well as the La La Land duo of Chazelle and Gosling. Isaac Klausner will executive produce.
Universal’s Sara Scott will oversee the project for the studio, which is co-financing the film with DreamWorks. Universal will release First Man on Oct. 12, 2018.
Whigham is a talented character actor who’s always in high demand, having most recently appeared in WB’s Kong: Skull Island, as well as on FX’s Fargo and HBO’s Vice Principals.
He boasts an impressive list of upcoming projects, which include Netflix’s Death Note, the Johnny Depp crime thriller LAbyrinth, the Jon Hamm-Rosamund Pike action-thriller High Wire Act, the baseball movie The Catcher Was a Spy starring Paul Rudd as Moe Berg, and the Weinstein Company’s Waco TV series starring Taylor Kitsch as David Koresh.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief