EXCLUSIVE: Kris Thykier’s Archery Pictures, Iain Softley’s Forthcoming Films and Michael Maher’s Start Motion Pictures are joining forces to develop Icarus, a feature film about legendary British-American astronaut Mike Foale.
K-Pax and The Outcast filmmaker Softley is set to direct the project, which follows the story of Foale and his real-life space adventure in the 1990s during which he overcame a series of crises aboard the Mir space station to become one of NASA’s most highly-respected astronauts to date.
Story is based on the book Way Station to the Stars, written by Foale’s father Colin, and first-hand personal accounts of events. Forthcoming and Archery have acquired film rights to the book and exclusive rights to Foale’s story. Thykier, Maher and Softley will develop and produce. Softley will work with Hunky Dory and Lady Grey writer Laurence Coriat on the current draft of the script, which was adapted from the book and Foale’s personal recollections by Hilary Thompson.
“As well as being a close friend, I’ve been a great admirer of Iain Softley for my whole working life and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with him on ‘Icarus,’” said Thykier. “The story is inspiring, touching and particularly resonant for an audience today. Michael Maher has proven his taste and acumen in his latest feature Passengers, with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, and I feel honoured to be working alongside of him.”
Softley said: “I have been fascinated with Foale’s extraordinary story for many years and feel privileged to be working in such close collaboration with him on it. Its combination of the heroism of a space survival adventure with a deeply moving story of love and tragic loss will make for compelling cinema. I’m delighted to be working with such experienced and talented producers as Kris and Michael and screenwriters Hilary and Lawrence.”
Maher added: “Mike Foale’s story is remarkable. I’m thrilled to be working with Kris and Iain to bring it to the screen.”
Archery is currently in post on John Madden’s Miss Sloane, starring Jessica Chastain, which EuropaCorp is releasing in the U.S. on December 9. It’s also producing Sky Atlantic Cote d’Azur crime series Riviera, written by Neil Jordan, and Peter Kosminsky’s new four-part drama.
Maher’s Start Motion Pictures is currently producing Morten Tyldum’s Passengers for Sony Pictures and is also producing and financing Sean Durkin’s Janis, starring Michelle Williams.
Meanwhile, Forthcoming Films, founded by Softley and producer Sarah Curtis, is currently in development on Daisy Ridley and Naomi Watts starrer Ophelia.