In a competitive situation, Fox21 Television Studios has acquired TV rights to Apollo 8, the bestselling book from Time magazine editor Jeffrey Kluger, co-author of Apollo 13, which was the basis for the 1995 Best Picture nominee directed by Ron Howard.

Henry Holt and Company

The project was brought to the studio by producer David T. Friendly (Queen Of The South, Little Miss Sunshine) under his overall deal, along with Michael Bostick, who produced the Emmy-winning 1998 miniseries From The Earth To The Moon that chronicled the Apollo missions. Friendly and Bostick, who both serve as executive producers, are meeting with writers to pen the adaptation.

Set against a disastrous year for the country that saw Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy assassinated while the nation was reeling from the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, Apollo 8 tells the story of the secret plan NASA hatched in August 1968 to have Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders become the first men to orbit the moon and see its far side.

“We want to explore the huge stakes behind this critical mission through the personal stories of the astronauts and their families and a nation that held their breath hoping they would come home and breathe new life into an ailing America,” said Friendly.

Bostick worked with Friendly and Kluger at Imagine Entertainment helping to put together Apollo 13 for Howard, which went on to gross nearly $174 million worldwide and earned nine Oscar noms and two wins. “For us this is a reunion of sorts,” Bostick said.

At Friendly Films, the project is being overseen by creative executive Kirsten Jacobson.