BREAKING Good Universe has tapped filmmaker Chad Hartigan to direct the romantic sci-fi film Departure, based on an original script by Captain Phillips and The Hunger Games scribe Billy Ray.

Inspired by Martin Caidin’s book Ghosts of the Air, which documents real accounts from pilots who have experienced flight anomalies, the pic follows a brilliant man in 1973 Miami investigating how a 727 suddenly vanished into thin air and then reappeared in the exact same spot ten 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.

Ray will also produce with Jim Whitaker (A Wrinkle in TimeAmerican Gangster). Exec producers are Joe Drake, Nathan Kahane, John Middleton and Roy Lee. Brady Fujikawa will oversee the project for Good Universe and Adam Borba for Whitaker Entertainment.

Hartigan’s recent coming-of-age comedy Morris from America, which premiered at Sundance last year, was selected as one of the Top 10 Independent Films of 2016 by the National Board of Review. His previous film This is Martin Bonner won the Best of NEXT Audience Award at 2013’s Sundance and the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award. Hartigan most recently directed an episode of the Duplass Brothers’ HBO anthology series Room 104.

He’s repped by UTA, Mosaic and Bloom, Hergott, Diemer. Dan Freedman negotiated for Good Universe.