EXCLUSIVE: In his first series-regular role since Suits, Patrick J. Adams will lead the cast of National Geographic’s scripted series The Right Stuff, based on Tom Wolfe’s best-selling nonfiction book.
Adams will play Maj. John Glenn in the drama from Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and Warner Horizon Scripted Television. It takes a look at what would become America’s first “reality show,” as ambitious astronauts and their families become instant celebrities in a competition that either will kill them or make them immortal in the quest to be a part of Project Mercury.
Glenn is a revered test pilot and committed family man with unwavering principles. He is the only astronaut to have experienced fame before Project Mercury, and he immediately locks horns with Alan Shepard in an unrelenting fight to be the first man in space.
In the 1983 feature adaptation of Wolfe’s book, Glenn was played by Ed Harris.
The first season of The Right Stuff, which uses Wolfe’s book as its starting point, starts at the height of the Cold War. To combat a national sentiment of fear and decline, the U.S. government conceives of NASA’s Project Mercury, igniting a space race with the Soviets and making instant celebrities of a handful of the military’s adrenaline-fueled test pilots. These individuals, who come to be known as the Mercury Seven, are forged into heroes long before they have achieved a single heroic act. At the heart of a historic drama populated by deeply human characters, archrivals Glenn and Shepard jockey to become the first man in space.
Production will begin this fall in Cocoa Beach, FL. for a 2020 premiere globally on National Geographic.
Subsequent seasons of The Right Stuff will carry through to the epochal Apollo Space Program, where humankind saw one of its greatest achievements — man setting foot on the moon — and missions beyond.
DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson are executive producers, along with Mark Lafferty, who will serve as showrunner. David Nutter is set to direct and executive produce the series’ premiere episode. Will Staples also is an executive producer. Michael Hampton shepherded this project on behalf of Appian Way.
Since wrapping a seven-season run as a co-lead on USA Network’s Suits, Adams has recurred on the third season of Amazon’s Sneaky Pete. He earned a SAG Award nomination for his role on Suits and directed several episodes of the legal drama, including its 100th.
Adams is repped by ICM Partners, Andy Corren Management and attorney Lev Ginsburg.