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Kristen Stewart will play astronaut Sally Ride in the limited series project THE CHALLENGER

Kristen Stewart will be the protagonist of a limited series project entitled The challengerand will play Sally Ride, the astronaut and physicist who became the first American woman to fly in space in 1983.

Ride immediately became a celebrity. Three years later the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded after 73 seconds of ascent, killing all seven crew members. Ride became the only active astronaut to serve on the Rogers Commission that investigated the disaster and determined its cause.

She eventually died of cancer at the age of 61 in 2012. The series is based on the book The new kidswhich was written by Meredith E. Bagby

The book description reads: The never-before-told story of NASA’s 1978 astronaut class, which included the first American women, the first African-Americans, the first Asian-American, and the first gay person to fly in space. Featuring exclusive astronauts in attendance, this is the thrilling behind-the-scenes saga of a new generation that transformed space exploration.

The Story of the NASA Class 8 Astronauts, or “The F*cking New Guys,” as their military predecessors nicknamed them, is an unprecedented look at these extraordinary explorers who broke barriers and broke through glass ceilings.

Egos clashed, ambitions flared, and romances blossomed as the New Guys competed with each other and faced NASA’s ruthless internal politics for a chance to reach the stars.

Marking a departure from the iconic military test pilots who had dominated the space program since its inception, the New Guys arrived at the dawn of a new era of spaceflight. The teardrop-shaped space capsules of Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo gave way to the Space Shuttle, a revolutionary space plane that could launch like a rocket, carry cargo like a truck, and land on Earth like an airliner.

They have mastered this new machine from its first dangerous test flights to its greatest successes: the launch of hundreds of satellites, the construction of the International Space Station and the deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope.

The New Guys depicts these charismatic young astronauts and the exuberant social and scientific progress of the Space Shuttle program against the efforts of NASA officials struggling to meet America’s military demands and commercial aspirations.

When NASA was forced to fly more often and at greater risk, lives were lost in the program’s two largest disasters: Challenger (1986) and Columbia (2003).

In the crosshairs of this battle are the shuttle astronauts who gave their lives in those catastrophes and who gave their life’s work to pursue a more equitable future in space for all humanity. Through it all they became friends, rivals, lovers and, ultimately, family.

Kyra Sedgwick’s Big Swing Productions developed the project and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partner will handle the production.

Maggie Cohn will serve as writer and showrunner. He worked before History of American crime, The ladder AND Narcos: Mexico.

Sedgwick said in a statement: “This is something we’ve been working on at Big Swing since 2017, Meredith, Valerie, and I, regarding this new class of astronauts recruited by NASA in the early 1970s. Sally Ride was among them and the focus is on this group of wild and ferocious newly recruited astronauts, all very different.

“And then, on an Oppenheimer track, it also tells the story of the Rogers Commission which investigated the Challenger disaster in which the Ride took part. Growing up in Florida, Meredith Bagby was obsessed with space and the shuttle, and she even saw the Challenger explode.

“Meredith had hundreds of hours of interviews with members of that class, and we have relationships with all those living astronauts and they will be part of our brain trust on the show.

“He wrote the book and it hit the bestseller lists. We wanted so badly to tell this story as a limited series. Our goal at Big Swing is to tell familiar stories with a new perspective and point of view. I had a relationship with Maggie Cohn and she fell in love with the book.

“Valerie had this dream of having Kristen Stewart, and after over a year of trying to backchannel Kristen with this book, she read it and fell in love with it. Having Kristen and Maggie was incredible, for a company that no one really knows about yet. We are three girls with a dream.

“Then we thought, what better than to bring in Steven Spielberg to help him tell this awe-inspiring story of the astronauts who inspired space travel for a new generation? They helped us prepare the proposal to present to the market, which proved to be extremely competitive and we are close to an agreement.”

When talking about bringing Kristen Stewart on board to star in the series, Sedgwick said, “She’s never done television, but when she read this she became obsessed with telling Sally Ride’s story from her unique perspective that I won’t even try.” to paraphrase why she is so eloquent about it.

“She was so amazing in these field meets and that was a big part of why it was so competitive. He’s so compelling and he was so excited to tell the story of an American hero who had to hide who he was at the time.

“Who better to play Sally Ride than one of the greatest actresses of her generation? As they say in Hollywood, passion wins the day. Her passion for being an executive producer is vast. As stubborn as we were in getting her the script, she was just as stubborn in selling it on the market.”

The plan is to prepare and publish the series on the anniversary of the Challenger disaster, which occurred 38 years ago on January 28, 1986.

Source: deadline

by Joey Paur
Source: Geek Tyrant

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