Clint Eastwood to Produce and Direct Film
Academy Award-winning filmmaker and actor Clint Eastwood has
acquired the rights to Pulitzer Prize-nominated historian James R.
Hansen's authorized biography of Neil Armstrong, the first
astronaut to set foot on the moon. Eastwood intends to develop the
property into a feature film that he will produce and direct, but
not star in. The Malpaso Production will be a Warner Bros. Pictures
Hansen's book is entitled First Man: A Life of
Neil A. Armstrong. It traces Armstrong's life as a Korean War
fighter pilot through his experiences in the American space program
and his historic steps on the moon. An internationally prominent
aerospace historian and professor of history at Auburn University,
Hansen has the exclusive rights to tell Armstrong's story.
Completion of the manuscript is expected in late 2004.
Eastwood previously produced and directed a movie about a
fictional U.S. space program in his 2001 Warner Bros. Pictures
summer hit Space Cowboys, in which he starred with Tommy
Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner as a team of top
fighter pilots, now retired, who are brought back into service to
assist NASA during a major satellite crisis.
"Millions of people watched Neil Armstrong step out onto the
Moon's surface, and millions more have seen those images since the
event happened," stated Eastwood. "However, Armstrong himself is a
very enigmatic person. James Hansen's book examines the life of a
private man who shared a profound experience with the entire world;
it's a story that I think would make an interesting movie."
In 1993, Clint Eastwood's revisionist western,
Unforgiven, earned nine Academy Award nominations and four
Oscars (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best
Editor). Eastwood also received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial
Award in 1995 from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and
Other accolades that Eastwood (right, in 1971's
Dirty Harry) has accumulated include the Screen
Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, a Kennedy Center Honors Award
and a Lifetime Career Achievement Award from New York's National
Board of Review. Eastwood received a Cesar Honorary Award from the
French Film Society for Career Achievement and a Golden Laurel
Lifetime Achievement Award from the Producers Guild of America. He
was also the recipient of the Life Achievement Award from the
American Film Institute and the Film Society at Lincoln Center, and
he won a Best Director Golden Globe for Bird in 1989 and a
Hollywood Foreign Press Cecil B. DeMille Career Achievement Award
As in this anticipated Neil Armstrong picture, Eastwood has been
a director/producer and non-actor in Midnight in the Garden of
Good and Evil (1996), jazzman Charlie Parker commemorative,
Bird (1988) and the upcoming Mystic River. So,
Neil, do you feel lucky?