One of the great films of the ’80s, perhaps the greatest, is now coming to the small screen in series form.
Leonardo DiCaprio and folks with “Game of Thrones” credits are taking another shot at Tom Wolfe’s epic account of the prehistory and then early days of the U.S. space program.
The film version of “The Right Stuff” covered two major fields of play, the Edwards Air Force Base and Kennedy Space Center accounts of test pilots like Chuck Yeager (Edwards) and Co., and the Mercury Seven astronauts who rendered those guys obsolete with their own version of “The Right Stuff.”
The book allows for a lot more of that era to be covered than just the film’s focus on the personification of “The Right Stuff,” cool under pressure Yeager (played by Sam Shepard).
The Space Race, the sleepy ’50s displaced by the go go/can-do ’60s.
Unlike George Clooney’s remake of “Catch-22,” the TV version of “The Right Stuff” will be competing with a classic film, one of the greats of the genre, a career-maker for the likes of Ed Harris and Dennis Quaid. Mike Nichols’ “Catch-22” was a bust, ambitious and well cast, but not beloved the way Phil Kaufman’s space race epic was.