The Right Stuff takes a gritty, anti-nostalgic look at what would become America's first reality show as the obsessive original Mercury Seven astronauts and their families become instant celebrities in a competition that will either kill them or make them immortal. The one-hour drama will follow the protagonists from the Mojave Desert to the edges of space, with future seasons carrying through to humankind's greatest achievement: the moon landing.
Status: In Development
Runtime: 60 minutes
The Right Stuff - The Right Stuff (film) - Netflix
The Right Stuff is a 1983 American epic historical drama film. It was adapted from Tom Wolfe's best-selling 1979 book of the same name about the Navy, Marine and Air Force test pilots who were involved in aeronautical research at Edwards Air Force Base, California, as well as the Mercury Seven, the seven military pilots who were selected to be the astronauts for Project Mercury, the first manned spaceflight by the United States. The Right Stuff was written and directed by Philip Kaufman and stars Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Sam Shepard, Fred Ward, Dennis Quaid and Barbara Hershey. Levon Helm is the narrator in the introduction and elsewhere in the film, as well as having a co-starring role as Air Force test pilot Jack Ridley. The film was a box-office failure, grossing approximately $21 million against a $27 million budget. Despite this, it received widespread critical acclaim and eight Oscar nominations at the 56th Academy Awards, four of which it won. In 2013 the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
The Right Stuff - Film models - Netflix
A large number of film models were assembled for the production; for the more than 80 aircraft appearing in the film, static mock-ups and models were used as well as authentic aircraft of the period. Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Wilmore, USAF (Ret) acted as the United States Air Force liaison to the production, beginning his role as a technical consultant in 1980 when the pre-production planning had begun. The first draft of the script in 1980 had concentrated only on the Mercury 7 but as subsequent revisions developed the treatment into more of the original story that Wolfe had envisioned, the aircraft of late-1940s that would have been seen at Edwards AFB were required. Wilmore gathered World War II era “prop” aircraft including: Douglas A-26 Invader North American P-51 Mustang North American T-6 Texan and Boeing B-29 Superfortress The first group were mainly “set dressing” on the ramp while the Confederate Air Force (now renamed the Commemorative Air Force) B-29 “Fifi” was modified to act as the B-29 “mothership” to carry the Bell X-1 and X-1A rocket-powered record-breakers. Other “real” aircraft included the early jet fighters and trainers as well as current USAF and United States Navy examples. These flying aircraft and helicopters included: Douglas A-4 Skyhawk LTV A-7 Corsair II North American F-86 Sabre Convair F-106 Delta Dart McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star Northrop T-38 Talon A number of aircraft significant to the story had to be recreated. The first was an essentially static X-1 that had to at least roll and even realistically “belch flame” which was accomplished by a simulated rocket blast from the exhaust pipes. A series of wooden mock-up X-1s were used to depict interior shots of the cockpit, the mating up of the X-1 to a modified B-29 fuselage and bomb bay and ultimately to recreate flight in a combination of model work and live-action photography. The “follow-up” X-1A was also an all-wooden model. The U.S. Navy's Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket that Crossfield duelled with Yeager's X-1 and X-1A was recreated from a modified Hawker Hunter jet fighter. The climactic flight of Yeager in a Lockheed NF-104A was originally to be made with a modified Lockheed F-104 Starfighter but ultimately, Wilmore decided that the production had to make do with a repainted Luftwaffe F-104G, which lacks the rocket engine of the NF-104. Wooden mock-ups of the Mercury space capsules also realistically depicted the NASA spacecraft and were built from the original mold. For many of the flying sequences, scale models were produced by USFX Studios and filmed outdoors in natural sunlight against the sky. Even off-the-shelf plastic scale models were utilized for aerial scenes. The X-1, F-104 and B-29 models were built in large numbers as a number of the more than 40 scale models were destroyed in the process of filming. The blending together of miniatures, full-scale mock-ups and actual aircraft was seamlessly integrated into the live-action footage. The addition of original newsreel footage was used sparingly but to effect to provide another layer of authenticity.
The Right Stuff - References - Netflix