Released over two decades ago, Apollo 13 dramatized the aborted 1970 lunar mission in which three astronauts lives were placed in jeopardy as their spacecraft experienced massive internal damage. Ron Howard directed the historical docudrama film based on a screenplay by William Broyles, Jr., and Al Reinert, and adapted from the book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13. The recreation of the troubled space mission pulled no punches, with Howard going to great lengths to create a technically accurate adaptation, bolstered by an ensemble of solid performances from Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon and Bill Paxton. Consequently, the film was a big success, grossing over $355 million worldwide and nominated for nine Academy Awards (winning Best Film Editing and Best Sound).

Now, Ron Howard could be set to reunite with his Apollo 13 scribe Bill Broyles on the Skydance film Seveneves, which would have Howard directing and Broyles adapting the script from the Neal Stephenson novel of the same name.

As reported by Variety, the story would follow the human race as a catastrophic event that renders Earth a ticking time bomb, causing nations to band together and devise a plan to ensure the survival of humanity in outer space. Five thousand years later, their progeny – seven distinct races that are now three billion strong – embark on another audacious journey to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

Neal Stephenson Seveneves Novel Cover Ron Howard to Direct Adaptation of Sci Fi Novel Seveneves

Howard would also produce with his Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer (Apollo 13), along with Erica Huggins (Flightplan), David Ellison (Star Trek Into Darkness) and Dana Goldberg (I Am Legend). Howard, in particular, is no stranger to book-based projects, having previously worked on A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code and the biographical historical disaster survival-drama In the Heart of the Sea, which was released in theaters last year; while he has recently entered post-production with Grazer on Dan Brown’s Inferno.

Undeniably, Howard is an accomplished director, but Seveneves is pretty far removed from his more recent work in terms of genre and the vast scope of the story, spanning five thousand years in outer space. What’s more, Stephenson admitted in an entry on his website that he spent eight years pitching the concept to various media, including television, movies, games, and other transmedia combinations, with little success.

Now that the original premise has been fleshed out in novelization form, though, there is much more material to work from – and as a meticulous director, Howard should be able to bring all of the story elements together against a visually stunning backdrop, as proven by his work on the technical tour de force Apollo 13. In the meantime, Skydance’s future film slate includes Star Trek Beyond, Geostorm and Life, which will certainly keep science fiction fans satisfied as we await more news on Seveneves.

Screen Rant will keep you updated on all of the latest developments for Seveneves as they become available.

Sources: Variety, Neal Stephenson

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