Jon Hamm will fly to outer space with Natalie Portman in Legion creator Noah Hawley's astronaut drama Pale Blue Dot. Portman's casting was revealed in January. Reese Witherspoon was originally up for the female lead before dropping out, but remains on-board as a producer.
Pale Blue Dot stars Portman as an astronaut who begins losing her sense of reality after returning to earth following a long space mission. Noah Hawley, best known for creating acclaimed TV series Fargo and Legion, makes his feature film directorial debut on the drama. Brian C. Brown and Elliott DiGuiseppi wrote the script. The title of course refers to the famous "pale blue dot" image of Earth taken from 3.7 billion miles away by the Voyager 1 probe in 1990. Renowned scientist and author Carl Sagan gave the iconic image its evocative name.
As reported by Variety, Hamm will join Portman in the cast of the movie Pale Blue Dot. Hamm plays Portman's fellow astronaut, who finds himself "aggressively pursued" by his colleague after their return to earth.
Hamm's success story has become well-known. After struggling for years as an unknown, Hamm finally scored a career-making role on the acclaimed AMC series Mad Men. Seemingly overnight, Hamm went from unknown to icon, playing the hard-living 1960s ad man Don Draper. After Mad Men, Hamm has tried launching a movie career with somewhat mixed results. The actor has yet to find a leading man role with anything close to the complexity of Don Draper. However, he has scored some memorable supporting roles in recent years. None was more memorable than his turn as criminal Buddy in last year's hit Baby Driver. Hamm also received good notices for his work in the 2017 sci-fi drama Marjorie Prime. His next big screen role is that of a hostage negotiator in the drama Beirut. He will later return to TV by playing the Archangel Gabriel in Good Omens.
It remains to be seen whether Pale Blue Dot finally gives Hamm a really meaty Hollywood leading man role. The film certainly has promise, given its intriguing premise and strong leads. Hawley as director is also a positive. The movie's story of an astronaut coming unglued indeed sounds right up Hawley's alley. Hawley on his TV shows Fargo and Legion has given us several interesting portraits of characters losing their grip while under various kinds of psychological stress. Legion especially plays around with notions of reality and split personality, creating a truly mind-bending visual and narrative experience. If Hawley makes Pale Blue Dot like Legion, it could be quite a trip.