Warner Bros. is developing an untitled drama that will examine the relationship between “Cosmos” author Carl Sagan and his wife and collaborator Ann Druyan, TheWrap has learned.
Lynda Obst, who produced the space exploration movies “Interstellar” and “Contact,” will produce with Druyan.
Sagan is the famed astrophysicist who wrote the novel that served as the basis of Robert Zemeckis’ “Contact,” which was executive produced by Druyan.
Zach Dean (“Deadfall”) will write the script, having previously written “Methuselah” for Warner Bros. and “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman.
The Sagan-Druyan project comes on the heels of “Theory of Everything,” Universal’s drama about Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane Hawking that was nominated for five Oscars, winning one and grossing $121 million worldwide on a $15 million production budget.
Dean is represented by WME, Madhouse Entertainment and attorney Andrew Hurwitz.
Druyan is an author and Emmy-winning writer of the recent series “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” which she also produced. She married Sagan in 1981, and had these touching words to say about their relationship following his death in 1996.
When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me – it still sometimes happens – and ask me if Carl changed at the end & converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don’t ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous – not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance… That pure chance could be so generous and so kind… That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time… That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful…
The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don’t think I’ll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.
News of the project was first reported by the Tracking Board.