Nat Geo’s ‘The Right Stuff’ NASA Drama Moves to Disney+

Leonardo DiCaprio-produced historical series centers on the Mercury 7 crew

The Right Stuff
National Geographic/Gene Page

NatGeo’s upcoming historical drama “The Right Stuff” has been moved over to Disney+, where it will debut this fall.

An adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s iconic, bestselling book of the same name, the scripted series stars Jake McDorman as Alan Shepard, Patrick J. Adams as John Glenn and Colin O’Donoghue as Gordo Cooper. The book tells the true story of NASA’s Project Mercury and the crew known as the Mercury 7.

The rest of the crew is rounded out by Aaron Staton as Wally Schirra, James Lafferty as Scott Carpenter, Micah Stock as Deke Slayton, and Michael Trotter as Gus Grissom. 

“This true story of scientific innovation and human perseverance could not be more timely,” said Courteney Monroe, president, National Geographic Global Television Networks. “National Geographic’s ‘The Right Stuff’ is an aspirational story about exploration, ambition, determination and resilience and reminds us that human beings can achieve the extraordinary when united by a common purpose. This series provides a compelling behind-the-scenes look at the flawed, but heroic Mercury 7 astronauts and we are thrilled that it has found its perfect home on Disney+.”

The rest of the ensemble cast includes Nora Zehetner as Annie Glenn, Eloise Mumford as Trudy Cooper, and Shannon Lucio as Louise Shepard, Alan Shepard’s devoted and long-suffering wife. 

Using Wolfe’s book as its starting point, the first season of “The Right Stuff” starts at the height of the Cold War. To combat a national sentiment of fear and decline, the U.S. government conceives of NASA’s Project Mercury, igniting a space race with the Soviets and making instant celebrities of a handful of the military’s adrenaline-fueled test pilots. These individuals, who come to be known as the Mercury Seven, are forged into heroes long before they have achieved a single heroic act. At the heart of a historic drama populated by deeply human characters, two archrivals — Maj. John Glenn and Alan Shepard — jockey to be the first man in space.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson are executive producers, along with Mark Lafferty, who is showrunner. Chris Long directed and executive produced the first episode. Will Staples and Howard Korder are also executive producers. Thelma Schoonmaker and Danny Strong are consulting producers. Michael Hampton shepherded this project on behalf of Appian Way and is co-producer.