Patrick J. Adams starred on the USA legal drama Suits for seven seasons. He departed the show alongside then-future Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle in 2018. Adams and Markle shared the screen as love interests. Since leaving, Adams starred in a recurring yet pivotal role on Season 3 of Amazon’s Sneaky Pete.
Now, he has found his first lead TV role since exiting Suits. National Geographic believes that Patrick J. Adams has “the right stuff.” Did that hint give it away? If not, here is confirmation. Adams has signed to star in the upcoming television adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s best-seller, The Right Stuff, per Deadline.
The actor will be taking on the critical, lead role of Maj. John Glenn. The series’ description notes that Glenn is a devoted family man and respected test pilot with “unwavering principles.” It also mentions the brewing rivalry between him and Alan Shephard. More on that in a bit.
Unlike his fellow astronauts, John Glenn had experience with fame heading into Project Mercury. He already made some significant headlines. Glenn broke the transcontinental airspeed record. In 1957, John Glenn was the first person to accomplish a supersonic transcontinental flight across the United States. A feat that brought the first continuous, panoramic picture of the country.
If you think the title of the series sounds familiar, there is a reason. The Right Stuff was the title of the Oscar-winning 1983 movie. Ed Harris played John Glenn in the feature film. It will be interesting to compare Harris and Patrick J. Adams’ takes on Glenn.
The Right Stuff will adapt the real-life story for television. Despite a long runtime of 3 hours and 13 minutes, the feature film still had a more limited chance to dig into its source material. That should not be a problem for the television show.
It will focus on the overnight celebrity that surrounded the astronauts and their families as the former took on NASA’s Project Mercury. It would set off the space race between the USA and the Soviets. There is a human drama at play, though.
The Right Stuff vows that at the core of the historical drama is its “deeply human characters.” Among them, archrivals John Glenn and Alan Shephard. They are both attempting to become the first man in space. For reference, Daredevil’s Scott Glenn played Shephard in the 1983 film. The television show has yet to cast Shephard, so stay tuned.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson will serve as executive producers on The Right Stuff. They will be joined in that capacity by Will Staples and the series’ showrunner, Mark Lafferty. Game of Thrones director David Nutter will direct the series premiere, which he will also executive produce. So, a top crew is on board behind-the-scenes of this one.
Patrick J. Adams is an intriguing casting choice, in my opinion. It will be fun to see who they cast to share the screen with him as Alan Shephard. It seems like Shephard and John Glenn’s rivalry will figure heavily into the series, so it will be pivotal to get that right. I also think focusing on their personal competition is a great anchor for the series to build on.
Production is set to commence this fall on the series. The Right Stuff is aiming for a 2020 global launch on National Geographic. In the meantime, there will be lots to watch this summer.