Joe Dempsie Loses The Right Stuff Role To Colin O'Donoghue After Visa Issues

Game of Thrones Joe Dempsie Gendry HBO Colin O'Donoghue Captain Killian Hook Jones Once Upon a Time

(Image credit: Helen Sloan/HBO - Jack Rowand/ABC)

Just last month, news emerged that Game of Thrones star Joe Dempsie had landed his next big TV role. A month has changed things in a sad way for the actor. Originally slated to star in National Geographic’s The Right Stuff, Dempsie has had to exit the upcoming series.

Joe Dempsie was initially slated to star as Lt. Gordon Cooper in the network’s adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s previously adapted best-seller. Due to issues with his visa, Dempsie has had to depart the project, per Deadline. The Right Stuff will film in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Who will take over? That is where Once Upon a Time’s Colin O’Donoghue comes into play.

The actor has signed on to replace Joe Dempsie as Lt. Gordon Cooper. For reference, Colin O’Donoghue played fan-favorite Captain Killian “Hook” Jones on Once Upon a Time. The ABC fantasy series wrapped its seven-season run in May 2018. O’Donoghue joined the show during its second season. Now, he will take on a role that is as real as it gets for The Right Stuff.

Taking over the part from Joe Dempsie puts Colin O’Donoghue playing the youngest member of the Mercury Seven. Lt. Gordon Cooper was on the brink of being 32-years-old when he was selected. As for the name “Mercury Seven,” that was the title given to the seven astronauts who were involved in NASA’s Project Mercury.

Accordingly, The Right Stuff will chronicle the project that proved pivotal to the USA and the Soviets’ Space Race. Along with the astronauts, the show will also chronicle the overnight celebrity that came with the project.

The Right Stuff will also focus on the rivalry between John Glenn and Alan Shepard. As previously reported, Suits’ Patrick J. Adams will be taking on the role of John Glenn. Jake McDorman, who recently played an adult Avery on the Murphy Brown revival, will play Alan Shephard.

News of the Lt. Gordon Cooper recast is unfortunate for Joe Dempsie. He recently tweeted that he was "gutted" to not be able to make Con of Thrones this year in Nashville; it's possible that was tied to his visa issue as well. The actor, who thought it was “stupid” of Gendry to propose to Arya, should be okay. He showed such resilience in pursuing a role on Game of Thrones, one would hope that characteristic helps him now. Still, it has to be a blow.

The Right Stuff has found a great actor to take over the role. Colin O’Donoghue was always a highlight during his time on Once Upon a Time, in my opinion. It will be interesting to see his portrayal of Lt. Gordon Cooper. O'Donoghue played a famous fictional character. Now, he will play a famous real one. He's clearly thrilled for the opportunity:

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Check out Colin O’Donoghue as Lt. Gordon Cooper when the series airs. The Right Stuff is targeting a 2020 global launch date on National Geographic. Summer’s cascade of television premieres should help you keep from rocketing off in anticipation.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.