HBO is developing a biopic-style show focused on the achievements of Elon Musk and SpaceX, specifically highlighting the company’s successful mission which launched and landed NASA astronauts this year. The limited series, produced by Channing Tatum’s Free Association, will be based on Ashlee Vance’s 2017 biography of Musk titled, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. A shorter title will be used for the six-episode show, however, which is simply “SpaceX.”
Other standout names on board for the SpaceX series include co-executive producer Len Amato, the former president of HBO Films, Miniseries, and Cinemax, along with Reid Carolin and Peter Kiernan from the Tatum-led production company. Vance himself will also take on an executive production role, and Doug Jung, known for 2016’s Star Trek Beyond screenplay, will be a writer. Michael Parets, who worked on sci-fi film Arrival, will oversee the project as the VP of Development and Productions for Free Association.
As a history-making commercial spaceflight company with impressive technology aimed at making humans a multiplanetary species, SpaceX is no stranger to the big and small screen alike. Musk and his rocket company have been featured in nearly every modern project discussing Mars, including National Geographic’s “Mars” mini series. Alongside behind-the scenes footage of SpaceX’s first successful Falcon 9 landing, an interview with the founder and CEO was featured in bits over several episodes to give insight to the technology shown on the show.
More recently, SpaceX and NASA have partnered with Tom Cruise to film the first-ever feature film to be produced outside of planet Earth. Reports in May indicated the project’s development was still in very early and preliminary stages, and casting decisions had not been made other than Cruise’s appearance. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine later confirmed the project via Twitter where Musk also indicated his enthusiasm for the project. “Should be a lot of fun!” he tweeted in reply to Bridenstine’s announcement.
With roles in television and film, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX generally plays himself, including Iron Man 2 and his less-serious appearance in a Thanksgiving episode of The Big Bang. The times he played a character instead include an episode of Rick and Morty as “Elon Tusk” and in Men in Black: International where he played an alien in an uncredited role. Musk is known to be a fan of Rick and Morty in particular, the show having inspired features included in Tesla’s Sentry Mode.