Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have signed to take on new sci-fi adaptation Artemis for 20th Century Fox. This marks their first project since getting fired from Han Solo back in June. While this adaptation doesn't take them to a galaxy far, far away, it does bring them back into the sci-fi realm. No writer has been set for this project as of yet, but it is based on the upcoming novel by celebrated author Andy Weir, whose debut novel The Martian was turned into the hit Ridley Scott and Matt Damon movie of the same city.
Variety broke the news today, reporting that 20th Century Fox picked up the film rights back in May, with the book set to be published Nov. 17 by Crown Publishing Group. The story centers on a woman named Jazz, described as a "directionless twentysomething" who lives in the small town of Artemis, the only town on the Moon. With debts mounting up, a life-changing opportunity comes her way that she can't refuse, which puts her in the middle of a conspiracy to control the entire town.
This project comes just over three months after they were fired from the Han Solo spin-off, which has been quite the controversial topic all summer. While the usual "creative differences" were cited in the split, it was later revealed that they were fired, more than four months into the production, with reportedly just a few weeks left to shoot at the time of their firing. Just a few days later, Ron Howard took over the reins, and there was also talk that they would ultimately return to The Flash movie that they were attached to direct for Warner Bros., before landing the Han Solo gig.
Simon Kinberg and Aditya Sood are producing this sci-fi adaptation, through their Genre Films production company, while Steve Asbell is overseeing the project for 20th Century Fox. Phil Lord and Chris Miller have an overall deal at 20th Century Fox Television, where they produce the hit comedy series The Last Man On Earth, which debuts its fourth season next month. On the film side, the filmmakers are best known for comedy projects like the animated Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and its sequel, along with the hit 21 Jump Street theatrical remake, and its sequel 22 Jump Street.
No production schedule was given, and it remains unclear how long it will take the directors and the studio to find a screenwriter to adapt this property. Still, since 20th Century Fox's first Andy Weir adaptation, The Martian, took in $228.4 million domestic and $630.1 million worldwide, from a $108 million budget, it's no surprise that the studio wants to work with this celebrated author once again. Since Simon Kinberg is a respected screenwriter in his own right, it's possible that he could be tasked with writing the script, but he's quite busy these days, making his directorial debut with X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which is currently in production and set for release on November 2, 2018.