Artemis, the recent novel by The Martian author Andy Weir, had already sealed a movie deal and procured a high-profile directorial duo in Phil Lord and Chris Miller even before it hit shelves and devices.
Of course, director Ridley Scott’s 2015 film adaptation of Weir’s novel, The Martian, was a box office phenomenon for Fox, grossing $630 million worldwide, yielding seven Oscar nominations. Thus, it doesn’t take intricate industry inside baseball knowledge to discern that the studio wants to replicate that success. Consequently, Artemis is on the fast track.
Geneva Robertson-Dworet will write the Artemis script, adapting Weir’s novel of the same name, according to Deadline. The gig represents yet another high-profile project for Robertson-Dworet, who recently burst onto the scene as the co-writer of the script for this past March’s release of the Alicia Vikander-starring Tomb Raider reboot. Auspiciously, her next work will credit her as co-writer of the March 2019 release, Captain Marvel, followed by work on a backlog of projects that consists of the Dungeons & Dragons reboot, hiatus-hit Spider-Man spinoff Silver & Black, sci-fi film Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light, and 1980s toy line adaptation M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand.
Working off Robertson-Dworet’s script, Phil Lord and Chris Miller will get to handle a space adventure for their next movie after all, since they are set to handle directorial duties for Artemis. Lord and Miller, the acclaimed directing duo of The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street comedy film franchise, made headlines when they were appointed to direct the spinoff film that would come to be known as Solo: A Star Wars Story. However, they’d make headlines again in June 2017 when purported differences of vision from the overseeing Disney/Lucasfilm monolith saw the duo unceremoniously removed from the project late into production, replaced by the experienced directorial hands of Ron Howard.
Artemis follows a character named Jazz Bashara, a swagger-rocking, wise-cracking, fortune-seeking criminal whose urban stomping ground happens to be located on the moon, specifically, Artemis, the first and only lunar city. While the moon metropolis mostly caters to rich tourists and eccentric billionaires, Jazz’s life of hustling leads her to a life-changing opportunity of a crime, which would allow her to pay off a long-owed debt. However, said opportunity thrusts her into the middle of a dangerous political conspiracy in which control of Artemis itself hangs in the balance. Indeed, it’s an antihero story that contains several Han Solo parallels, something that the excommunicated Solo directors, Lord and Miller, probably appreciate.
The idea of Artemis having a female protagonist was revealed in a December 2015 Huffington Post article. Of course, the concept is also validated by its very title, referencing the bow-wielding Greek goddess of the hunt.
20th Century Fox and New Regency came together back in May to preemptively acquire the movie rights to Andy Weir’s next novel Artemis, reported The Tracking Board. Thus, the property achieved the prestige of a movie deal well before the novel’s November 12, 2017 release date. The Martian producer Simon Kinberg is attached to the Artemis project, joined by Aditya Sood from Genre Films and executive Steve Asbell, onboard on behalf of the studio.
Back in May 2016, Fox initially circled a pitch by Weir for a mystery screenplay, with plans purportedly in place for The Martian director Ridley Scott to produce via his Scott Free Productions and Simon Kinberg also attached to produce. However, after about a year, that endeavor shifted focus to a film adaptation of Weir’s then-upcoming novel, Artemis. Executive Michael Schaefer, who was with Scott Free during the 2016 developments, has fostered the Artemis project via his current company New Regency along with Asbell.
It will be interesting to see if a movie project adapted from an Andy Weir novel that isn’t The Martian can become a similar cinematic success and possibly achieve a measure of redemption for former Solo helmers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.