Channel 4 and US streaming site Hulu have ordered a new Sci-Fi series from Beau Willimon, the Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, and BAFTA Award-nominated writer of Netflix’s House of Cards.
Called The First, the drama is set in the near future and tells the story of the first human mission to Mars, focusing not only on the astronauts, but also on their families and loved ones, as well as the ground team on Earth.
“It’s a story about the human spirit,” said Willimon who will Executive Produce the series.
“About our indomitable need to reach for unknown horizons. About people working toward the greatest pioneering achievement in human history. And about the cost of that vision, the danger and sacrifice – emotional, psychological, and physical – that’s required to achieve it.
“How ordinary, imperfect people band together and overcome a myriad of obstacles to grasp the extraordinary.”
The whole will be owned and produced by Westward, the independent film and television studio founded by Willimon and producing partner Jordan Tappis, and will be co-financed by Hulu, Channel 4 and IMG.
It will premiere on Channel 4 in the UK and Hulu in the US. IMG will handle sales in all territories.
“We are thrilled with this team,” says Tappis. “Hulu and Channel 4 have demonstrated a commitment to bold, high-quality story telling.
“Their creative insight, wealth of experience and entrepreneurial spirit make them ideal partners for this series. IMG’s success in bringing premier content to the rest of world ensures this story will have a strong global audience.”
“The first interplanetary colonisation will be the greatest pioneering feat in history – the pinnacle of human achievement spearheaded by true visionaries – and will herald a new chapter in the evolution of our species.” says Simon Maxwell, Head of International Drama at Channel 4.
“Beau Willimon is the perfect storyteller to bring this epic story to life. We are proud to be backing the bold, creative talent working on The First and to be partnering with Beau and Jordan at Westward, alongside Hulu and IMG, on this ambitious and thrilling project.”
The 8-part series will go into production later this year and is slated to premiere on Hulu and Channel 4 in 2018.