Black Widow and Captain America are going to space. Apple just picked up the rights to a new movie called Project Artemis which will star Scarlet Johansson and Chris Evans and be directed by Jason Bateman, who will also co-star. The script is by Rose Gilroy, who’s the daughter of Nightcrawler director Dan Gilroy and Thor star Rene Russo.
Deadline broke the news of the project which, according to the trade, “is set against the space race” — which I found confusing because when I first heard the news I assumed it would be Artemis, the second book from Martian writer Andy Weir, which Phil Lord and Chris Miller were set to produce. It’s not. Weir also has a third book, Project Hail Mary, which is also going to be a movie and which makes things even more confusing (one book called “Artemis,” another called “Project”). Then of course there’s the proposed 2024 moon landing which is being called “Artemis,” the Disney+ streaming movie Artemis Fowl, the lead character of Ready Player One (Art3mis), etc. None of which are this project. (Though the upcoming moon landing seems like it could be part of the story?)
Whatever the plot is, we know what we’re going to get with Johansson and Evans. They’re charismatic, talented actors who could turn almost any role into something heroic and exciting or dark and disturbing. What is most intriguing to me are the other big names, Bateman and Gilroy. Bateman, of course, is best known as an actor, having been in everything from Silver Spoons in the 1980s to the current series Ozark, which wraps up next month on Netflix. In that time he’s made directing a priority too and in recent years he did multiple episodes of not just Ozark but shows like Arrested Development and The Outsider, and the films Bad Words and The Family Fang. He’s never made a big time sci-fi movie but the trajectory for something on that scale is there.
Gilroy is less of a known commodity, but one only needs look at her background to expect great things. Not only is she the daughter of the crazy talented Dan Gilroy and Rene Russo, the Gilroys are Hollywood royalty. Dan’s brother, Tony, is the showrunner on the upcoming Star Wars show Andor, which he got after co-writing Rogue One, and he was Oscar nominated for writing and directing the 2007 legal thriller Michael Clayton. He also wrote the first several Jason Bourne movies, and directed The Bourne Legacy, which starred Jeremy Renner. Dan and Tony’s brother John Gilroy edited not just much of his siblings’ work, he also did The Suicide Squad, Pacific Rim, and more.
Oh and their father, Rose’s grandfather, was Frank Gilroy, a Tony Award and Pulitizer Prize-winning playwright. All of which is to say whatever Artemis ends up being, it should have a great pedigree both on camera, and behind it.