Cover art for Project Hail Mary.

Image: Ballantine Books

Years ago, Andy Weir’s sci-fi novel Project Hail Mary was being optioned as a film with Ryan Gosling in the lead role. After years of no significant news on the project, Amazon MGM’s ready to bring the adaptation to theaters, and it’s even locked down a release date: March 20, 2026.

No other major films—if any movies, period—have that called dibs on that day, according to Deadline. At time of writing, a start date for production hasn’t been locked down; last year, cameras would reportedly start rolling in early 2024 over in the UK, but that was before the Hollywood strikes came along and threw any plans out of whack as it has with other productions. What hasn’t changed, though, is the talent behind the camera: the movie’s still to be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller and like The Martian in 2015, be working off a screenplay written by Drew Goddard.

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Project Hail Mary released in 2021 as the technically fourth (and most recent) novel in Weir’s career. Gosling plays Ryland Grace, a school teacher-turned-astronaut who wakes up from a coma riddled with amnesia and aboard the titular space station. Eventually, he starts to put his memories back together, where he realizes he was sent to the Tau Ceti solar system to reverse a solar dimming event that could wipe out humanity. Like The Martian, it received pretty good reviews, and became a finalist at the 2022 Hugo Awards’ Best Novel category.

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Back when it released in 2020, we thought Hail Mary was a pretty solid read, especially for those who got onboard with Weir through The Martian. In some ways, it’s doing the same things as that book on a bigger scale, but it was also just as engrossing as Martian, so can you really be mad at it? Count as curious to see what comes of the film on March 20, 2026. If you haven’t read it yet, it might not hurt to do so ahead of time, even if it’s just to beat the rush at bookstores and libraries.

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