‘Felicity’ co-creator Matt Reeves will exec produce ‘Away,’ which is inspired by Chris Jones’ Esquire story.
Jason Katims is blasting off with Netflix.
The Friday Night Lights and Parenthood showrunner has landed a 10-episode, straight-to-series order for space drama Away at the streaming giant.
Written by Katims and Andrew Hinderaker (The Path, Penny Dreadful), Away is loosely inspired by Chris Jones’ Esquire story of the same name. The drama is described as an epic love story and thrilling tale of survival set against humanity’s greatest endeavor — the first human mission to Mars.
The series revolves around Emma Green, an American astronaut who must leave her husband and teenage daughter behind in order to command an international space crew embarking upon a treacherous, yearlong mission. Away explores themes including hope, humanity and how people need one another if we are to achieve impossible things.
Katims will exec produce alongside Felicity co-creator Matt Reeves. The drama hails from Katims’ Universal Television-based True Jack Productions banner and Reeves’ 6th and Idaho shingle. Former True Jack topper Michelle Lee, who developed the series before she departed for Apple, will exec produce the first episode. Her replacement at True Jack, Fullscreen’s Jeni Mulein, will co-exec produce episodes two through ten. Reeves’ 6th and Idaho exec vp Adam Kassan will also serve as an EP. Hinderaker will also be credited as a co-EP after working briefly with Katims on his since-canceled Hulu cult drama The Path. Negotiations are underway to bring in a showrunner to oversee the series.
Jones’ March 2015 feature followed astronaut Scott Kelly’s yearlong mission on the International Space Station, which was considered the most ambitious manned space mission in decades. Jones spent three months reporting on the mission.
For Katims, the series comes weeks after NBC opted to cancel high school theater drama Rise after one season and a month-plus after Hulu opted to cancel Aaron Paul, Hugh Dancy and Michelle Monaghan drama The Path after three seasons.
Away arrives as Reeves is making a concerted push on the small screen. His Fox genre drama The Passage was picked up to series at Fox after it was redeveloped when it narrowly missed the cut last year. On the film side, his credits include The Cloverfield Paradox, which made waves when it was released Super Bowl Sunday on Netflix. He also wrote and directed 2017’s War for the Planet of the Apes and directed 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Away comes to Netflix as space dramas continue to be a hot genre on both the big and small screens. Hulu is teaming with House of Cards creator Beau Willimon for Sean Penn vehicle The First, while Amazon revived The Expanse for a fourth season after Syfy’s unexpected cancellation. On the feature side, Ryan Gosling stars as Neil Armstrong in Damien Chazelle’s First Man, among others.
Katims is repped by CAA and Schreck Rose. Reeves is with CAA, 3 Arts and Jackoway Tyerman.