Channel 4 and Hulu have ordered drama The First, set in the near future about the very first human mission to Mars.
The series is created and written by Beau Willimon (House of Cards) who will also serve as executive producer alongside Jordan Tappis.
The First will explore the challenges of taking the first steps toward interplanetary colonisation. Willimon said: “It’s a story about the human spirit and about our indomitable need to reach for unknown horizons. How ordinary, imperfect people band together and overcome a myriad of obstacles to grasp the extraordinary.”
The show will have a diverse ensemble cast, which is yet to be announced and will focus not only on the astronauts, but also their families and the ground team on Earth.
Westward, Willimon and Tappis' independent film and television studio, will own and produce The First. The series will be co-financed by Hulu, Channel 4 and IMG.
Tappis said: “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.”
Head of International Drama of Channel 4 Simon Maxwell also added: “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 start production later this year and will premiere on Hulu and Channel 4 in 2018.