This post is also available in: العربية

Andy Weir, the computer programmer turned writer whose novel The Martian was filmed with Matt Damon and became a global box office  in 2015, has written a new astronaut thriller that has already wracked up a string of international deals.  Entitled Project Hail Mary it tells the story of a lone astronaut who awakens to find himself on a ship deep in space, his crewmates dead and his memories missing.  The synopsis continues: ‘All he knows is that he alone must now complete a desperate, last-chance mission to save the Earth from disaster.

Film rights to the title have been sold to MGM, with Ryan Gosling attached to star and Phil Lord and Chris Miller set to direct.  Sam Bradbury, senior editor at Del Rey, said: “We can’t wait for the world to fall in love with Project Hail Mary. Andy has written one of the boldest, most exciting novels ever set in space, with a hilarious and ingenious lead character that you wish you were isolated in space with.

“As with The Martian, the novel is filled with human drama, razor-sharp humour and fascinating real-life science. But Andy cranks everything up to 11 here. It’s his most ambitious and inventive novel to date with an audacious plot to save Earth that speaks to our uncertain times. It’s no wonder MGM and Ryan Gosling are fast-tracking this into a movie. This book will appeal to a huge audience beyond science fiction; readers have such a treat in store.”

The Martian was originally self-published by Weir on his own website in 2012 and then on Kindle Direct where its success led to an approach from literary agent David Fugate who subsequently sold the novel to Crown Publishing (Penguin Random House).  Fulgate and Penguin Random House have now sold both The Martian and Project Hail Mary in 42 languages, including Arabic.