Chair Force Engineer

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Phillip Kaufman, director of 1983's The Right Stuff, is poised to make another space-themed film, entitled Challenger.

I vaguely remember the 1990 made-for-TV movie Challenger; in hindsight, it seems hard to make a movie about disaster if there isn't a strong bright spot to conclude with. For instance, United 93 relies on the heroism of the passengers in thwarting the attack against our capitol. Oliver Stone's upcoming World Trade Center is supposed to focus on two firefighters who survived inside the rubble of the towers against all odds.

Kaufman finds a happy ending, of sorts, by making his movie about the accident investigation instead of the accident itself. The main protagonist looks to be the iconoclastic Richard Feynman. It sounds like it will be worth watching, although it will be hard to top The Right Stuff.

I've felt that if Hollywood wanted to make a movie about a space disaster, it should come up with a screen version of Rick Husband's biography High Calling. The book was so good that I cried when I read it. Although Rick Husband's life came to an abrupt and premature end, it's clear that in his 46 years on earth (and space,) he accomplished more than many people would dream of doing in several lifetimes. While the book's overtly-Christian themes might make it more suited for the PAX network instead of theatres, the success of The Passion of the Christ could pave the way for High Calling to get a worthy screen treatment.