National Geographic is developing a new documentary film about Legendary astronomer and astrophysicist Carl Sagan.
The Untitled Carl Sagan Film will be produced by Fuzzy Door’s Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins, Emmy and Peabody winner Ann Druyan – Sagan’s life partner – and Academy Award nominee Nanette Burstein. Burstein will direct the film. Also producing is production company Hungry Man.
“Serving as an intimate and cinematic portrait of Sagan, the Untitled Carl Sagan Documentary will explore his love story with partner Ann Druyan and with science,” National Geographic Documentary Films said in a statement. “The film will include exclusive audio recordings, archival clips and animation, along with interviews with his family, friends and colleagues. With the full support of Sagan’s family and friends, the film will present a fascinating look into the life and career of one of the world’s most inspiring and revolutionizing scientists of our time.”
“Carl Sagan was a groundbreaking and revolutionary scientist who decoded the complexity of the cosmos and made planetary science accessible and relevant to audiences around the world,” said Carolyn Bernstein, executive vice president of documentary films for National Geographic. “We are so excited to work with Nanette, Ann and Fuzzy Door to bring Sagan’s pioneering work and compelling personal story to a new generation of admirers.”
The extent of Sagan’s scientific endeavors and achievements defy easy summarization, but they encompass “a leading role in the American space program since its inception,” NatGeo notes. “He was a consultant and adviser to NASA since the 1950s, briefed the Apollo astronauts before their flights to the Moon, and was an experimenter on the Mariner, Viking, Voyager and Galileo planetary expeditions.” In addition, as National Geographic points out, he helped solve the mysteries of the high temperatures of Venus (cause: a massive greenhouse effect), the seasonal changes on Mars (cause: windblown dust), and the reddish haze of Titan (cause: complex organic molecules).
“Carl’s life is a multidimensional epic,” said executive producer Ann Druyan. “He was a pathfinder in the sciences and a force in the culture, articulating the numinous wonder of a science-based sense of the sacred. He is one of the greatest awakeners in our history, and I feel that with Nanette, Fuzzy Door, Hungry Man and NatGeo, I now have the right partners to tell his thrilling story.”
Burstein observed, “Two things that most impacted my childhood were the death of my grandmother and reading Carl Sagan. Carl shaped how I view the world in the most fundamental ways. I am thrilled to be embarking on this trippy and poignant filmmaking journey, which has been an abiding passion.”
The Untitled Carl Sagan Documentary will be available exclusively on National Geographic Channels and Disney+. A release date has not been set yet.