Filmmaker Tate Taylor has signed up to direct In the Event of a Moon Disaster for FilmNation.

The movie is inspired by a 1969 speech written for U.S. President Richard Nixon by William Safire, then on White House duty as a presidential speechwriter. The July 18, 1969 document was sent to White House official, H.R. Halderman, with Safire titling his internal White House essay: “In Event of Moon Disaster.”

 Safire’s speech was to be read by Nixon in the event that the first human landing on the Moon by Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin met with tragedy. Those remarks were uncovered after Safire’s death in 2009.

After his White House years, Safire became a Pulitzer Prize-winning political columnist for The New York Times.

The movie to be directed by Taylor, set to start in early 2015, will present an alternate version of events to the milestone making landing and completion of the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969.

Credit: The National Archives

Credit: The National Archives

Prepared eulogy

“I note that, in recent years, a document has surfaced that was authored by a President Nixon speech writer, William Safire, about our Apollo moon mission. It was written, I suppose, in the spirit that the ‘if factor’ did not work in our favor,” explains Buzz Aldrin.

Credit: The National Archives

Credit: The National Archives

“Senior officials must always be prepared with remarks for breakthroughs as well as tragedies,” Aldrin writes in his 2013 book “Mission to Mars – My Vision for Space Exploration” published by National Geographic, co-authored with Leonard David.

“Apollo 11 had the potential to fit into either one of those categories,” Aldrin explains. “Reading the prepared eulogy, I am proud to say that our mission…brought us back home safely.”


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