Michael Peña is heading into orbit.
The actor will play true-life Mexican American astronaut Jose Hernandez in A Million Miles Away, a drama that Alejandra Màrquez Abella is directing for Amazon Studios.
The feature project is based on the autobiography Reaching for the Stars. Bettina Gilois, the scribe who wrote McFarland, USA and Bessie and who passed away in 2020, wrote the initial script that has since been worked on by Hernán Jiménez and Abella.
Mark Ciardi, who produced true-life tales McFarland and American Underdog, and Campbell McInnes are producing via Ciardi’s Select Films banner.
Hernandez is described as the first migrant farmworker to travel into space. The man, who didn’t learn English until the age of 12, spent his childhood moving from town to town and working fields between Michoacán and Stockton, California with his family. Not giving up his dream of traveling the night sky in a rocket, he took the science route to space. He co-developed the first, full-field digital mammography imaging system to detect early breast cancer and persevered through 11 rejections to become a crewmember of Space Shuttle mission STS-128.
Rick Telles and Benito Martinez will exec produce. The project was previously in development at Netflix.
A late August start in Mexico City is being eyed.
Peña is coming off a turn in Netflix’s acclaimed drug cartel drama Narcos: Mexico. He next appears opposite Owen Wilson in Paramount’s superhero comedy Secret Headquarters.
Peña is repped by CAA and Entertainment 360. Abella is repped by APA and Brillstein Entertainment. Hernandez and Gilois are also repped by APA.