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William Hurt to star in space shuttle Challenger docu-drama

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William Hurt is being lined up to star in a television movie about the lost space shuttle Challenger.

The Host actor is attached to play theoretical physicist Richard Feynman in the untitled factual drama, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

William Hurt and guest, Golden Globes 2012

© PA Images / Matt Sayles / AP



"This is the gripping story of a brilliant physicist's battle for scientific truth in the dark corridors of big government," said Kim Shillinglaw, BBC commissioning editor for science and natural history.

"With an impressive cast including Hollywood legend William Hurt, it promises to be a powerful factual drama for BBC Two and part of our mission to make science programmes ever more surprising and ambitious."

The project is a co-production between the BBC and the Science Channel, with Laurie Borg producing and James Hawes directing. Kate Gartside (Mistresses) has written the script.

The Science Channel's Debbie Myers spoke of the honour of working with "the incomparable William Hurt to tell the story of Richard Feynman, a true-life hero and one of more controversial scientific minds of our time".

Feynman was a member of the Rogers Commission, a panel which investigated the loss of Challenger.

The shuttle was lost in a January 1986 explosion just 73 seconds after the shuttle took off for its tenth mission. All seven crew members were killed.

Feynman, who assisted in the development of the atomic bomb, died of cancer in February 1988.

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