The Right Stuff Cast Comparison – Movie Vs Disney+ TV Series

On October 9th, 2020, Disney+ will release its new novel-based television series, The Right Stuff. This nonfiction novel by Tom Wolfe chronicles the first 15 years of America’s space program through the lives of the Mercury astronauts including John Glenn and Alan Shepard. 

The Right Stuff TV Show Cast

This isn’t the first time the story has been brought to the screens, though, as the book was adapted into a critically acclaimed film in 1983 by director Philip Kaufman, which won four Academy Awards. While the cast made their mark in the film adaptation, an entirely new cast will star in the new television series. That being said, who was cast in the movie, and who has been cast in the Disney+ TV series?

The Right Stuff (1983) Movie Cast

John Glenn

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TV Show: Patrick J. Adams

John Glenn is one of the main characters in the novel, making him a crucial part of the new television series. Playing his part in the Disney+ adaptation is Patrick J. Adams, a Canadian actor that you may recognize from his role Mike Ross in USA Network’s TV Series, Suits. With 16 credits of movies and TV shows to his name, Adams is sure to impress in the upcoming television adaptation.

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Movie: Ed Harris

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Alan Shepard

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TV Show: Jake McDorman

Best known for his roles in American Sniper, Live Free or Die Hard, and Aquamarine, Jake McDorman will be taking on the part of another important character in the story, Alan Shepard. Shepard was another legendary astronaut in the Mercury project, making his part an important one to play. Luckily, Jake McDorman is more than qualified as he’s been a working actor for almost half his life.

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Movie: Scott Glenn

With 98 credits of movies and tv shows his name, it’s safe to say that his American actor Scot Glenn has left his mark on the world of show business. As for his role as Alan Shepard in the film adaptation of The Right Stuff, he gave a memorable performance and truly did the infamous astronaut justice. Roles you may recognize Glenn from include Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs, Wise Man in Sucker Punch, and Bart Mancuso in The Hunt for Red October.

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Gordon Cooper

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TV Show: Colin O’Donoghue

For the important role of Lt. Gordon Cooper, Disney+ has chosen Colin O’Donoghue, who’s best known for his role as Captain Killian “Hook” Jones in Once Upon a Time. Gordon Cooper played a crucial role in the Mercury project, as he piloted the last and longest space flight in 1963. Although the role originally belonged to Game of Thrones’ Joe Dempsie, he reportedly had to drop out of the project unexpectedly. Nevertheless, O’Donoghue is sure to do the role justice.

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Movie: Dennis Quaid

American actor Dennis Quaid may seem very familiar to you, as he’s starred in countless well-known movies and tv shows including The Parent Trap, Horsemen, and Footloose. In the film adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s novel, The Right Stuff, Quaid took on the role of Lt. Gordon Cooper, which isn’t surprising that he did such a great job considering his lengthy acting career.

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Gus Grissom

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TV Show: Michael Trotter

In the television adaptation, Michael Trotter will take on the role of Gus Grissom, one of NASA’s original seven Mercury astronauts. Trotter is best known for his role as Elden Donahue in Underground, which has received 3 awards and 17 nominations. 

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Movie: Fred Ward

In the film, Gus Grissom was played by Fred Ward, an American actor with a long and diverse career. Ward has starred in many movies and television shows including Short Cuts, Tremors, 2 Guns, and 30 Minutes or Less. Ward did an impressive job in the role of Gus, which isn’t surprising since he’s such an experienced actor.

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Scott Carpenter

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TV Show: James Lafferty

Best known for his portrayal of Nathan Scott on The CW’s One Tree Hill, James Lafferty will take on the role of Scott Carpenter in The Right Stuff, one of the original seven astronauts in NASA’s Project Mercury and the fourth to be launched into space. Besides his role in One Tree Hill, you may recognize Lafferty from movies and television shows including The Haunting of The Hill House, Boys on the Run, and Oculus.

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Movie: Charles Frank

In the film adaptation of The Right Stuff, Scott Carpenter was played by the American actor, Charles Frank. With 79 credits of television shows and movies to his name, it’s likely that you may recognize Frank from one of his well-known roles. These roles include Dr. Jeff Martin in All My Children, Peter Knight in Wonder Woman, and Stanley Beck in Filthy Rich. 

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Annie Glenn

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TV Show: Nora Zehetner

Annie Glenn was John Glenn’s wife, who looks after their children and loves her astronaut husband. Annie Glenn suffered from a severe stutter, which propelled her into later becoming an advocate for people with disabilities and communication disorders. Playing this iconic role is Nora Zehetner, an American film actress best known for her roles as Juliette in Creative Control, Jen in Maron, and Laura in Brick.

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Movie: Mary Jo Deschanel

In the 1983 film version of The Right Stuff, American actress, Mary Jo Deschanel, played the role of Annie Glenn. Deschanel is best known for her roles as Mrs. Howard in The Patriot, Betty Fernandez in 2010, and as a female professor in Ruby Spark. 

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Trudy Cooper


TV Show: Eloise Mumford

Eloise Mumford is an American actress who’s best known for her roles on Lone Star, The River, and the Fifty Shades of Grey film series. In the Disney+ version of The Right Stuff, Mumford will take on the role of Trudy Cooper. Although she is the wife of famous astronaut Gordon Cooper, Trudy has a very independent personality and is a registered pilot as well as an owner of a courier service. With Eloise Mumford’s past experience, it’s likely that she’ll do Trudy Cooper justice in the upcoming television series.

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Movie: Pamela Reed

Best known for her roles in Kindergarten Cop, The Andros Targets, and Proof of Life, Pamela Reed has a lengthy and diverse acting career that made her performance as Trudy Cooper quite memorable. 

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