The Martian author Andy Weir will return with a new astronaut thriller, Project Hail Mary, in spring 2021, publishing with Cornerstone's science fiction and fantasy imprint Del Rey UK.
Julian Pavia, executive editor of US publisher Ballantine Books, acquired world rights from David Fugate at LaunchBooks Literary Agency, with Del Rey acquiring UK and Commonwealth rights.
The title will be published globally on 4th May 2021.
Project Hail Mary tells the story of a lone astronaut who awakens to find himself on a ship deep in space, his crewmates dead and his memories missing. All he knows is that he alone must now complete a desperate, last-chance mission to save the Earth from disaster.
Film rights to the title have been sold to MGM, with Ryan Gosling attached to star and Phil Lord and Chris Miller set to direct.
Sam Bradbury, senior editor at Del Rey, said: "We can’t wait for the world to fall in love with Project Hail Mary. Andy has written one of the boldest, most exciting novels ever set in space, with a hilarious and ingenious lead character that you wish you were isolated in space with. As with The Martian, the novel is filled with human drama, razor-sharp humour and fascinating real-life science. But Andy cranks everything up to 11 here. It’s his most ambitious and inventive novel to date with an audacious plot to save Earth that speaks to our uncertain times. It’s no wonder MGM and Ryan Gosling are fast-tracking this into a movie. This book will appeal to a huge audience beyond science fiction; readers have such a treat in store."
The Martian was published by Del Rey in 2014 and has sold 314,991 copies via Nielsen BookScan's UK TCM across all editions for a total of £1.62m. The title was subsequently made into a film of the same name in 2015.