No, ‘Spaceman’ Isn’t Based on ‘Project Hail Mary,’ but We See the Comparison

"The only similarities seem to be an intelligent spider and a guy alone on a spaceship," a Redditor said about 'Spaceman' and 'Project Hail Mary.'


Mar. 4 2024, Published 2:20 p.m. ET

Seeing two movies with nearly identical plot twists isn’t exactly a rare occurrence. Consider Friends With Benefits and No Strings Attached, or Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsmen. Plenty of movies and novels also share similar plots. But after the release of Spaceman in March 2024, starring Adam Sandler and Carey Mulligan, people began speculating the film isn’t an original, but instead, is based on Andy Weir’s Project Hail Mary, published in May 2021.

Article continues below advertisement
Article continues below advertisement

Sure, the film and novel both center around a single character floating around in space leading an important mission, not to mention they both feature a giant spider-like alien, but is one copying the other? Here’s what we know.

‘Spaceman’ and ‘Project Hail Mary’ both feature spiders and lonely astronauts, but one isn't a derivative of the other.

A giant spider in the bathroom in 'Spaceman'
Source: Netflix

Spaceman is based on the novel Spaceman of Bohemia, written by Jaroslav Kalfař, and published in March 2017. Jaroslav wrote an early draft of the book while attending New York University where he studied writing and literature. Project Hail Mary, on the other hand, was published in May 2021. Because Spaceman of Bohemia was released years before Project Hail Mary was published, it can’t be based on Andy’s book.

Article continues below advertisement

Now that we’ve cleared the air on that, let’s consider why people are connecting the two. Both Spaceman and Project Hail Mary feature lonely astronauts, floating about in space with a very important mission to complete. In Spaceman, while Commander Jakub Procházka (Adam Sandler) is exploring the Chopra Cloud, he’s met with a soft-spoken fuzzy spider-like alien — Hanuš, who becomes his travel companion and enlightener.

Article continues below advertisement

Similarly, Project Hail Mary follows Ryland Grace, a disillusioned biologist, who is sent to space to study Astrophage. He too comes in contact with an enormous spider — Rocky, who becomes a loyal friend. The major difference between the two, however, is Spaceman is “more about the astronaut’s personal life than anything else, while PHM [Project Hail Mary] is hard sci-fi about an existential threat to all life on Earth,” Andy clarified in a January 2024 Facebook post.

Article continues below advertisement

So, is ‘Project Hail Mary’ copying ‘Spaceman of Bohemia’?

According to Project Hail Mary author Andy Weir, no. Before Spaceman was released on Netflix on March 1, 2024, Andy wrote on Facebook, “I didn’t steal ideas from ‘Spaceman of Bohemia,’ I hadn’t read it or ever heard of it when I wrote ‘PHM.’ And if people want to talk about intelligent spiderlike aliens as a commonality, then we would need to talk about ‘Children of Time’ by Adrian Tchaikovsky, which came out before both of the other two books.”

Andy says that although the two bear “superficial similarities,” the truth is, “the stories are completely different.” And Reddit users who have watched both Spaceman and read Andy’s book seem to agree. One person wrote, “There are some similarities but it’s coming at it from a completely different angle.” Another Redditor commented, “The only similarities seem to be an intelligent spider and a guy alone on a spaceship.”

Spaceman is now streaming on Netflix.

More from Distractify

Latest Movies News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.