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Sean Penn Joins Hulu's Mars Drama The First

It's the actor's first major TV role

Sadie Gennis

Sean Penn will take a break from movies to do his first major TV role. The Oscar winner will headline Beau Willimon's upcoming Hulu drama The First.

The First is set in the near-future and will chronicle the first human mission to Mars and the challenges of interplanetary colonization. The series will not only focus on the astronauts and scientists on the mission in space, but also the ground team on Earth and the crew's family and loved ones.

Details about Penn's character have not been released, but Deadline reports he's playing a former NASA astronaut named Tom Hagerty.

"I have such deep admiration for Sean's immense talent and extraordinary body of work," said Willimon, who also created House of Cards. "I feel very lucky to be collaborating with an artist of his caliber."

Penn's previous TV roles are few and far between. He's made guest appearances on Friends, Two and a Half Men and will star in HBO's Andrew Jackson limited series American Lion.

The First will premiere on Hulu and Channel 4 in the UK in 2018.

Sean Penn
Andrew Toth/FilmMagic