Ridley Scott is in a rut. The legendary filmmaker hasn’t made a good movie since 2007’s American Gangster. And considering that he followed that movie with five movies, that’s a problem. I didn’t care a lot for Body of Lies, despite Leonardo DiCaprio’s strong performance. Robin Hood was an outright bore while Prometheus destroyed all its promise with a preposterous third act that undermined everything before it. Then there was The Counselor, a movie that has its fan but one that I flat-out hated. As for last year’s Exodus: Gods and Kings? Well, let’s just say that the only thing it had going for it were its dazzling visual effects.
But here’s the funny thing. Even though Scott’s movies keep failing to live up to my expectations, I continue to get excited for his movies. I can’t explain why? The realist in me knows I should severely lower my expectations but the optimist in me can’t help but think, “This will be his big comeback… I can feel it!” That being said, The Martian does look like Scott’s most promising project yet! For one, it’s based on the extremely popular and well-reviewed novel by Andy Weir. It’s also adapted by Drew Goddard whose previous screenplays include The Cabin in the Woods and Cloverfield. He’s also the creator of the well-received Daredevil TV series. There’s also that sprawling cast which, aside from Matt Damon includes Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Donald Glover and Michael Pena.
Finally, the fact that 20th Century Fox bumped up the movie’s release date from November 27 to October 2—a whole month-and-a-half—after the positive response to this trailer speaks volumes about their confidence in the project. Of course, this could just mean that the studio thinks the film has enormous commercial potential. Then again, this is the same weekend that Gone Girl, Gravity and Argo came out in the last three years. If that isn’t a sign that they see something special here, then I don’t know what is. Watch the trailer below, and check out the screengrabs after it.
Director: Ridley Scott
Screenwriter: Drew Goddard, Andy Weir (novel)
Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels
Producers: Mark Huffam, Ridley Scott, Aditya Sood, Michael Schaefer, Simon Kinberg
Release Date: October 2, 2015
The Pitch: During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.
The Pitch in a Sentence: Matt Damon is ‘Cast Away’ on Mars.
Tagline: Help is only 140 million miles away
Choice Quote: “I’m going to have to science the shit out of it!”
Earth specifically, NASA headquarters… sometime in the mid 21st century.
Mars… sometime in the mid 21st century.
Scott and the folks at Fox want you to know right away that they’ve got the best damn cast for this one. Let’s start with Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain.
We also have Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor, rocking those hipster glasses like a G.
There’s also Jeff Daniels, who’s looking a wee bit… exhausted.
And here’s Kate Mara, looking very concerned.
But Kristen Wiig’s got her beat! In fact, she’ll be doing some variation of this pose every time we see her in the trailer.
Those 2001: A Space Odyssey references NEVER get old.
And finally… here’s the 20th Century Fox logo.
Here’s our first look at the crew of the Hermes. From right to left: Michael Peña, Askel Hennie, Kate Mara, Jessica Chastain, Sebastian Stan and….
That’s some bad storm to be stuck in.
Not wanting to stick around for that, the crew sets off, with one seat (at the bottom left) curiously empty.
And here’s the poor chap who was supposed to be sitting in that seat. He’s not there because…
Here’s your entire movie in a single shot, hence, the money shot. Matt Damon, stranded on an inhospitable planet. All alone.
Which I am reading now.
Diaries, it seems, will be a big part of this movie.
So will Mission Control at NASA… looking very, very blue.
He’s going to be counting the days on the planet. So it’ll at least be 52.
Life on Mars?
The Movie Star shot.
The question of whether or not his message in a bottle will be received has been answered (or spoiled).
Don’t let me down for the sixth straight time, Ridley. I’m counting on you.
Gravity did this two years ago.
The emotional angle on this one is going to be strong.
But hopefully we get a lot of scenes of Jessica Chastain being a badass.
Certainly looks that way in this shot.
Poor Matt Damon.
The Martian opens on October 2, 2015.