Director Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Alien, Prometheus) is bringing Andy Weir’s best selling sci-fi novel The Martian to the big screen with Matt Damon (The Bourne Identity) and an all-star ensemble cast. Twentieth Century Fox has treated fans to a first look at the film by releasing several new stills, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly and People.
The Martian follows astronaut and botanist Mark Watney, who finds himself stranded on Mars after his crew loses him in a storm and presumes him dead. While his original goal was to create the building blocks for plant life in Mars’s desolate environment, he finds himself focused on sustaining one life in particular: his own. With limited supplies and 28 days to live, he must figure out a way to survive and signal back to NASA in time.
The film’s ensemble cast features Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids), Jeff Daniels (Dumb and Dumber), Kate Mara (Shooter), Sebastian Stan (Captain America), Donald Glover (TV’s Community), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings), Michael Peña (End of Watch), and Mackenzie Davis (That Awkward Moment) playing various members of the crew and NASA employees. Specifically, Chastain’s role is mission commander, Daniels’ is mission control, and Wiig is playing a spokesperson for NASA.
This will be Damon’s second film in a row in which he plays an astronaut lost in space after last year’s Interstellar. Chastain, Damon’s co-star in that film, also joined The Martian directly after wrapping Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar with her sights set on actually entering space this time around. Her character in Nolan’s film was bound to Earth and also did not have any scenes with Damon’s character. In Scott’s Martian, she will be suiting up and acting alongside Damon, although in a limited capacity, as he will spend most of the running time on his own.
Regardless of their onscreen time together, Chastain is quick to praise her co-star, commenting, “He is just brilliant, and I think his performance in The Martian is going to blow people away, to see him as they have never seen him.”
The Martian hits theaters on November 25, right around the awards season crunch time. While this film has yet to receive any critical buzz in that arena, it would be interesting if an astronaut film/performance received nominations for the third year in a row after Gravity and Interstellar (Gravity won several Oscars including Best Director, and Insterstellar won the Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects).