The upcoming space adventure feature The Martian was directed by iconic filmmaker Ridley Scott and is based on the novel of the same name (written by Andy Weir). Story-wise, the movie revolves around an astronaut (played by Matt Damon) who's participating in a manned mission to Mars, when he ends up stranded on the red planet after being presumed dead (following a nasty Martian sand storm) and is left behind by the rest of his NASA crew.
Trailers for The Martian have highlighted the film's "Robison Crusoe in Space" storyline, as well as the visuals and captivating imagery of the Martian landscape crafted by Scott and his production team. At the same time, 20th Century Fox has used viral marketing to introduce the various personalities and quirks of the Ares 3 space mission crew, which is the team that undertakes the historical trip to Mars (and thus, counts Damon's character amongst its ranks).
Another Martian viral clip has been released online (see above), and the three-minute video comprises a series of interviews between a NASA psychologist (Sam Spruell, who worked alongside Scott on the crime drama/thriller The Counselor) and the various members of the Ares 3 crew, following an exercise that required each of the astronauts to remain in isolation for ten days. The list of space travelers that appear here is as follows:
- Mark Watney (Damon), who reveals to Spruell that, while in isolation, he gave significant thought to 'the big question'.
- Rick Martinez (Michael Peña, Ant-Man), who not so subtly alludes to how he managed to pass the time without losing his mind, while in isolation.
- Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain, Interstellar), the Ares 3 mission commander, who is less than impressed by her interviewer's sexist line of questioning.
- Alex Vogel (Aksel Hennie, Hercules (2014)), who explains to his interviewer the advantages afforded by his German heritage.
- Chris Beck (Sebastian Stan, Captain America: Civil War), a self-described "doctor of the soul" who looks forward to 'kicking some Martian ass'.
- Beth Johanssen (Kate Mara, Fantastic Four (2015)), a crew member who gives her interview 'the low-down' on her fellow astronauts.
The majority of The Martian film narrative - scripted by Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods, Daredevil) - is expected to focus on Mark's plight after he is stranded on Mars (like Weir's novel does), though the rest of the Ares 3 crew looks to get their fair share of screen-time during a subplot that chronicles their efforts to rescue Mark. These Martian viral clips that highlight the unique attributes of individual Ares 3 crew members will hopefully end up complimenting the development that the characters receive in the actual movie (seeing as their screen time will ultimately be limited).
Scott's quasi-Alien prequel/spinoff Prometheus also featured an ensemble composed of space travelers, though the film's theatrical cut (arguably) produced mixed results with its efforts to provide each of its characters with a distinguishable personality. The potential is certainly there for The Martian to improve on Scott's Prometheus work in that respect though, if the trailer footage and the film's viral marketing alike are proper indicators of The Martian's quality.
The Martian will open in U.S. theaters on October 2nd, 2015.
Source: 20th Century Fox