Poor Matt Damon just can't seem to get a break from being stranded in outer space. After being cast out to another solar system by Christopher Nolan in Interstellar, Damon can now be seen playing astronaut Mark Watney in The Martian, the latest sci-fi film from director Ridley Scott. Mark and his fellow astronauts are readying themselves for a short manned mission to Mars when they are hit by a sudden storm, which separates Mark from the rest of his crew and leaves him facing the challenge of how to survive on a hostile planet until help arrives... in another four years.
The Martian is based on the novel of the same name by Andy Weir, and reviews so far indicate that it's actually a fairly light-hearted film despite its seemingly doom-laden subject matter. This actually makes sense, since one of the main hooks in Weir's novel was Mark Watney's sense of humor and his endless dedication to problem-solving in the face of a seemingly insurmountable list of problems.
Creating the deadly-cold vacuum of space and the not-quite-so-cold-but-still-very-cold surface of Mars involved work on a sound stage in Budapest, Hungary, and on-location filming in the Wadi Rum valley in Jordan. 20th Century Fox has now released ten minutes of B-Roll footage from The Martian, featuring both key locations and most of The Martian's main cast.
The supporting cast includes Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Sebastian Stan and Aksel Hennie as the rest of the Mars mission crew, along with Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Donald Glover, Sean Bean, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mackenzie Davis as members of the NASA team desperately trying to figure out how to keep Mark alive and get him home safely. The B-Roll footage doesn't include any real spoilers, though those who have read the book will probably be able to spot some familiar scenes.
Scott is responsible for two of the most critically-acclaimed sci-fi films ever made - Blade Runner and Alien - but his most recent effort in the genre, Prometheus, failed to quite reach the heights that many were hoping for. While The Martian may not end up being placed alongside Scott's earlier films in the Hall of Hollywood Fame, critics so far seem to have enjoyed it and with its late-year release and near-future setting (making it more Gravity than Guardians of the Galaxy) the movie could be in with a chance at next year's Oscars.
Have the trailers so far convinced you to watch Damon's struggle for survival in The Martian? Let us know if you're hyped for Scott's next outer space outing in the comments.
The Martian will release in U.S. theaters on October 2nd, 2015.