The Martian is the latest sci-fi adventure-fantasy from Alien, Prometheus, and Blade Runner director Ridley Scott. Based on the novel by Andy Weir, Scott's new film is set to star Matt Damon in the lead role as Mark Watney, a NASA astronaut who finds himself stranded on Mars. In the film (as in the novel), Watney must find a way to survive and grow his own food on an arid and unforgiving landscape in order to survive until a rescue party arrives from earth.
Previously released movie stills and feature length trailers have highlighted the film's desolation and existential despair in the past, but there is certainly plenty of room in the film's scripted premise for playful ambition and optimism as well. Both of those are character traits in Damon's wheelhouse, and in the latest footage released, there is decidedly less gloom in the film's Martian wasteland for it.
In the new TV trailer for The Martian (see above), distributor 20th Century Fox brings attention to Watney's tenacity and can-do attitude in the face of adversity. Tasked with growing his own food in infertile soil and amid an arid landscape, Watney proudly proclaims that, "I am the greatest botanist on this planet." Towards the end of the clip there is some dialogue and several frenetic shots of Watney's crew in space (tensely debating how to rescue their stranded co-worker), though the trailer's soundtracked song of choice ("All Along the Watch Tower," as performed by Jimi Hendrix) serves to offset a lot of the tension likely to be featured more heavily in the finished product.
The Martian's well-rounded cast of supporting actors most notably includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Donald Glover, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, with a script written by Marvel Studios' Daredevil creator, Drew Goddard. Based on the well documented and critically applauded works of everyone involved, Scott's latest genre film should be sustained capably behind and in front of the camera.
Come October 2015, sci-fi fans the world over should be in for something quiet special when Scott's latest film hits theaters, and fans of Weir's original novel can rest assured that their beloved source material is in good hands for a cinematic treatment worthy of its grand narrative premise. By using real science as a major plot device and source for dramatic tension throughout, Damon could be playing yet another role of a lifetime as Scott's titular Martian explorer-turned-native.
The Martian will see theatrical release in the U.S. starting on October 2nd, 2015.
Source: 20th Century Fox