In the first trailer for the Netflix movie IO, Marvel star Anthony Mackie tries to leave a toxic and mostly empty planet Earth. Within the MCU, Mackie is best known for his portrayal of Sam Wilson aka Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Captain America: Civil War (2016), and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Mackie will reprise his role in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame.
Directed by Jonathan Halpert, IO chronicles the story of two humans who attempt to escape a damaged earth via the last available shuttle, hoping to join the rest of the human race on Jupiter’s moon, IO. As Micah, Mackie stars alongside The Leftovers' Margaret Qualley, a 24-year-old American actress who will soon appear in the FX series Fosse/Verdon and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. IO’s co-screenwriter Clay Jeter was originally hired to direct the film, and both Elle Fanning (Maleficent 2) and Diego Luna (Narcos: Mexico) were set to star. By late 2016, however, a new team had been assembled for Netflix’s latest science fiction thriller.
Today, Netflix released IO’s poster and trailer, which begins with voiceover narration detailing how scientists predicted earth’s inevitable toxicity. After some expositional graphics appear on screen, complemented by visuals of a tainted earth, Qualley’s Sam Walden makes a radio call to inform potential survivors that she’s still on the motherland. From there, the usual post-apocalyptic visuals appear, along with a morose piano score, as the trailer underlines the concept of survival and life. This sets the tone for Mackie’s first appearance as Micah, a man who reflects on his past as a teacher while supporting Sam in her quest to leave. Alas, the final 45-seconds tease the biggest journey of all, including some romance and interpersonal conflict, too. Watch the trailer and see the poster for IO below.
Last month, Netflix released the post-apocalyptic thriller Bird Box, which bears a similar premise to the 2018 film A Quiet Place, but with source material that predates director John Krasinski's screenplay. Over the past several weeks, Netflix has heavily marketed both Bird Box and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, using social media to emphasize the audience’s viewing experience. With IO, Netflix has a title that’s similar to one of their most polarizing series The OA, the brainchild of Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, and which also features a science fiction storyline about identity and escape. Alongside Mackie and Qualley, IO features veteran actor Danny Huston, the son of iconic Hollywood director John Huston, who stars in Netflix’s restored Orson Welles film The Other Side of the Wind (2018).
Based on the look and feel of the IO trailer, the film seems to be just another end of days thriller. But Netflix likely has a few tricks up their sleeve, and they certainly have a solid cast to help promote the film.
IO will be available to stream January 18th on Netflix.