The First: Hulu’s Sean Penn Mars Drama Delivers First-Look Images

Hulu delivers a batch of first-look images and a premiere date for its new drama The First, from creator Beau Willimon, starring Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone. The upcoming series tells the story of humankind’s first manned expedition to Mars, taking a more grounded approach to the narrative by focusing on the personal and professional aspects of such a mission, not to mention the huge technical challenges and life-threatening risks that come along with such a monumental endeavor. In essence, the series sounds a bit like The Right Stuff, but centered on humankind’s first manned trip to another planet.  

The series certainly comes with a pedigree of its own, as it not only stars two-time Academy Award winner Sean Penn, as well as McElhone, who has gone to the stars before (albeit with George Clooney) in Steven Soderbergh’s remake of Solaris, and has also appeared in The Truman Show, Ronin, and most recently ABC’s Designated Survivor. The rest of the cast includes, James Ransone, LisaGay Hamilton, and Melissa George among others, though, interestingly, one of the biggest draws for The First may be that it comes from Willimon, who is perhaps best known as the creator of Netflix’s House of Cards. 

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The series will mark Willimon’s first work since exiting the political drama ahead of its fifth season. Though it seemed a curious set of circumstances at the time, it now appears as though the writer and creator has not only moved on to bigger an better things, but he dodged a bullet, as it were, ahead of the series’ Kevin Spacey-less sixth and final season. And now, Willimon's newest series not only has a gallery of first-look images, but it also has an official release date: September 14, 2018 on Hulu. Check out the images and an official synopses below: 

“Sean Penn leads an ensemble cast in this near-future drama about a crew of astronauts attempting to become the first humans on Mars. Under the direction of visionary aerospace magnate Laz Ingram (Natascha McElhone), the crew contends with peril and personal sacrifice as they undertake the greatest pioneering feat in human history.”

The First is another example of Hulu’s original series serving up interesting dramatic fare with recognizable stars attached. Later this month, the streaming service will premiere the psychological thriller/Stephen King Easter egg hunt, Castle Rock. Meanwhile, George Clooney’s star-studded Catch-22 miniseries is currently filming. That’s in addition to Hulu's Emmy winning adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, which racked up a few more nominations this year. Whether or not The First will be another awards magnet for Hulu remains to be seen, but the concept and cast involved are certainly reason enough to check it out come September. 

Next: Castle Rock Review: A Leisurely Stroll Through Stephen King’s World

The First premieres Friday, September 14, 2018 on Hulu.

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