An adaption of Andy Weir’s self-published novel of the same name, The Martian follows an American astronaut who is accidently left behind on Mars by his crew. Directed by Ridley Scott (Alien, Kingdom of Heaven) and starring Matt Damon as the unlucky astronaut in question, Mark Watney, The Martian shows the severe conditions and hardships that Watney goes through while trying to survive on a hostile, unforgiving world for several years. The film was written by Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods, Daredevil) and co-stars Jessica Chastain, Sean Bean, Kristen Wigg, Michael Peña and Donald Glover.
The thing about the trailer that stands-out to me is not the spectacular-looking visual effects or even the suitably epic-sounding score, but Damon himself. Any good survival tale, especially one where you follow a single a person for the majority of a film, needs a protagonist that is instantly likeable. What this trailer does effectively is showing Damon’s Watney to be a sarcastic, but good-natured guy. His unflappable nature, mixed with his sheer will to “science the shit” out of a hopeless situation makes him a person that appears to be quite interesting and worth investing your time watching.
However, while I think the trailer is very impressive and features a stellar-cast, it’s Scott as the film’s director that concerns me. After a number of critical flops like Robin Hood, The Counselor, Exodus: Gods and Kings and Prometheus, Scott has been unable to reach the heights he once did as a director with films like Alien and Blade Runner. Additionally, as a novel, The Martian is a bit of a mixed-bag. While revered for its applications of science to solve seemingly impossible problems, the book has been criticized for its uninteresting secondary characters. Still, I imagine the film will spend the majority of its time focusing on Wateny and his years spent on the red-wastes of Mars.
The Martian will be released in theatres November 25, 2015.
What about you reader? What did you think of the first trailer for The Martian? Have you read the original novel? Let us know in the comments below!