Ridley Scott remains among the most respected filmmakers working today even though his last batch of films, excepting The Counselor, have left me resoundingly cold; cold like the dark reaches of space. Returning to science fiction for the first time since Prometheus, Ridley Scott has enlisted Matt Damon for The Martian, which sees Damon as an astronaut stranded on the red planet. Damon isn’t the only great actor enlisted for The Martian, as the cast also includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Donald Glover, Mackenzie Davis, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. But there’s one reason that squashes my Scott skepticism for The Martian — the script by Drew Goddard, who has penned one of my favorite recent horror films, The Cabin in the Woods.
There’s also another thing that’s present in the trailer for The Martian that has been absent from most of Ridley Scott’s recent output — a sense of life and fun, avoiding the grim dour overtones that have recently defined Scott. We’ll know if Ridley Scott leaves us stranded in the multiplex when The Martian hits theaters on October 2nd, 2015.
The official synopsis for The Martian:
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. Based on a best-selling novel, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, THE MARTIAN features a star studded cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.