Films often predict future developments in life, but in the case of The Martian, there’s a certain parallel to the scientific developments at the heart of the story that centres on a manned expedition to Mars, leaving Matt Damon stranded on the red planet. Reminiscent of his role in Interstellar, the movie comes at a time in which a real life manned mission is being planned for launch in 2024 in which the voyage is intended to be one way for the selected astronauts.
The film gave us a little flavour of the physical, emotional and mental challenges that will become real life in a little under a decade when the Mars One mission takes off with no intention of coming back. It ultimately plans to establish a colony on the barren planet, which sits some 33.9 million miles away from Earth at it’s closest orbit rotation location and The Martian provided a pretty good a snapshot of what things might be like if it goes wrong.
Its release date in the UK and North America took place on the 2nd October 2015 with both 2D and 3D screenings available. With the success and critical acclaim of the 3D screenings of Gravity in 2013, we decided that the Matt Damon release should be another good shout to catch on the big screen in all its 3D glory with thrusters blasting and the impressive red landscape and futuristic life support pod as the backdrop for the movie. Check out the trailer below to see some of the action for yourself to get a feel for what to expect.
If you missed the film during its stay at the cinema, you’ll be able to watch it from the comfort of your sofa with the DVD, Blu-ray and digital download release date planned for the 8th February 2016 in the UK.
The Martian is based on the 2011 Andy Weir novel of the same name, trailing a manned mission to Mars for a small crew of astronauts led by Commander Melissa Lewis. When they get caught in a storm on the red planet the team are forced to evacuate, but an accident leaves them believing that Astronaut Mark Watney (Damon) has been killed in the storm and they leave without him in a bid to make it back to Earth with at least some survivors.
However, Mark comes round to find himself trapped and alone in their Mars life support facility with limited supplies and no immediate way of signalling home, or to the rest of his crew, that he is still alive. He’s left with the pretty big challenge of using his knowledge and determination to survive the harsh condition, figure out a way to get a signal out and stay alive for long enough to make it off the big rock. A challenge made all the more emotionally and mentally difficult as he knows that any rescue mission would be years away, even if he could patch together a communications device to reach Earth.
In addition to Matt Damon (The Monuments Men) in the starring role as the stranded astronaut, The Martian has also cast Jessica Chastain, who was also a big part of the success of Interstellar. She’s joined by Michael Peña (Ant-Man), Kate Mara (Fantastic Four), Sebastian Stan (Captain America: Civil War) and Aksel Hennie in the astronaut crew that manages to escape, leaving Mark stranded on the planet.
Kristen Wiig (Ghostbusters), Jeff Daniels (Dumb And Dumber To), Sean Bean (Pixels), Donald Glover, Mackenzie Davis, and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Marching Powder film) complete the cast for the film in the ground crew supporting the mission.
The film has been directed by Ridley Scott (Prometheus), continuing his space love odyssey with a little more science than fiction this time, and the screenplay has been written by Drew Goddard, who’s more well known for monster outings like Cloverfield and World War Z. Producers are Simon Kinberg (Fantastic Four), Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, Aditya Sood and Mark Huffam.
As space and science geeks, there was a big part of us that was fascinated with prospect of The Martian, especially with the massive real life manned mission to mars in the process of being delivered and launching in 2024. Matt Damon makes for a very good decision in the lead role, delivering a lot of emotion and comic timing to draw you into his character’s situation. Jessica Chastain is always impressive no matter what she does and Chiwetel Ejiofer rounds things out with dependable solidity. The addition of Sean Bean next to Kristen Wiig and Jeff Daniels is unconventional, and ultimately feels a little out of sync with the rest of the film, but it doesn’t take too much away from what is an enthralling “What if?” ride. Read our full The Martian review for more details.