Matt Damon strikes a delicate balance between intensity and levity in the new trailer for Ridley Scott’s The Martian, in which the actor plays Mark Watney, an astronaut trying to survive after being accidentally stranded on Mars.
As the clip shows, Watney and his Ares 3 crew are hit by a sudden, severe storm and ordered to evacuate their mission on the red planet; Watney, however, gets caught in the chaos and is left behind and presumed dead. When he wakes up alone, he returns to the Ares 3 base and lays out the dire stakes in a video log: He has no way to communicate with NASA or his crew, and even if he could, it would take four years for another manned mission to reach him (adding to the tension, he only has enough supplies to last him 31 days).
“So in the face of overwhelming odds, I’m left with only one option,” Watney says, as he slaps on a pair protective glasses. “I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.”
The ensuing montage finds Watney MacGyver-ing Mars’ arid land into something that can support plant life and rundown equipment into a machine that sends a message to the Ares 3 crew. But while they are adamant about rescuing their abandoned crew mate, NASA rejects the mission. The Ares 3 is forced to go rogue, formulating an intricate plan that could leave them all dead.
The Martian boasts a stacked supporting cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Donald Glover and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The screenplay was written by Drew Goddard (World War Z, The Cabin in the Woods) and is based on Andy Weir’s book of the same name.
The Martian is scheduled to open this November.