The arrival of the new trailer for the upcoming movie “The Martian” has gotten viewers excited, and not just fans who have read Andy Weir’s book – many are excited to see director Ridley Scott tackling a science fiction movie again.
“The Martian” centers on astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon), who is left on Mars by his crew who believe him to be dead. He must figure out a way to contact NASA and survive until rescue can arrive. (If you check out the trailer, be aware of language.)
The film co-stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Jessica Chastain, and many others.
We’re experiencing a trend of films set in space right now – 2013’s “Gravity” was nominated for Best Picture and “Interstellar,” which was directed by Christopher Nolan of the “Dark Knight” trilogy, did well at the box office, as did 2012’s “Prometheus” directed by Scott himself. The new “Star Trek” movies were also financial hits. Before this wave, the movies most think of when it comes to space – “Alien,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the original “Star Wars” films, “Apollo 13,” “The Right Stuff” – had come out decades before.
But many are waiting to see if “Martian” will be a return to form for Scott. He has been behind some of the sci-fi all-time classics, “Blade Runner” and “Alien.” The 2000 film “Gladiator,” which took place in ancient Rome, was also a success for him, with the movie taking the Best Picture Oscar and Scott himself being nominated for Best Director. 2001’s “Black Hawk Down” was also well-received. However, other recent movies have fizzled. His 2014 Biblical film “Exodus: Gods and Kings” and the 2013 movie “The Counselor” both got poor reviews and “Prometheus,” his newest entry in the “Alien” series, received mixed reviews, with Monitor film critic Peter Rainer writing that the director “comes up short… The film’s meditations on The Meaning of It All don’t amount to much.”
Scott’s movies “Robin Hood,” “Body of Lies,” and “A Good Year” (yes, Scott directed a romantic comedy with Russell Crowe) were also not well-received, though his 2007 film “American Gangster” got a slightly better reception.
Will “Martian” have Scott receiving the critical acclaim garnered by his classics “Blade Runner” and “Alien”? It's of course hard to tell with a trailer, but Guardian writer Henry Barnes wrote that the staff "think 'The Martian' could be stellar," while Business Insider writer Kelly Dickerson wrote that "it looks like [the movie] is going to blow 'Interstellar' and 'Gravity' out of the water." Scott may have a hit in the making.