Ridley Scott's “The Martian” is going to suffer some inevitable comparisons to things like “Gravity” and “Interstellar” and even “Prometheus” pre-release, and the real trick here is seeing whether or not the film can shake those comparisons.
One of the things that helps in the footage that was released today is how warm and human it is. Andy Weir's book is a smart piece of hard science-fiction, but it's also a very human story, and it could be one of the most accessible things Scott's ever directed.
For those who did not read the book, it's about what happens when an astronaut, played by Matt Damon, is left behind after a manned expedition to Mars. When his crew realizes what happened, they've got to decide if they can spend the resources to go back for him without dooming everyone onboard. It's a fun, brisk read, and a bit part of what makes it work is just how conversational Weir's voice is as a writer.
Today's new footage from the film looks like it's all set before the actual events of the movie, like a real-world promotional film to show off the crew of the Ares mission. It's a really simple, but very effective, piece of promotional material for a film that I hope represents a nice rebound for Scott, who's had a bit of a tin ear for scripts lately. He's working from strong source material here, though, and Drew Goddard is the screenwriter, so everything looks like it should work. And the cast looks really promising as an ensemble, so fingers crossed, right?
“The Martian” opens in theaters November 25, 2015.