The last time we saw Matt Damon on the big screen, he was stranded on a barren planet in "Interstellar," with a nasty case of space madness to boot. Now, the first trailer for Ridley Scott's sci-fi survival film "The Martian" finds Damon again in need of rescue, this time from the surface of Mars.
Based on Andy Weir's book of the same name, "The Martian" stars Damon as Mark Watney, an astronaut on a mission to the Red Planet who's presumed dead and left behind by his crewmates during a massive storm. That leaves him in a precarious position, which he sums up in a video log entry.
"I have no way to contact NASA or my crewmates, but even if I could, it would take four years for another manned mission to reach me," Watney says. "And I'm in a [habitat] designed to last 31 days. So in the face of overwhelming odds, I'm left with only one option: I'm going to have to science the [expletive] out of this."
Once Watney manages to reestablish communication with planet Earth, he has to figure out how to grow enough food to survive while NASA mounts a daring rescue mission. As a crewmate played by "Interstellar" co-star Jessica Chastain says, "Let's go get our boy."
For director Scott, "The Martian" comes as an opportunity to regain his footing after "Exodus: Gods and Kings" and "The Counselor" disappointed at the domestic box office and received tepid reviews.
The best-case scenario would be for "The Martian" to follow the trajectory of Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity" — a similarly star-driven space-survival thriller with an elemental story and eye-catching visuals. "Gravity" grossed $716 million at the worldwide box office and won seven Oscars.
FOR THE RECORD
June 8, 11:57 a.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said Alejandro G. Inarritu directed "Gravity." Alfonso Cuaron directed the film.
Fox will release "The Martian" on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.