The first trailer for the big-screen adaptation of Andy Weir’s novel The Martian played up the claustrophobic fear in its central man-against-the-elements survival story. Like Gravity and Interstellar before it, The Martian taps into the horror implicit to space travel that us regular Joes and Joannes don’t consider when reading news items about valiant astronauts. Outer space—when you get down to it—is a massive vacuum incapable of sustaining life that immediately murders anything that enters it without wearing a spacesuit. Everybody loves gazing dreamily at Hubble photos of gaseous nebulae, but seldom do we realize that we are actively romanticizing inky airless death zones. With The Martian, director Ridley Scott will remind the American people that space is terrifying.
This second trailer slowly reveals more about the larger workings of the film as a whole. We learned from the original clip that after a manned mission to Mars goes belly-up, astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) gets left behind when his crew returns to Earth. In the first trailer, he managed to reestablish contact with NASA’s headquarters on Earth and request a rescue mission, finagling a means of keeping himself fed, hydrated, and alive for the four years it’ll take them to reach him. The new trailer emphasizes the larger implications back on Earth of Watney’s stranding in space, showing masses huddled in Times Square to watch as he makes his safe return home. More enticing still are the behind-the-scenes politics at NASA that may prevent the organization from making an effort to retrieve Watney at all. President Jeff Daniels is concerned that even more lives will be lost on this risky mission, and that the life of one man, symbolic as it may be, is not worth the hazard. This can mean only one thing: space mutiny. Go get your Hendrix records out of storage and check out the new trailer, embedded above.
How excited are you for The Martian? Let’s hear it in the comments.