First Trailer for Sci-Fi Thriller 'Europa Report' Unveiled (Video)

'Europa Report' Poster
A new science fiction film, 'Europa Report,' is coming in 2013 from Wayfare Entertainment. (Image credit: Wayfare Entertainment)

The first trailer for the new science fiction film "Europa Report" has launched onto the Internet and just might be the most realistic — and harrowing — depiction of space travel on the big screen in years.

In "Europa Report," an intrepid crew of astronauts leaves Earth behind for Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter, on a private space mission to seek out alien life. As the first two-minute trailer shows, the mission does not go anywhere near as planned.  Not by a long shot. You can watch the "Europa Report" trailer here.

"This is really a new first step for mankind," one mission official says in the trailer.

In the trailer, we see the Europa-bound crew launch into space, then watch astronauts on spacewalks, and finally see a series of flashes showing what appears to be a space mission going from bad to worse. The anguished scream of a spacesuit-clad astronaut caps the trailer. [See photos from "Europa Report"]

"Europa Report" launches in theaters on Aug. 2 but will be available on iTunes and video on demand on June 27. Filmmaker Sebastián Cordero directed the movie, which stars an ensemble crew that includes Sharlto Copley ("District 9") and Michael Nyqvist ("The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"). It was produced by Wayfare Entertainment.

"I thought I was trying to do something great for mankind," Copley's character says in the trailer. "I always said it was worth the risk."

A spaceship floats in space in this still from the 2013 science fiction film ‘Europa Report.’ (Image credit: Wayfare Entertainment)

To call "Europa Report" just another science fiction thriller does not do the movie justice. (Full Disclosure: has seen the full movie and it is indeed awesome).

The film is by turns moody, suspenseful and stunningly realistic in its portrayal of the extreme isolation astronauts would face on a years-long trip to Jupiter. More than that, though, I'd rather not reveal to avoid spoiling the film.

The views of Europa in the film are amazingly detailed, and the methods used by the crew to probe the moon and its icy crust appear to be pulled straight out of concepts by NASA and other space agencies for exploring the icy Jovian satellite.  

Europa has long been a tantalizing target for scientists because its thick icy crust appears to hide a vast ocean of liquid water. Interactions between that ocean and Europa's tidally heated interior could potentially serve as an energy source for primitive life, if it exists at all on the Jupiter moon.

The European Space Agency plans to launch a real-life mission to Europa in 2022 to explore it and several other Jupiter moons as part of the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (nicknamed JUICE) expedition. NASA will provide a radar instrument for the JUICE spacecraft to peer beneath Europa's surface, but the mission will be completely robotic — no astronauts aboard.

So it looks like Wayfare's "Europa Report" will be the closest humanity comes to a manned mission to Jupiter for the foreseeable future. Let's hope the next try goes a bit better.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.