In Brief

First Trailer for 'The Martian' Puts Matt Damon in Peril

Do we really have to wait more than five months for this movie to come out?

The first official trailer for Ridley Scott's "The Martian" was released today (June 8), and it's a doozy, packing gorgeous vistas of the Red Planet, intricately rendered spaceships and some laughs into three dramatic minutes.

Matt Damon appears as a stranded astronaut on Mars in 'The Martian' motion picture, coming to theaters in November 2015. (Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)

The trailer lays out the basic story of "The Martian," which is based on the best-selling 2014 novel of the same name by Andy Weir: A powerful storm hits a manned Mars outpost, forcing the crew to evacuate and head back to Earth. NASA astronaut Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) doesn't make it onboard and is presumed dead.

But Watney is still very much alive. He must find a way to survive all by himself on the Red Planet's inhospitable surface — and get the word out to Earth, so a rescue mission can be mounted. 

"In the face of overwhelming odds, I'm left with one option," Watney says in a video log he keeps after being stranded. "I'm going to science the s--t out of this."

"The Martian" chronicles Watney's attempt to do just that. He must figure out a way to grow four years' worth of food, for example, and fix the base's damaged communications gear. It's a challenge greater than any astronaut has ever faced, and Watney's facing it alone. 

"In your face, Neil Armstrong!" Watney exults after one particularly rousing success.

Damon, as Watney, also introduces viewers to his crewmates in a separate video tour of their Mars ship "Hermes."

"The Martian" hits theaters on Nov. 25. The film's ensemble cast includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.