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The thrill of space exploration takes an unexpected turn towards terrifying in this brand-new trailer from "Life," a science fiction thriller that will launch into movie theaters on March 24. 

In this Space.com exclusive look, we get a 2-minute, 32-second look at what just might happen if we actually do discover alien life on Mars. It's a short trailer, but there's a lot to unpack (including some tense still images), so let's take a look: 

The year is 2017 (hey, that's now!) and a crew of astronauts on the International Space Station are about to make history by retrieving the first sample-preturn probe from Mars. At first, everything seems great. We see an international crew of astronauts - quick look reveals Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia represented - celebrating the birth of a baby back on Earth (congratulations!). 

Jake Gyllenhaal portrays astronaut David Jordan in "Life," a science fiction thriller that hits theaters March 24, 2017.
Jake Gyllenhaal portrays astronaut David Jordan in "Life," a science fiction thriller that hits theaters March 24, 2017.
Credit: Courtesy of Sony Pictures © 2016 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved

"Life" stars a crew of photogenic astronauts, among them Dr. David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal), who lays out the mission to capture the "research pod" from Mars. "This is the first capsule ever to come back from the planet," Gyllenhaal's Jordan says as scenes of the Martian surface - including actual views from NASA rovers - flash on the screen. Actors Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare and Olga Dichovichnaya also star in the film. [These Scary Space Movies Will Freak You Out]

We see glimpses of what life in space is like for the astronauts (fixing a shower, running on treadmills) before the capsule's capture. Reynolds even gets a line "Star Trek" fans (a group that includes me) will love: "I'm an astronaut, not a gym teacher."

Ryan Reynolds is astronaut Rory Adams in the science fiction thriller "Life."
Ryan Reynolds is astronaut Rory Adams in the science fiction thriller "Life."
Credit: Courtesy of Sony Pictures © 2016 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved

But as you'd expect, things quickly go from worse to catastrophic as the astronauts discover life in the Mars capsule that appears to grow fast and terrifying at cosmic speed. We learn that what ever it is from Mars may have destroyed all life on the Red Planet, and it's up to the space station crew to prevent the critter from reaching Earth.

Not since 2013's "Gravity" have we seen the International Space Station as shattered as we do in the new "Life" trailer, which closes with flashes of space action timed to lines from "Goodnight, Moon," a bedtime story book by Margaret Wise Brown that I read to my own daughter and will never think of the same way again.

"Life" isn't the first space movie of 2017 or even the first Mars-life themed one (the teen romance "The Space Between Us" which opened this weekend claims that title). But the upcoming film promises to be one heck of a sci-fi ride based on the new trailer, as well as the first view we got back in November. It doesn't hurt that both trailers showcase some truly awesome and realistic-looking spacecraft and spacesuits, which we at Space.com always appreciate.

"Life" is not yet rated and will hit theaters on March 24, 2017.

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.