This November, the National Geographic Channel will take audiences into outer space in a way we haven’t seen before. From producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer comes Mars, a six-part TV miniseries that blends documentary and science fiction to dramatize humankind’s first trip to Mars in 2033—and io9 is proud to exclusively debut the first trailer. Half of the show is more traditional drama, with sequences directed by Everardo Gout with plenty of input from Nasa, SpaceX, and others. The aim was to show viewers the closest thing possible to what an actual trip to Mars in 2033 could look like, in a very dramatic way. Those stories are then juxtaposed with a present-day documentary about the possibility, and importance, of a trip to Mars. That’s where you get interviews with Elon Musk, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, The Martian author Andy Weir, and a slew of other experts on space exploration, Mars, and more.
Lockheed Martin’s Generation Beyond initiative aims to “inspire the next generation of innovators, explorers, inventors and pioneers to pursue STEM careers.” And what better way to spark young students’ curiosity than to give them ride on a bus that simulates a ride across the Martian surface? Passengers aboard the Mars Experience bus are treated to an immersive virtual reality adventure. As the bus moves, it makes the students feel like they’re driving across the red planet by showing 200 square miles of its surface on the boarded-up windows.
The aerospace company says the VR experience was built with the same software used for “the most advanced video games” today, which hopefully means it has great graphics. Lockheed Martin’s high-tech vehicle will tour the US to give students from different regions a chance to try it out. It’s not Generation Beyond’s only projects, though. The company is also providing a free deep space curriculum to all middle school teachers and has released an app that sends you real-time Mars weather reports.
“The Martian” was left stranded without any Oscars on Sunday night (Feb. 28) at the 88th Academy Awards.
Ridley Scott’s science fiction film about a NASA astronaut (Matt Damon) being left for dead on Mars received seven nominations — including Best Picture and Best Actor — but ended the evening with no wins.
“It’s pretty cool just to be nominated,” wrote Andy Weir, author of the book on which the “The Martian” is based, in a post on Facebook. “Slowly but surely, science fiction is worming its way into popular culture and mainstream entertainment. I’m proud to be a small part of that.”
What’s next for Ryan Reynolds after the record-setting Deadpool opening? Reynolds is in talks to star with Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation‘sRebecca Ferguson in Life, a Skydance Productions film that Daniel Espinosa will direct from a script by Reynolds’ Deadpool scribes Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese. Espinosa and Reynolds teamed previously on Safe House.
Espinosa signed on last November, and talks with Reynolds were going on before the film surpassed the wildest dreams of anyone by grossing $150 million domestic and $282 million global in its opening five-day weekend. Skydance’s David Ellison and Dana Goldberg are producing with Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn. Paramount’s expected to be the distributor. It’s a big-scale film focusing on a Mars mission that finds intelligent alien life.
The Martian was a stunning film, there’s no denying that. The cinematography, writing, VFX and acting were all superb so it’s only right that we spend some time looking into how this was achieved. How the visuals of a film were achieved is often an overlooked part of any films success. That is, unless you want to work in this industry like a lot of our awesome community. So we like to showcase the best breakdowns we can find and curate them here, on our filmmaking blog. If you’re like us, you’re about to start watching breakdown after breakdown because, well, they’re awesome.
This video was made by the production house, MPC. MPC were the lead studio on Ridley Scott’s The Martian, delivering an epic 425 shots. Production VFX Supervisor Richard Stammers and MPC VFX Supervisors Anders Langlands have created VFX that left us breathless from start to finish. It’s by no means the first film to be shot in Space or on Mars, but we think it’s up there among the best looking films of the genre or any genre, really. Over the past few years we’ve seen some epic films of this genre, Gravity and Interstellar. So when you consider that The Martian is setting a pretty high standard for film in 2016 – and it’s only January – we’re in for a treat this year.
There is, of course, a short demo of The Martian VR Experience, available on just about any virtual reality platform. Coming in at about three minutes, it offers a tease of the full version, bringing users to Mars and showing them a few glimpses of life inside Watney’s helmet. But with the demo version, there’s no interactivity, except for letting users look around them in 360 degrees. Otherwise, it’s a fully passive experience.
The full version requires a high-end VR system, such as the Oculus Rift, HTC’s Vive, or Sony’s PlayStation VR, all of which have handheld controllers that allow users to do things with their hands, opening the door to potentially far richer active experiences than is possible with mobile-phone-based VR hardware like Samsung’s Gear VR or Google’s Cardboard, which offer less interactivity.
All told, the full Martian VR Experience takes users through seven different scenes, each of which exploit the interactive features of the Rift, the Vive, or the PSVR.
Spike has made a big move into scripted programming, giving “Red Mars” a straight-to-series order with 10-episodes, Variety has learned exclusively. The hourlong drama marks the cabler’s first original scripted series in nine years.
“Sense8” co-creator J. Michael Straczynski will serve as writer, exec producer and showrunner on “Red Mars.” He will exec produce with “Game of Thrones” co-exec producer Vince Gerardis, who first brought the project to Spike, plus David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross of Skydance Television, which is the studio on the series.
NASA may believe that it’ll be the first to land humans on Mars, but don’t tell that to Las Vegas betting houses. Popular Mechanics has asked Docsports’ Raphael Esparza to set odds for the first organization to put people on Mars, and he believes that SpaceX stands a much better chance of reaching the Red Planet (5 to 1) than anyone else, including NASA (80 to 1). To put it bluntly, SpaceX has the money and the motivation that others don’t — NASA would be the favorite, but its budget cuts are holding it back.
The Martian (2015) Should I See It
I would like to believe that if stuck on a planet some 130 million miles away from Earth, I would be as resourceful, adept with my surroundings, and accepting of my situation as astronaut Mark Watney seems to be. After realizing he is alone on Mars, after a mission with his crew goes terribly wrong and he is presumed dead from an accident, Watney awakens to find his crew gone, their supplies in tact, and a desperate need to figure out how to prolong his life on Mars for as long as potentially possible to find a way to get back home.
The Martian, adapted from the wildly popular best-selling novel by Andy Weir, gives us a brilliant performance from Matt Damon as the astronaut left behind, and serves as director Ridley Scott‘s newest science-fiction epic, almost erasing the sting from his polarizing 2013 crime drama The Counselor and his ridiculous Biblical epic from last year, Exodus: Gods And Kings. Quite frankly, for both director and star, this is the best film each have delivered audiences in a long, long time.
There are plenty of people who are already sold on The Martian, the latest sci-fi drama from Ridley Scott. It’s one of our 30 Movies to Be Excited for Before the End of 2015, and the most recent trailer really showed how good it looks.
But 20th Century Fox still has a little over a month to go before the film hits theaters, and they’re continuing their impressive viral marketing campaign with yet another cool video focusing on the crew of the Ares 3, another manned mission to the surface of Mars. This time, famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson examines the upcoming mission in the style of the recent Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey series.