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Large screen shot 2015 06 07 at 1.18.20 pm
Watch THE MARTIAN Trailer, Ridley Scott's Newest, Star-Packed Mission to MarsVideo description

Watch THE MARTIAN Trailer, Ridley Scott's Newest, Star-Packed Mission to Mars

Let's say this for Ridley Scott: the last ten years have not been great for the once critically-admired, fanboy-worshipped visualist who was at one time capable of bringing us such disparately iconic pieces of moviemaking as Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma and Louise, and Black Hawk Down.

But somewhere between 2005's notorious medieval bellyflop Kingdom of Heaven and last year's whitewashed biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings, things began to look highly troublesome for Scott. In the ten years since Kingdom, not to mention a full fifteen years since his swords-and-sandals redux Gladiator took home Best Picture, Scott has been consistently churning out a slew of star-drawing, high-profile, big-budget tentpoles (Body of Lies, Robin Hood, The Counselor) that have failed to take off, both critically and commercially.

In light of this highly-uneven output, it's totally understandable -- if not, admittedly, expected -- to approach Scott's latest project, the Matt Damon lost-in-space adventure The Martian, with just the slightest bit of skepticism.

And yet based on the freshly-released first trailer for its November release, The Martian looks... pretty promising, actually.

I'll admit that it increasingly feels like Hollywood will soon max out on its allowance of life-or-death, race-against-time sci-fi spectacles, it's hard to not get excited about the diversely-appealing cast Scott has assembled for this thing: Damon's everyman survivalism, Jessica Chastain's cool-headed determinism, and Kristen Wiig's long-faced concern are certainly great starting points, but how about Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, and Donald Glover, among others? Even if The Martian turns out to be a minor entry alongside the likes of Gravity and Interstellar, it'll at least be well-acted. And the seemingly straightforward story -- Damon's astronaut is left behind on Mars, forcing his crew to rescue him -- feels like particularly fitting material for Scott, who's certainly no stranger to suspenseful, ensemble-driven space missions gone awry, even if there looks to be no stomach-popping, extraterrestrial monsters to be found in this film, though one can dream...

Watch the trailer above, and then take a look at this interesting, character-introducing promo, below. And keep your fingers-crossed that, for our sake and for Scott's, this Martian doesn't crash-land.