It seems like just yesterday that I wrote something about Matt Damon’s new Ridley Scott movie The Martian. Wait a minute. It was just yesterday (here’s the link)! I talked about how much the trailer reminded me of several other movies (Interstellar, Cast Away, Mission to Mars), but that I was still looking forward to seeing The Martian upon its Thanksgiving 2015 release. Damon plays an astronaut presumed dead and left behind on Mars as his crew hastily flees a devastating dust storm descending upon their location. So, while they’re on their ship with a one-way ticket back to Earth he’s stuck on the red planet by himself, relying on his background in botany and mechanical engineering to survive, or as Damon puts it in the trailer, “I’m going to have to science the shit out of this.” It’s like a cross between Mission to Mars told from Don Cheadle’s point of view and Cast Away just with everyone realizing this particular outer-space cast away is still alive around halfway through the story.
Here’s the thing – it’s not coming out on November 25, 2015 anymore. According to Deadline, Fox has taken quick note of the positive response to the first trailer (18 million views and counting on Youtube) and moved up the release date to October 2nd, swapping spots with the James McAvoy/Daniel Radcliffe movie Victor Frankenstein. Of course, they might have also taken note of the positive response to the recently released Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 trailer, and remembered that anything coming out over Thanksgiving will be contending with the second week of Mockingjay Part 2. So, good luck with that Frankenstein. Now, The Martian gets a much wider birth, opening two weeks ahead of the Spielberg/Hanks Cold War drama Bridge of Spies (10/16). Plus, it’s a copycat business, and if Warner Bros. could score with their outerspace adventure Gravity as an October release why can’t Fox do the same with The Martian?
As for Frankenstein, well, it is “loosely based on the classic Mary Shelley novel follows the relationship between the doctor (McAvoy) and his assistant Igor (Radcliffe) with the monster not appearing until the end of the film.” The script comes from Chronicle’s Max Landis. It was supposed to come out in January, but they pushed it to October to maybe get a Halloween bump. Now, they’ve pushed it back again. That’s always a good sign.
The Martian is now due out October 2nd and Victor Frankenstein lurches slowly at us on November 25th, and if you’re outside of the US/Canada you can keep an eye on each film’s IMDB page (Martian, Frankenstein) to see the expected release dates for your area.