An all-star cast heads into space for this Ridley Scott nail-biter

By Alynda Wheat
June 08, 2015 04:45 PM

Still jittery over Gravity? Get ready to hyperventilate for another celebrity lost in space.

This time it’s Matt Damon as a scientist who gets trapped on the red planet in this fall’s The Martian, based on the novel by Andy Weir. Check out the jaw-dropper of a trailer, released Monday.

Damon stars as botanist Mark Watney, who survives a horrific storm on Mars, only for NASA and his crew to think he didn’t make it. “The instruments on his suit told them that he was dead,” director Ridley Scott explained to PEOPLE in a first look at the film. [The crew] discovers two and a half months later that he’s alive. It evolves into ‘What are we going to do? Shall we mutiny? How do we turn around? We haven’t got food supplies; we haven’t got fuel.’ ”

Watney, meanwhile, is back on Mars, trying to fight for his life. “He finds he has a problem and instead of him collapsing into terror he knuckles down and actually starts to work out, right, let’s do the math.”

But Damon isn’t the only A-lister in Scott’s nerve-racking thriller, which includes Jeff Daniels and Chiwetel Ejiofor as NASA bigwigs, Kristen Wiig as their public relations specialist and Jessica Chastain as mission commander Melissa Lewis.

“To be a female commander is a very big thing,” Chastain recently told PEOPLE. “Right now, only about 10 percent of astronauts are women.” And Lewis sees plenty of action in the film’s wildest sequences. “My favorite scene to shoot, without giving too many things away, is an ending sequence where I am in the full get-up – the astronaut outfit,” recalls Chastain. “I was on wires and being swung around a lot. … It was the best part.”

The Martian opens Nov. 25.

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