Forget Elon Musk, in Peter Chelsom’s heartfelt drama The Space Between Us, Gary Oldman is the high-flying scientist who dreams up Earth’s bold Mars program. He’ll play NASA director Nathaniel Shepherd in the December release and thanks to Empire, we now have our first look at a bespectacled Oldman welcoming Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) on stage at a space event.
Butterfield anchors the picture as the brainy teenager, who is marooned on the Red Planet after his mother dies during childbirth far, far from home. Struggling to connect with the denizens of Earth, Elliot strikes up an online relationship with Tulsa (Britt Robertson), despite the fact they’re separated by 225 million kilometres of nothingness – hence the title.
He won’t be a Martian for much longer, though, with Shepherd and the remainder of NASA drafting up plans for his safe return. But whereas it’s easy to draw comparisons to Ridley Scott hit The Martian, Peter Chelsom’s The Space Between Us takes the idea of a wayward hero to a whole new level. Born and raised on Mars, Gardner Elliot is essentially an alien.
Chelsom, who is making his first foray behind the lens since 2014’s Hector And The Search For Happiness, goes on to tell Empire that he hopes to foster an intimate connection between Robertson and Butterfield’s lovestruck leads. Said he: “It’s about isolation and connection, amplified by the vastness of space. It’s heavy action and sci-fi and at times it feels like a sweet, low-budget romance. It’s the balance between that massive scope and that good, strong heart.”
The Space Between Us will offer a very different breed of sci-fi to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16.