Jeff Daniels’ stint on the small screen in HBO’s The Newsroom is coming to an end this year, and the actor has already accepted his next film role. Following up his return to comedy schtick in Dumb And Dumber To with a sci-fi epic, Daniels has now signed on to appear in Ridley Scott’s The Martian.
Based on the best-selling 2012 e-book by Andy Weir, the movie revolves around Mark Watney (Matt Damon), an astronaut who winds up stranded on a Martian colony with no hope for survival. Back on Earth, NASA heads up plans to exact a rescue mission. The news today comes via THR, who report that Daniels will play the NASA director who spearheads the campaign to retrieve Watney. Daniels has phenomenal dramatic capability for more serious fare, and we’re definitely looking forward to seeing him commandeer Watney’s return.
The movie is scheduled to be Scott’s next production after he completes work on his historical epic, Exodus: Gods And Kings, and is already attracting a whirlwind of talent. With space, the galaxy, and all things cosmic becoming hot commodities on the big screen, it’s no wonder people are clamouring to board the flick. Jessica Chastain isn’t tired of trips into the outer reaches after Interstellar, as she’s in the running for the female lead along with Kristen Wiig and Kate Mara. Michael Pena’s name has been thrown into the mix too, as the Fury star is also apparently in early discussions for a role – but this latest report makes no mention of him.
The Martian will land on November 25th, 2015. Here’s the official Amazon synopsis for Weir’s book:
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?