As the idea of making Mars a habitable planet has become more of a possibility in recent years, it’s no surprise that Hollywood has followed suit with films that are less about invading alien hordes, and more about what life might be like for those first settlers. The Martian gave us Matt Damon learning to live on the red planet, and in its latest trailer, The Space Between Us gives us Asa Butterfield falling in love on the red planet.
The Space Between Us tells the story of Gardner Elliot (Butterfield), a 16 year old boy whose mother was one of the first astronauts to colonize Mars. Despite having known only 14 people in his entire life, Gardner forms a somewhat romantic friendship with Tulsa (Britt Robertson), a girl on Earth whom Gardner communicates with online. Hoping to find his father and meet Tulsa face to face, Gardner makes the journey home. But he’s ill-equipped to live on Earth, and he may only be able to stay there for a little while.
The trailer gives us a somewhat silly teen drama, partially lifted by the quality of its cast. Butterfield and Robertson look charming, as does a grizzled Gary Oldman. But I wonder how believable this film will actually be – Gardner has access to the Internet, so him being unaware of certain conventions of living on Earth don’t quite make sense, even if he’s only met a few “real” people in practice.
I also wonder how the film will explain Gardner’s lack of contact with his father – wouldn’t someone have informed the man that he had a son on Mars? The Martian was marked by its dedication to trying to realistically explore what it would be like to live on Mars; The Space Between Us looks like a comedic Romeo and Juliet…on Mars. Of course, that might not be a bad thing.
The Space Between Us will orbit theaters on December 16.