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“The Martian” Viral Promo Shows Matt Damon Goofin’ With His Crew, No Mars Stuff

In a video designed to look like a NASA livestream, Matt Damon and the crew of the spaceship Hermes bid adieu to planet Earth.

“The Martian” Viral Promo Shows Matt Damon Goofin’ With His Crew, No Mars Stuff

Ridley Scott must have gotten a taste for doling out viral promos in the lead-up to his last space-romp, Prometheus. The director is back at it again for his latest intergalactic opus, only this time the tone is light enough to dispense with gravity almost entirely.

Unlike the bleak space-horrors of Prometheus, the first clip teasing The Martian promises the bright-eyed wonder of Interstellar, mixed with the congenial backslapping of a post-win locker room. In it, Matt Damon’s astronaut/botanist leads a vlogging tour of the spaceship Hermes just before taking off on an undefined–to the viewer–mission. The footage has the look and feel of a NASA livestream as Damon introduces the rest of the crew, including Michael Pena, Kate Mara, and Jessica Chastain—who along with Damon, must have loved her Interstellar experience so much she just couldn’t wait to jump right back into space movies. (Not glimpsed in the video: other co-stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, and Kristen Wiig.)

Heightening the realism of the video, each intro is accompanied by playful pop-up Crew Facts that let us know details like Jessica Chastain’s character’s extensive vinyl collection. Everyone seems so friendly and good-natured you almost don’t want them to fly into space and accidentally lose Matt Damon on Mars a la Andy Weir’s recent hit novel, which the movie is based on. Find out how closely the film sticks to the prescribed plot when it opens on on November 25.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. He has also written for The Awl, Rolling Stone, McSweeney's, and Salon.