Before Kristen Stewart became the world’s highest-paid actress in 2012 based on her affiliation with glittery vampires, she was sent hurtling into space with her two younger brothers. This standalone spin-off can now be seen on Netflix.
Zathura: A Space Adventure stars Josh Hutcherson and Jonah Bobo as Walter and Danny Budwing, brothers who just can’t seem to get along. Kristen Stewart is on board as their older sister Lisa, while Tim Robbins bookends the film as the kids’ father.
Walter and Danny don’t agree on anything. They definitely do not agree or get along with Lisa, who is left in charge when their father is called away to work. Walter has no desire to entertain the younger Danny, so Danny decides to find fun on his own.
His search takes him to the family basement, where he uncovers a board game called Zathura. He wants Walter to play but when Walter refuses, Danny starts the game on his own. The game calls for players to roll dice and perform whatever the cards say. Danny’s first pull warns him of an impending meteor shower. When actual meteors shower the front room, Danny, and quickly Walter, realize that the game is real.
As soon as the brothers open the front door and see they are now in space, they know they are in trouble.
Meanwhile, Lisa (Kristen Stewart) is upstairs thinking because it’s dark out that she’s overslept. As she prepares to get ready for a night out, Walter pulls a card that puts Lisa in cryonic sleep. The boys then deduce for things to go back to normal they must beat the game.
As they further play the game, more trouble ensues. They encounter a defective robot, which first appears as a small toy before growing in size. The house passes too close to a star and they are attacked by reptilian aliens called Zorgons.
One of Danny’s turns brings an astronaut (Dax Shepard) to the home. When the astronaut realizes heat is what attracts the aliens, the three race around the house to turn off all heat sources in an effort to save the home from the alien attack.
Would finishing the game return the boys home? What about the astronaut, who is more than he appears? Lisa (Kristen Stewart) finally defrosts but does it change her attitude toward her brothers?
Zathura: A Space Adventure is based on the 2002 illustrated children’s book of the same name by Jumanji novelist Chris Van Allsburg and was billed as a sequel to the 1995 hit film that starred the late Robin Williams.
Jon Favreau directed Zathura, one of his first efforts as a director, from a script by big-budget writer David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Carlito’s Way, Spider-Man among his many) and John Kamps. Favreau was coming off the surprise hit Elf when he was given the reins of Zathura as well as a $65 million budget. Although critics responded favorably toward the movie, it eventually was considered a flop as it brought home a tad over $65 million at the box office.
Even though Favreau had a decent budget, he preferred to employ practical effects rather than CGI effects. As he explained to About.com, “It’s so fun to actually shoot real spaceships or have a real robot running around on the set, or real Zorgons built by Stan Winston. It gives the actors, especially young actors, so much to work off of.”
Kristen Stewart even chimed in about the effects used in the film. “A lot of it was practical,” Stewart says via Teen Hollywood. “Most everything that was happening in the house was really happening. When we harpooned walls and ripped them out, we were really doing it. When there was a fire on set, there was really fire. We had three house sets. One of them was on a gimbal, one of them shook and one of them was static. The only green screen I was ever involved with was for getting sucked out into the black hole. I got to wear a harness and fly up to the rafters of the sound stage and that was about it. It was awesome.”
Zathura: A Space Adventure came very early in Kristen Stewart’s career. She had starred early on as the diabetic daughter of Jodie Foster in Panic Room (also written by Koepp) before moving on to features like Catch That Kid, Undertow, and Fierce People before venturing into space with Zathura.
It would be three years before Kristen Stewart would become a household name as Bella Swan in Twilight. The unexpected hit film, which she co-starred with Robert Pattinson, shot Stewart’s star into the stratosphere. The Twilight Saga franchise brought in over $3.3 billion at the box office and by the time the final film (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2) in the franchise premiered, Stewart positioned herself as the highest-paid actress in the world.
Since that time, Stewart’s fame has waned a bit. She did hit it big one more time with Snow White and the Huntsman opposite Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron, but that was the last time Stewart would dominate the box office.
While Kristen Stewart continued to make movies, some critically acclaimed, fans were more interested in her personal life, which began to get splashed all over the entertainment rags. Stewart’s bisexuality became the focus as she bounced around from high profile relationships to high profile relationships.
Kristen Stewart had tongues wagging first when she dated Michael Angarano, her Speak co-star, for four years. Then fans fell in love with the fact that she and Twilight co-star Pattinson began dating. She then did the dirty to Pattinson by revealing a relationship she was having with Snow White director Rupert Sanders, who was also married at the time.
Stewart would get back together with Pattinson in 2012 but the pair would call it quits for good a year later. This is when Stewart began her relationship with visual effects producer Alicia Cargile. Kristen Stewart would eventually move on to Stella Maxwell, a New Zealand model, their relationship lasting three years. Kristen Stewart is now in a relationship with screenwriter Dylan Meyer. Whew!
Kristen Stewart was recently seen in the Charlie’s Angels reboot, though the film was not a commercial success. She was also seen in the Happiest Season and is now slated to take on the daunting role of Princess Diana in the biographical drama, Spencer.
Until then, go check out the underrated Zathura: A Space Adventure. It can be found on Netflix.