Oscar-nominated Irish director Ruairi Robinson’s (Fifty Percent Grey) first feature length film, the science-fiction horror project Last Days on Mars, has put together a solid cast, including a few new additions. Tom Cullen (Weekend), Johnny Harris (The Fades), and Elias Koteas (Shutter Island) join a cast that already features Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Romola Garai (Dirty Dancing: Havana Night), Goran Kostic (Taken), and Olivia Williams (The Sixth Sense).
Formerly titled The Animators, Last Days on Mars is currently filming, as well as shopping rights around at the Cannes Film Festival. Clive Dawson wrote the script, which is based on a 1975 Sydney J. Bounds short story.
The plot of Last Days on Mars follows a scientific expedition on Mars. Collecting rocks and other specimens, they are on the verge of a making a significant discovery. Stumbling across colonies of bacteria on the surface of the Red Planet proves that there is microscopic life there. In their waning moments on Mars, a pair of astronauts—Harrington and Pugh—heads out for one last job, one last chance to gather even more evidence. That’s when things go south. When the ground opens up, Pugh falls to his death. That’s bad. What’s worse is that he won’t stay dead. That’s right, the very bacteria they were hunting infests the corpse and reanimates it. You can imagine things devolving from there, as the remaining team tries to hang on until a rescue ship arrives.
Filming is happening in Jordan and England, with an eye on a 2013 release. New Zealand’s WETA Workshop (Lord of the Rings) is also working on the special effects for Last Days on Mars, which means that the creature work will be top notch. This was already a promising set up, but that combination seals the deal.