With so many sci-fi films in production, there are a lot of roles to be cast, and a couple of high-profile projects have been adding to their already large ensembles. Just when you think the cast of Ridley Scott’s The Martian can’t get any more impressive, it adds a handful of new names. And next time around, The Maze Runner will feature more than one lone, underwritten female character, as the sequel Scorch Trials has added a Game of Thrones star in a key position.
EW reports that Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) and Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) are joining the massive cast of The Martian. Reportedly Scott’s next film, before he embarks on either Prometheus 2 or Blade Runner 2, the cast already includes damn near everyone in Hollywood. Those three alone would be a major casting coup, but they join the likes of Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Donald Glover, Michael Pena, Mackenzie Davis, and Jeff Daniels, who are already in place. It’s an embarrassment of riches over there, and it will be interesting to see how they make use of all of this talent.
An adaptation of Andy Weir’s novel of the same name, Damon plays astronaut Mark Watney who is having a really bad day. He’s part of the first team to set foot on Mars, which is pretty cool, but he’s likely going to be the first person die there as well, something he’s none too keen on. After a massive dust storm, Mark’s team evacuates the planet, leaving him for dead, completely alone, on the surface of planet more than 54 million kilometers from home, with no way of contacting anyone. But he’s not ready to give up just yet, and lets be realistic, if he just laid down and died, this wouldn’t be much of a movie. So he fights on, but we’ll have to wait until the movie opens on November 25, 2015 to find out if he succeeds and overcomes the odds, or read the book.
Scott will work from a script by Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard, who was originally attached to direct, and shooting is scheduled to start next month.
If you watched The Maze Runner when it opened last month and were pleasantly surprised to find a solid YA dystopia, you’ll be pleased to know that the sequel, The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is on the way. The follow up expands on the contained world of the first film, and this includes beefing up the female portion of the cast. Chapter one in James Dashner’s best selling trilogy is set in a place populated solely by teenage boys, and as a result, there are only two women with speaking roles in the movie, but now they’ve invited Nathalie Emmanuel to the party.
Better known as Missandie on HBO’s swords and sex epic Game of Thrones (she’s actually the second GoT star to sign on, as Aidan Gillen, who plays Peter Baelish, aka Littlefinger, will play the villain), she steps into the role of Harriet, the leader of a group of all female Maze Runners. Like the core group fronted by Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), Harriet’s crew also escaped from their own labyrinthine prison. The two cliques meet up on their new adventure, which sees them forced to cross a desolate wasteland known as “the Scorch,” which sounds rather ominous. Harriet apparently also plays a part in the third film, so we can expect to see more of her in theaters over the next few years.
The Wes Ball-directed The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials is slated to begin filming next month in New Mexico, and opens everywhere on September 18, 2015.