‘Last Days on Mars,” which premiered at Cannes in May, is set to be released through Magnet’s Ultra VOD program in the United States. The video-on-demand service is known for releasing films a month before its theatrical release.
It’s the feature film debut of director Ruairi Robinson and it stars Liev Schreiber (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”), Romola Garai (“The Hour”), Elias Koteas (“The Killing”), Olivia Williams (“Dollhouse”) and Tom Cullen.
It follows the story of the final day of the first manned mission to Mars when a crew member of Tantalus Base believes he has made a discovery — fossilized evidence of bacterial life. Not wanting the relief crew to get all the credit, he instead disobeys orders to pack up and goes out on an authorized expedition to collect further samples.
A routine excavation, however, turns to disaster when the porous ground collapses, and he falls into a deep crevice and near certain death. His devastated colleagues attempt to recover him, however, when another starts to vanish, the remaining people start to discover that the lifeform they found is not yet dead.
As the group begins to fall apart, it seems their only hope is the imminent arrival of the relief ship Aurora.
The film is based on the short story by Sydney J. Bounds, and was adapted for the screen by Clive Dawson. Bounds was a prolific science-fiction, horror and westerns writer who died in 2006. Bounds wrote “The Animators,” the short story Robinson pulled from, in 1975. It was one of 90 science-fiction short stories Bounds published between 1949 and his death.
The company behind the film’s distribution is Magnet Releasing, a genre division of Magnolia Pictures, which has already released successes such as “Monsters,” “John Dies at the End,” and “V/H/S.”
Magnet also released “Europa Report” on-demand June 27, a “found-footage” genre film directed by Sebastian Cordero that stars Sharlto Copley of “District 9” and “Elysium.” That is expected to be found in select theaters Aug. 2.
No release date has been set for “Last Days on Mars.”