Have you heard about Asa Butterfield and Britt Robertson‘s new movie called The Space Between Us? An interplanetary adventure featuring two young lovers, one from Earth and one from Mars? Which isn’t your typical young adult story? If you haven’t heard anything about it or you want to learn more, here I share with you some things I learned about the film when I visited the set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as well as two brand new images from the film below!
Here’s the official description:
In this interplanetary adventure, a space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after takeoff that one of the astronauts is pregnant. Shortly after landing, she dies from complications while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet – never revealing who the father is. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot – an inquisitive, highly intelligent boy who reaches the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his very unconventional upbringing. While searching for clues about his father, and the home planet he’s never known, Gardner begins an online friendship with a street smart girl in Colorado named Tulsa. When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, he’s eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about on Mars – from the most simple to the extraordinary. But once his explorations begin, scientists discover that Gardner’s organs can’t withstand Earth’s atmosphere. Eager to find his father, Gardner escapes the team of scientists and joins with Tulsa on a race against time to unravel the mysteries of how he came to be, and where he belongs in the universe.
1. It’s Not Based On A Book
Shocker, but it’s true. Even though nowadays we have tons of young adult novels that are becoming movies, The Space Between Us is an original story which ultimately finds its vision from director and writer Peter Chelsom as well as producer Richard Lewis, in which both wondered what would happen if there was a baby born in Mars. In the story, the woman has complications during birth and her son, Gardner (Asa Butterfield), grows up in secrecy on Mars.
2. This Could Really Happen
In a way, this is something that could definitely happen today. After extensive research on the topic from producer Richard Lewis and talks with NASA, there is a possibility that today or in the very near future of a human giving birth in Mars and growing up there would not be surprising. Gardner has to wait until he is around the age of 15-16 until the bone plates in his body fuse together in order for him to go to Earth. Due to the gravity of Mars, this process takes longer than usual. So if he were to visit Earth, the weight would crush his bones and his heart could not be able to take the gravity of Earth and pump twice as much. Because of this reason and the dangers that come with a human that isn’t fully developed visiting Earth, is why the character of Gardner has to be a teenager and face these situations that only people in his age would do.
3. Interplanetary Lovers, How Did That Happen?
Well, since he was born in secrecy and after his mother passed away his main human contact is Carla Gugino‘s character, an astronaut that lives in the same Mars base, Gardner finds a way to get that human connection he so badly wants. Gardner has been using the internet in secret, and begins talking to Tulsa (Britt Robertson) and the world he has never known. His main goal is to go to Earth, meet Tulsa and find his father (Gary Oldman). Both Gardner and Tulsa have been in a way isolated in their own ways: Gardner all by himself in Mars, Tulsa has been in foster homes for most of her life. Both of them want to feel like they belong somewhere.
4. Gary Oldman’s Character Was Inspired by Elon Musk
Gary Oldman portrays the character of Nathaniel Shepherd, who was inspired by the real figure of Elon Musk, a man whose mission is to start the Mars colonization program. Even though the character is inspired by Musk, the cast and crew also had a chance to see his vision become a reality at SpaceX. Furthermore, the movie was shot in New Mexico, Nevada and Utah, some of the landscapes were used to show Mars in the film, for which Asa had to train for Gardner’s first steps on Earth and the impact of gravity. Director Peter Chelsom had to tie weights to his feet so he knew exactly how much his gravity would affect his movement while he becomes accustomed to our planet.
5. It’s Ultimately About The Human Experience
Even though the movie has a lot of elements from sci-fi, adventure, romance, and even a bit of comedy from a scene I got to see on set, it is ultimately about Gardner’s journey on becoming human. After being most of his life on Earth with limited contact to humans, Gardner can only learn to be one from the internet and the couple of adults that live with him in Mars. It’s about the journey of finding out who you really are and where you belong.
I asked Asa if he could give an advice to Gardner when he visits Earth for the first time what would it be and he said “Don’t talk to shady looking strangers (laughs), look both ways when you cross the road, learn to say the appropriate things in certain situations since Gardner doesn’t have much training in that”.
We’ll have more coverage of The Space Between Us throughout the year, so stay tuned for more articles!
The Space Between Us will be released on July 29th, 2016