Sci-Fi Thriller The Astronaut Has Kate Mara, Gabriel Luna Joining Laurence Fishburne On Cast

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the film being covered here wouldn’t exist.

There’s a new sci-fi thriller in the works (and one that can start shooting in Ireland this October due to an interim agreement with the actors’ union, SAG-AFTRA). This one, titled The Astronaut, recently announced who will play said astronaut as well as two other significant characters.

According to Deadline, Kate Mara (House of Cards, Black Mirror, The Martian) and Gabriel Luna (Terminator: Dark Fate, The Last of Us, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) are joining Laurence Fishburne in The Astronaut.

Here’s the movie’s synopsis, per Deadline:

Astronaut Sam Walker (Mara) returns from her first space mission. She’s found miraculously alive in a punctured capsule floating deep off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Expecting to be reunited with her husband (Luna), she finds herself placed under intense NASA surveillance in a high security house for rehabilitation and medical testing under the control of General William Harris (Fishburne). However, when disturbing occurrences begin happening around the property, she fears that something extraterrestrial has followed her back to Earth.

The movie will be the solo writing and directorial debut of Jess Varley and is produced by Brad Fuller (A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place Part II, The Purge) and Cameron Fuller, as well as Eric B. Fleischman (Sleight) and Chris Abernathy (Barbarian).

Mara won an Emmy nomination for her role as an intrepid and ill-fated journalist on House of Cards and recently, alongside Aaron Paul and Josh Hartnett, was in an episode of the sixth season of Black Mirror (pictured above) called “Beyond the Sea.”  She also played Sue Storm in 2015’s Fantastic Four.

Luna starred in the aforementioned Terminator: Dark Fate and plays Tommy—the brother of Pedro Pascal’s character, Joel, in The Last of Us. He also played Ghost Rider in nine episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Fishburne, of course, has memorable roles in the original Matrix movies as well as in the John Wick films.

With the film getting an exception to the actor’s strike (something offered to independent films outside of the major studios who already agreed to SAG-AFTRA’s terms), The Astronaut may be one of the few new sci-fi thrillers we get in the near future. No news yet, however, on when it will premiere.


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