Mark Strong has proven a reliable supporting player in any number of high-profile films, from “Syriana” and “Sherlock Holmes” to “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” The English actor gets perhaps his most prominent leading role yet in writer/director Mark Elijah Rosenberg’s “Approaching the Unknown,” the first trailer for which premiered today. Strong stars as Captain William D. Stanaforth, an astronaut headed to the Red Planet; as tends to be the case in stories about the final frontier, however, complications arise en route.
“Mars is just a tiny dot in the sky,” Strong says in the opening moments, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to boldly go where no man has gone before: “I’m not going there to die. I’m going to Mars to live.” Onscreen text informs us that, after a 270-day journey, Stanaforth will be the first man on Mars. The trailer at first focuses on the tedium of his journey, which gives way to troubling dreams that wear away at his state of mind and throw the entire mission into jeopardy.
“Approaching the Unknown” co-stars Luke Wilson as Strong’s ground control. Also appearing are Sanaa Lathan, Anders Danielsen Lie and Charles Baker. Vertical Entertainment will release the film in theaters on June 3.