The Space Between Us, a blend of science fiction and coming of age drama, hits Blu-ray May 16 via Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
The story centers on Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield), a 16-year-old who is the first human born on Mars. His astronaut mother (Janet Montgomery) died giving birth to Gardner, and though he’s had a nurturing parental figure (Carla Gugino) help him through his adolescence, he desperately wants to travel to Earth and find his father.
Helping him on his journey is Tulsa (Britt Robertson), a tough minded high school student who is Gardner’s only friend on Earth. Gary Oldman co-stars as the mastermind behind the Mars mission that changed the face of humanity.
The Space Between Us performed below expectations at the box office, and hopefully this well crafted drama finds its audience on home video and Digital HD (its digital release is set for May 2).
Click on the media bar to hear Britt Robertson talk about her The Space Between Us journey:
The picture’s special features contains an alternate ending, audio commentary from filmmaker Peter Chelsom, and deleted scenes.
The Space Between Us begins with NASA’s ambitious mission to colonize Mars. The team’s head astronaut (Janet Montgomery) dies while giving birth on the red planet, and 16 years later Gardner Elliot (Ender Games’ Asa Butterfield) gets the chance to visit Earth to experience life outside of Mars for the first time.
Though another astronaut (Carla Gugino) has been tasked with raising Gardner, he’s the only youth living on Mars, and his only real connection is with Tulsa (Britt Robertson), a street smart teenager who’s living in Colorado. The best part of Gardner’s day centers on his online conversations with Tulsa, as both youths bond over their mutual frustrations over their surroundings.
Gary Oldman is Nathaniel Sheperd, the innovator behind the NASA mission, who after the astronaut’s death, has distanced himself from the program and, for all intents and purposes, humanity. When Gardner returns to Earth, Nathaniel takes a renewed interest in the mission, especially since he worries about Gardner’s capabilities to handle Earth’s climate.
Though director Peter Chelsom devotes time to the environment that’s being built on Mars, The Space Between Us mainly focuses on Gardner’s coming of age journey. Gardner may be excited to finally meet Tulsa, but his primary goal is to find the father he never knew. Armed with just an old video clip of his mother, Gardner and Tulsa go on a mission to find this mystery man.
As displayed in the evocative tale The Mighty, Chelsom isn’t afraid at pulling the heartstrings, but thankfully he grounds the story’s more emotional moments in reality. The filmmaker doesn’t reach the same stratospheric heights as The Mighty with The Space Between Us, the movie’s still worth a look. Thanks to the easy as pie chemistry between Robertson and Butterfield, the film is an engaging family drama interspersed with some operatic space moments. Gugino also does wonderful work as the career driven woman who, even though she keeps her emotions in check, considers Gardner as her own son.
Family driven dramas often verge into overwrought melodramas, and thankfully The Space Between Us doesn’t cross that line. Instead, we’re treated to an engaging story of a young man caught between two worlds, trying to find his way home. Chelsom may wrap up some of the characters’ biggest challenges in a nice little bow, but that’s a minor quibble in an otherwise memorable cinematic experience.
In The Space Between Us, Asa Butterfield plays Gardner, the first human to be born on Mars. His astronaut mother (Janet Montgomery) died after giving birth, and now Gardner’s determined to find the whereabouts of his father on Earth. Britt Robertson plays our protagonist’s best friend Tulsa, a youth who helps him on the journey.
The tech savvy Butterfield (he custom built his last PC), who also starred in the 2013 feature Ender’s Game, is excited about the idea of a life on Mars.
“I am interested in it,” says Butterfield. “I like science fiction. I am a technologically up to date person. I like seeing what the new developments are. Aside from that, going to Mars is the next logical step. I’m still hopeful that we’ll come up with some sort of way to try and help the s**t storm we stirred for ourselves. As long as technology is advancing, we should theoretically come up with a solution. If we don’t, we’re all screwed and we need to go to Mars.”
Click on the media to hear Asa Butterfield talk about whether or not he’ll attend college and why he’s “winging it” at the moment:
Directed by Peter Chelsom (The Mighty), The Space Between Uscenters on Gardner Elli0t (Asa Butterfield), a teenager who’s the first human to be born on Mars. During a trip to Earth, Gardner embarks on a profound journey with his close friend Tulsa(Britt Robertson) as they try to find the whereabouts of Gardner’s father. Since his body can’t survive Earth’s atmosphere for an extended period of time, Gardner’s visit will be a short one. Gary Oldman co-stars as Nathaniel Shepherd, the flawed visionary who created the new settlement on Mars. Though the movie has its share of sci-fi elements, The Space Between Us mainly focuses on the human drama behind Gardner and Tulsa’s evolving relationship.
During the interviews for The Space Between Us, the 26-year-old Robertson was asked about the challenges of playing teenage roles (i.e. Mr. Church, Tomorrowland), and she gave a pretty convincing argument on why age is sometimes just a number! Click on the media bar below to hear Robertson talk about playing younger characters.
The Space Between Us, co-starring Janet Montgomery (Salem) and BD Wong (Focus), opens nationwide February 3.
Hailee Steinfeld was comfortable shooting period driven films thanks to her work in True Grit and Romeo and Juliet, but with Ender’s Game the actress faced an entirely different acting challenge.
“Shooting Ender’s Game in front of a green screen was really weird but I was able to sort of use my imagination in a way that I never had before,” said Steinfeld. “So that was something that I really, really loved about this experience was that it was so completely different. (Director) Gavin Hood was so incredible in translating what his vision was and helping us come together and see the same thing.”
Click on the media bar to hear Steinfeld talk about why she took a bit of time off after True Grit:
Ender’s Game, co-starring Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford, opens November 1. It’s based on the bestselling book by Orson Scott Card.