The Last Days on Mars

December 6th 2013
  • Horror/Sci-Fi,
  • PG-13,
  • 98 min,
  • Other
  • Cast: Liev Schreiber, Romola Garai, Elias Koteas, Olivia Williams, Johnny Harris, Goran Kostic, Tom Cullen, Yusra Warsama
  • Director: Ruairi Robinson
  • Writers: Clive Dawson, Sydney J. Bounds
  • Producers: Andrea Cornwell, Michael Kuhn
  • Co Producers: Brendan McCarthy, John McDonnell
  • Associate Producers: Alexandra Arlango, Clive Dawson
  • Executive Producers: Malcolm Ritchie, Tim Smith, James Swarbrick
  • Art Directions: Philip Elton, Steven Lawrence, Anees Maani, Christopher Wyatt
  • Casting: Shaheen Baig
  • D.O.P.: Robbie Ryan
  • Editor: Peter Lambert
  • Makeup: Tara McDonald
  • Music: Max Richter
  • Production Design: Jon Henson
  • Set Decoration: Robert Wischhusen-Hayes


On the last day of the first manned mission to Mars, a crew member of Tantalus Base believes he has made an astounding discovery - fossilized evidence of bacterial life. Unwilling to let the relief crew claim all the glory, he disobeys orders to pack up and goes out on an unauthorized expedition to collect further samples.

But a routine excavation 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 his body. However, when another vanishes they start to suspect that the life-form they have discovered 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.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Filming Locations: Jordan; London, UK
  • MPAA Warning: Brief strong language
  • Production Budget: $11.3 million
  • Production Companies: British Film Institute, Irish Film Board, Qwerty Films, Fantastic Films
  • Production Schedule: 21 May 2012 - 12 July 2012

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2013 Guide Analysis: "Oscar-nominated short film director Ruairi Robinson ("Fifty Percent Grey," "BlinkyTM") helms this ambitious horror thriller set entirely on the red planet, and based on the short story "The Animators" by British sci-fi writer Sydney J. Bounds. This UK-Irish co-production was shot at both Elstree Studios and in Jordan. Universal is expected to distribute the film in key international territories sometime in the early Fall.

The story follows a group of astronauts onboard the spaceship Aurora who have been on Mars for six months and are packing to head home. These explorers discover evidence of life, and it is not friendly. As they collect specimens, they succumb to a mysterious and terrifying force. Scribe Clive Dawson had to shift around some of the characters from the story, mainly changing the genders of the all-male crew to a mix of men and women.

Regarding the casting, Robinson has stated that he deliberately picked cast members that "never normally do sci-fi stuff because they are going to take it seriously, and then people are going to take them seriously." Sally Hawkins was originally a part of the cast, but had to drop out and was replaced by Olivia Williams. Tone-wise Robinson is aiming for a 70s paranoia movie, a "claustrophobic, characters at each other's throats, densely packed movie." Post-production is continuing apace right now with the film expected to be delivered by May."

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Worldwide Release Dates

  • 19 September 2013: Denmark, UK
  • 6 December 2013: India