In the trailer for The Space Between Us, a female astronaut on a long-term Mars mission discovers that she’s pregnant and must give birth shortly after arriving on the planet. Sixteen years later, her Martian son (Asa Butterfield) gets a chance to visit Earth. However, scientists are keeping him confined because the Earth’s gravity is vastly different from what the boy is used to, a disparity that could trigger negative health effects. But the boy escapes, determined to learn all he can about Earth, his estranged father, and a love interest (Britt Robertson) he Skyped a lot when he was back on Mars. Of course, NASA scientists hold degrees for a reason, and sure enough the boy finds his health rapidly declining as he tries to experience Earth for the first—and probably the last—time.
Despite boasting a likable cast that also includes Gary Oldman, Carla Gugino, and B.D. Wong, the trailer leans heavily on the blossoming romance between the boy and his crush. He thinks she’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen—which is probably true, since his Mars community consisted of just a handful of astronauts—and she’s slowly taken by his enthusiasm for Earth’s natural pleasures. The preview spends less time contemplating the boy’s place in the universe and more time forecasting his impending death, turning the whole affair into a mushy, tragic love story fueled by rousing proclamations and panoramic shots of the Grand Canyon. The director, Peter Chelsom, previously helmed Serendipity and Shall We Dance, so look for waxing that’s more interpersonal than metaphysical, and for affirmations more cat poster than profound.