A lonely astronaut befriends a friendly giant alien spider in Spaceman trailer


Adam Sandler stars as a lonely astronaut on a solo mission who befriends an alien spider in Spaceman.

Some people were not pleased when Netflix and other streaming platforms began making feature films. But in an industry in which smaller or medium films tend to be squeezed out in favor of big-budget fare, there’s a solid argument to be made that Netflix and others could help fill that niche. That certainly seems to be the case with Netflix’s forthcoming sci-fi film, Spaceman, judging by the official trailer. Adam Sandler stars as an astronaut who is not coping well with the isolation and disintegration of his marriage while on an eight-month solo mission and strikes up a friendship with a friendly alien space spider who wants to help him work through his emotional distress. Honestly, Netflix had us at friendly alien space spider.

(Some spoilers for the 2017 novel below.)

Directed by Johan Renck (Chernobyl, Breaking Bad), the film is based on the 2017 novel, Spaceman of Bohemia, by Jaroslav Kalfař. Kalfař has said he was inspired to write his novel after a childhood experience of becoming briefly separated from his grandfather while on a nighttime walk through the woods. The “perfect darkness, with nothing but the stars” made a strong impression, as did the silence and sense of loneliness. Spaceman of Bohemia started as a short story about an astronaut stranded in orbit as his wife filed for divorce and eventually became a novel that incorporated not just the theme of loneliness, but also Kalfař’s formative experiences growing up in the Czech Republic.

In the novel, a Czech astrophysicist named Jakub Procházka accepts a solo mission to collect samples from a strange dust cloud called Chopra, believed to have been created by a comet lurking between the Earth and Venus. He hopes the high-profile mission will make him a national hero and redeem the family name following his father’s membership in the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. But it means leaving his pregnant wife, Lenka, back on Earth, who feels abandoned and decides to end their marriage. Jakub becomes depressed and starts drinking excessively. His sanity comes into question when he begins hearing voices and then starts seeing a giant talking alien spider around the shuttle. The two gradually bond. But is the spider real or a figment of Jakub’s imagination?

The Netflix adaptation looks like it will follow that basic plot pretty closely. Per the official premise:

Six months into a solitary research mission to the edge of the solar system, an astronaut, Jakub (Adam Sandler), realizes that the marriage he left behind might not be waiting for him when he returns to Earth. Desperate to fix things with his wife, Lenka (Carey Mulligan), he is helped by a mysterious creature from the beginning of time he finds hiding in the bowels of his ship. Hanuš (voiced by Paul Dano) works with Jakub to make sense of what went wrong before it is too late.

The cast also includes Isabella Rossellini as Jakub’s commanding officer. Kunal Nayyar as a technician named Peter, and Lena Olin as Zdena.

Spaceman drops on Netflix on March 1, 2024. It will make its world premiere a few weeks earlier at the 74th Berlin International Film Festival.

Listing image by Netflix


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *