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Image for 00 Distant Naomi Scott Temp Hero

Distant: A Sci-Fi Survival Comedy

11/14/2022 • 4 min read

Imagine a world in which “asteroid miner” is an actual job. You thought your daily commute was bad, but just wait until you have to go to work… in space. It’ll probably happen in the next 100 years or so, but for now, a space job remains a (not too) distant sci-fi concept.

It’s also the premise of the upcoming sci-fi comedy DISTANT, starring Anthony Ramos and Naomi Scott. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the new film before it hits theaters.

In Space, Everyone Can Hear You Laugh

DISTANT, set sometime in the future, follows an asteroid miner named Andy (Ramos) whose spaceship crash-lands on an alien planet. Struggling to survive a harsh new world amid potentially predatory aliens and a dwindling oxygen supply, Andy makes contact with another human. She's a crew member and fellow survivor from his mission named Naomi (Scott). Trapped in an escape pod, Naomi communicates with Andy via radio, helping to guide him in a search-and-rescue mission across the strange planet.

Although it sounds more like a sci-fi action drama, DISTANT is most definitely a comedy. It was directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck, the filmmaking duo behind OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY, the ice skating rivalry comedy BLADES OF GLORY, and this year’s animated family comedy LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE.

Naomi Scott Goes To Space

Asteroid miner Andy Ramirez is played by Anthony Ramos, an actor best known for his performances in musicals. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway hit HAMILTON gave Ramos his big breakthrough, and the pair reunited for the 2021 musical film IN THE HEIGHTS. Ramos is also starring in the next TRANSFORMERS movie, titled TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS.

Naomi Scott (above) plays Naomi Calloway, Andy’s fellow crew member and possibly the only survivor of the crash that left them stranded on an alien planet. Scott previously starred in Disney’s live-action remake of ALADDIN as Princess Jasmine. She also showed off her fighting skills in a pair of recent action-packed reboots: 2017’s POWER RANGERS and 2019’s CHARLIE’S ANGELS.

Rounding out the cast are Zachary Quinto as the voice of the A.I. controlling Andy’s survival suit, and Kristofer Hivju as a mysterious character named Dwayne. Quinto is famous for his breakout role as the villain of NBC’s “Heroes” as well as for playing Spock in the modern STAR TREK movies. Though he hails from Norway, you probably recognize Hivju and his distinctive red beard from “Game of Thrones,” in which he played the fan-favorite character Tormund Giantsbane.

The Next Great Sci-Fi Comedy?

DISTANT is part of a growing trend of sci-fi comedies set in space. Aside from family-friendly titles and a few cult classics (like GALAXY QUEST and STARSHIP TROOPERS), most movies and shows set in space are usually dramas, action flicks, or horror films. And that makes sense—outer space is vast and overwhelming, and the stories that take place there usually involve some sort of life-or-death situation.

2015’s THE MARTIAN, starring Matt Damon as an astronaut stranded on Mars, managed to find a little comedy in an otherwise extremely dramatic situation. Some of the best scenes in the film involve Damon talking himself through stressful circumstances, and his use of humor makes an unimaginable scenario very relatable.

On the small screen, there’s HBO’s “Avenue 5,” which comes from the creator of the award-winning comedy “Veep.” Hugh Laurie of “House” fame stars in the series as the captain of a space cruise ship trying to put up with wealthy, annoying space tourists while managing his crew.

Finally, the recent film MOONSHOT took the rom-com to space with its story of a pair of college students (Cole Sprouse and Lana Condor) who sneak onto a spaceship headed for an inhabited Mars to reunite with their significant others.

With its charismatic cast and an experienced comedy filmmaking duo behind the camera, DISTANT is primed to join the small canon of fun sci-fi comedies set in space.


DISTANT opens on January 27.


All images courtesy of Sony Pictures.

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