There is a body of films that are set on the planet Mars. In the late 19th century, people erroneously believed that there were canals on Mars. Into the early 20th century, additional observations of Mars fed people's interest in what was called "Mars fever". One of the earliest films to be set on Mars was the short film A Trip to Mars (1910), which was produced by one of Thomas Edison's film companies. In the 1920s through the 1960s, more films featured Mars or extraterrestrial Martians. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Mariner program and the Viking program revealed new scientific details about Mars that showed little prospect for life. The Guardian said, "These disappointing discoveries changed the place of Mars on humanity's mental map. Films began to reflect this." Films such as Total Recall (1990) and Red Planet (2000) focused more on the colonization of Mars by humans.
The Guardian, reporting on the release of John Carter (2012), said, since 1995, six films featuring Mars performed poorly at the box office. Wired, reporting on the release of The Martian (2015), said prior films set on Mars—Red Planet, Mission to Mars (2000), and The Last Days on Mars (2013)—were "notable flops" that were the most recent in a "dismal track record of Mars movies". The Atlantic called The Martian "the subgenre's newest and best entry", citing the positive reviews and strong box office returns on opening weekend. It said, "Many films seek to dramatize the Red Planet’s harsh landscape as a romantic frontier, but The Martian is one that actually succeeds."
- 1 List of films
- 2 See also
- 3 References
- 4 Further reading
List of films
The following films are listed alphabetically. The list can be sorted chronologically by clicking the diamond shape which follows the word "Year":