Latin Americans Go Galactic


Some Latino talent is looking to the heavens to high box office receipts as three big budget films will fill the multiplex in the next coming weeks. First at bat is the documentary-style science fiction thriller Europa Report (pictured left) directed by Ecuadorean filmmaker Sebastián Cordero (Crónicas, Rabia) and which opens in select theaters this Friday, August 2 released by Magnolia Pictures.

Starring Daniel Wu, Sharlto Copley, Michael Nyqvist and Christian Camargo, Europa Report follows a contemporary mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa to investigate the possible existence of alien life. When unmanned probes suggest that a hidden ocean could exist underneath Europa’s icy surface and may contain single-celled life, Europa Ventures, a privately funded space exploration company, sends six of the best astronauts from around the world to confirm the data. After a near-catastrophic technical failure that leads to loss of communication with Earth and the tragic death of a crewmember, the surviving astronauts must overcome the psychological and physical toll of deep space travel.

Cordero's English-language directorial debut also features other Latino talent in its cast and crew, including actor Christian Camargo, D.P. Enrique Chediak and production designer Eugenio Caballero.

Just one week after the opening of Europa Report, TriStar/Sony Pictures is releasing Elysium (pictured right), the $100 million budget blockbuster directed by South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp (District 9), and starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, along with a dream-team of Latin American actors including Alice Braga and Wagner Moura from Brazil, and Diego Luna from Mexico.

Set in 2154, the film imagines two classes of people: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined planet. The people of Earth are desperate to escape the crime and poverty that is now rampant throughout the land. The only man with the chance to bring equality to these worlds is Max, an ordinary guy in desperate need to get to Elysium. With his life hanging in the balance, he reluctantly takes on a dangerous mission - one that pits him against Elysium's Secretary Delacourt and her hard-line forces - but if he succeeds, he could save not only his own life, but millions of people on Earth as well.

The third outer space film is Mexican director's Alfonso Cuarón's long anticipated new film Gravity (pictured left) starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, which will have its world premiere as opening night of the 70th edition of the Venice Film Festival and will be released in the United States on October 4 by Warner Brothers.

Written by Cuarón and his son Jonás, Gravity follows medical engineer Dr. Ryan Stone who is on her first Space Shuttle mission accompanied by veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky, who is commanding his final expedition. During a spacewalk, debris from a satellite crashes into the space shuttle Explorer, leaving it mostly destroyed, and stranding them in space with limited air. Without means of communication with Earth, they must cooperate to survive.

The film's DP is Emmanuel Lubezki who has worked with Cuarón on all of his films since his directorial debut with Sólo con tu pareja / Love in the Times of Hysteria (1991). The film with only two characters has a reported production budget of $88 million.


Watch the trailers for the three films: