Finally, a Sci-Fi Movie Heavy on the Science: “Europa Report”

by Nancy Atkinson on May 22, 2013

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter

Poster by Start Motion Pictures.

Poster by Start Motion Pictures.

The producers of a new movie called “Europa Report” have released a new trailer about their film, which features a near-future mission to Jupiter’s moon, Europa, in search of extraterrestrial life. From the trailer, the film looks to be of extremely high quality, and it stars Sharlto Copley (District 9), with music score from composer Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica, Eureka).

And while this is a sci-fi flick, the makers of “Europa Report” say they have steeped it in real science. JPL scientists acted as advisers on the film, and it’s been called “One of the most thrilling and realistic depictions of deep-space exploration since ‘Moon’ and ’2001: A Space Odyssey’” by

Enjoy the trailer below.

The film will be released on for download on June 27th and theatrically on August 2nd through Magnolia Pictures. The premiere showing of the film will be in the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History on August 1st.


Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Mike Gibson May 22, 2013 at 10:23 PM

I hope you’re right, because it looks like yet another horror film masquerading as science fiction.

Grimbold May 23, 2013 at 12:33 AM

Why can’t a movie be both? The two categories are not mutually exclusive.

Mike Gibson May 23, 2013 at 1:05 AM

They can, but what generally happens is these sorts of movies are mostly horror, and very little science fiction.

Kevin Frushour May 23, 2013 at 4:07 AM

They’re not, but the science crowd has been duped into paying movie fare for a “science fiction” film many, many times.

Expect Pandorum, which looked like horror but ended up being a neat little scifi movie. Loved the end.

Tom Watson May 23, 2013 at 4:17 AM

the end would have been better if it had been left how it should have ended … they had been out there so long the stars and galaxies had drifted apart leaving nothing but an inky black void of nothing… instead of a sodding fish…!

Grimbold May 23, 2013 at 11:04 PM

I hated Pandorum. It was really a lot like 28 Days Later IN SPAAAAAACE, with inconsistent pacing and a pathetic twist ending. Not even a typically classy performance by Dennis Quaid could save it.

Kevin Frushour May 24, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Oh, those monsters were pretty dumb. Movie would have been fine without them.

William Sparrow May 29, 2013 at 12:07 AM

IMHO, the best of the lot are still 2001 and Apollo 13.

Kevin Frushour May 23, 2013 at 4:05 AM

I’m with you. Looks like Apollo 18.

Kevin Frushour May 23, 2013 at 4:05 AM

“My boy is gonna be six when I see him again”

$5 says that character will be dead in the first hour.

Nian Kwor May 23, 2013 at 6:30 AM

This is an entertainment fiction movie, not a science movie, please treat it as such. If it contains good science, so much the better.

Tony Trenton May 23, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Yeh !
Same old same old.

Sigh !

Nerilldp May 23, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Sheesh, if you want your movie science to be lectures in physics, go to a museum. If you want an interesting story where the science is ubiquitous, this trailer looks like a good yarn in a universe we understand and not fantasy pseudo science. No unexplained artificial gravity, no FTL B.S. Real solar power and chemical rockets: not a flux capacitor in sight – etc. etc.

Maybe there are “monsters.” From our human-centric perspective any organism intent on defending itself or just being hungry are monsters by that standard. This looks
like an imagining of first contact – I expect we are more likely to encounter a parental creature protecting its young or territory than Vulcans, ET or ALF.

Warren Fentress May 23, 2013 at 8:02 AM

I’m with you Nerilldp. Nicely put.

Tom Fowler May 23, 2013 at 8:08 AM

From Edward Bellamy to Stanley Kubrick, Cameron’s “Shane saves the Natives” to Kubrick’s cheesy ape costumes, we love our science and our questions and get both way wrong when “predicting” the near future. Saw the 2018 based “Blade Runner” last night, please, when in the 20th century did we stop in-office smoking? Pass on this one.

lcrowell May 23, 2013 at 1:11 PM

A minor critique I have is that the launch shows a Delta rocket that could in no way loft a spacecraft this large.


Fonix_roolz May 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM

It looks more like footage from the Atlas V-551 launch of the Juno mission towards Jupiter a couple of years ago.

Rick Holcomb May 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Lots of screaming and running around in total panic. Horror flick. Maybe there is some decent science in it. Overshadowed by – horror flick.

Daniel May 23, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Looks a lot like 2010 (the book) where the chinese landed on Europa and were attacked because of their lights. And if ya’ll ever get a chance, read all 4 books of Clarke’s odyssey.

Kevin Frushour May 23, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Yes, read all four, but be aware 3001 has about 15 pages of the Odyssey plotline and the rest is all Clarke’s vision of the future – which though interesting, isn’t much on plot.

Major_Domo May 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Mike, I think you are right. Another space opera horror film. There is so much right here on our own planet far stranger than any of the run of the mill garbage coming out of Bollywood. Google “The Doctrine of Convergent Timeline Paradox”.
The DCTP suggests the remaining
presence of the J-Rods in our timeline, having originated
from the alternate prior timeline, will effectively be world
line immigrants from a future that they helped never happen
for us. This is Area 51 stuff and the claim is that at least some of the ET’s are from one of our possible future and is claimed to be real. Way more interesting than sci-fi horror in outer space.

Darnell Clayton May 23, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Isn’t Europa too radioactive for humans to safely visit? It orbits within Jupiter’s radiation belt and unlike big brother Ganymede, Europa lacks a magnetic field.

Kevin Frushour May 23, 2013 at 7:09 PM

I liked that end reveal. Caught me by surprise, and I’m hard to be caught by surprise.

Kevin Frushour May 23, 2013 at 7:12 PM

To Universe Today: Now and then when I go to a page I get the “You 404′d it, gnarly, dude.” I haven’t been able to pin down why it happens – my end, your end, or the server end, but it’s usually checking pages I already know exist. After going away and coming back later I get in.

IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE May 23, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Next time, try clearing your browser’s cookies.

Kevin Frushour May 23, 2013 at 9:01 PM

I will try that, but It’s still weird. I can get into other articles on UT, but not one. then it clears up. This doesn’t happen to any other site.

DarkGnat May 26, 2013 at 1:36 AM

The plot seems to an awful lot like a certain 1979 film.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: