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TV audiences around the world widely hold the Planet Earth and Blue Planet docuseries as the holy grails of nature-porn, but National Geographic has a new hopeful contender on the way with Darren Aronofsky and Jane Root's One Strange Rock, which aims to celebrate our ever-amazing planet in a gorgeous way, from the point of view of those lucky enough to have left it for a while. (Astronauts, in case that wasn't clear.) Below, you can hype yourself up for One Strange Rock by watching host Will Smith ask some of the biggest questions humanity has ever asked. Check it out!
As seen in the trailer above, One Strange Rock isn't inherently invested in catching a bunch of high-stress animal fights or in divulging the hidden worlds inside of rainforests. But it certainly might feature both of those things when tackling the overall subject of what makes the Earth so incredibly special and strange, both to those living on it and to those flying around it in the International Space Station. Just in the 30-second trailer, Will Smith hits topics such as lesser-known lifeforms, the inevitability of death, and the extremely specific events that had to happen to allow the planet to get to a point where over 7.5 billion people are currently living on it. Something tells me One Strange Rock is going to be the source of some important and possibly awkward dinner table conversations.
For its lineup of intelligent and space-savvy subjects, One Strange Rock will feature a science-minded group of astronauts such as the social media-friendly Chris Hadfield, Jeffrey Hoffman, Mae Jemison, Jerry Linenger, Michael Massimino, Nicole Stott and Peggy Whitson. They will all be seen discussing their insights into the planet and its place within the universe, among other things. As well, we'll also get some keen info from Leland Melvin, a former NASA astronaut who helped construct parts of the ISS. And that's just the tip of the iceberg, with loads of photographs, video footage and more granting viewers a different perspective on how to view our great big home.
Will Smith, who has recently been celebrating Black Panther's success, is a pretty perfect choice to stand on One Strange Rock's curiosity-driven front lines, at least from a pop culture perspective, since he's starred in such tangentially connected films such as Independence Day, Men in Black and After Earth. Okay, so none of those projects really get to the educational heart of what One Strange Rock is trying to convey, but at least Smith has Earth's safety in mind in them. That counts for something, right? Meanwhile, there are few directors more unpredictable and visually intriguing than Darren Aronofsky, and the mother! filmmaker's involvement as executive producer likely influenced the more mind-bending elements of One Strange Rock. I'm hoping for cameos from Hugh Jackman's characters in The Fountain.