Atlas Brings Jennifer Lopez Back to Sci-Fi, Where She Belongs (No, Seriously)

J.Lo teams up with AI in Netflix’s newest thriller.

Jennifer Lopez as Atlas Shepard in Atlas
Ana Carballosa/Netflix

Jennifer Lopez is deep in her action-hero era. After her second-act comeback in Hustlers, the singer and actor has been throwing herself into films meant to inspire franchises. Results have been decidedly mixed. Last year’s revenge thriller, The Mother, was conceived as a female-led answer to The Bourne Identity or Extraction, but while Lopez is formidable, it’s not a franchise starter.

That hasn’t deterred Lopez, or producers at Netflix, from trying again. 2024 will see J.Lo returning to science fiction — a genre she hasn’t explored since 2000’s The Cell — and kick some ass in the final frontier. This Memorial Day, she stars in Atlas, a space-faring thriller helmed by San Andreas and Rampage director Brad Peyton.

Lopez plays Atlas Shepherd, a reclusive data analyst living in a near-future metropolis tasked with capturing a “renegade robot” on a far-flung planet. But her mission goes awry, forcing her to don an AI-powered armored suit to survive. Check out the trailer below.

Atlas has the look and feel of a one-woman show, but the film has rounded up a solid cast of supporting players, from Sterling K. Brown (Hotel Artemis) to Shang-Chi’s Simu Liu and Kingsman’s Mark Strong. This specific brand of sci-fi is new for each of them, so it’ll be interesting to see how they fit into a world powered by artificial intelligence and interstellar travel.

The subject matter is also relatively new for director Brad Peyton, but as a three-time collaborator with Dwayne Johnson, it’s safe to say he knows what to do with a larger-than-life premise. Given the nature of Rampage and San Andreas, it’s also not too hard to guess what Atlas will be like. We could be looking at another self-serious, high-octane starring vehicle, but that’s not always a bad thing. The schlocky B-movie is one of Netflix’s most consistent exports, and they’re popular for a reason. It may not sire a franchise, but at least we’ll get to see Lopez try her hand at another brand of action.

Atlas hits Netflix on May 24.

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