Netflix's Trippiest Sci-Fi Movie of 2024 is Coming From the Last Person You'd Expect
The Spaceman is actually the Sandman.
When you work for Netflix, you work hard. Wes Anderson released a slew of Roald Dahl-inspired shorts this year, while Mike Flanagan finished a long run of his patented horror miniseries with The Fall of the House of Usher. But one of Netflix’s most notable poster boys is Adam Sandler, who’s created all sorts of projects for the streamer, from comedies like Murder Mystery and The Wrong Missy to the recent animated family adventure, Leo.
His next movie, however, will take a sharp turn into the weird. The Spaceman, directed by Chernobyl’s Johan Renck, hits Netflix on March 1, and it’s a sci-fi drama about a failing marriage and a talking spider from the beginning of time.
The movie, based on the novel The Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfař, follows astronaut Jakub (Sandler) as he traverses a strange planet while thinking of Lenka (Carey Mulligan), his wife back home. As he struggles to figure out what went wrong in his marriage, help comes in an unusual form: a strange alien as old as the universe itself (Paul Dano), the only creature Jakub has to talk to.
It’s a definite departure for Sandler. He’s no stranger to dramatic roles — his performances in Hustle and Uncut Gems prove he has the chops — but such a cerebral sci-fi role is definitely new ground. “I really wanted to have a performance from him that had nothing to do with the Adam Sandler we all know,” director Johan Renck told Netflix.
Could The Spaceman finally garner Sandler a dramatic acting award nomination? Even if it doesn’t, seeing him in such a unique context is sure to be a treat for viewers used to watching him play variations on the same stock character. The Spaceman proves Sandler’s dabbles in the dramatic aren’t just a phase, and neither is Netflix’s love of weird sci-fi. Let’s hope we see much more of both in the new year.