Matt Damon Is Getting His First Stranded-Alone-Somewhere Movie

Matt Damon, Promised LandFocus Features via Everett Collection

If a film called The Martian is looking for a director, it only makes sense to run to the man behind AlienRidley Scott is in talks to helm the Matt Damon film now that Drew Goddard has left the project to direct the Amazing Spider-Man spinoff Sinister Six. Based on the book by Andy Weir, the story follows an astronaut who is stranded on a Martian colony and must survive until NASA can mount a rescue mission. The Martian marks a significant turning point in Damon’s career: his first stranded-somewhere-all-by-himself movie.

A longtime staple of the thriller genre, almost every big star in Hollywood has made a film in which they must survive on their own in the wilderness, outer space or a confined space, often to great acclaim. In honor of Damon’s first foray into the genre – which, thanks to the involvement of two Oscar winners is already receiving some awards speculation, despite it still being in the early stages of production – we’ve rounded up some of the most famous stranded-alone films and how things worked out for their stars. Awards-wise, we mean. They’re all relatively straightforward, plot-wise. 

Movie: Gravity
Star: Sandra Bullock
Where She Was Stranded: Outer Space
With: George Clooney, for a short while
How It Worked Out: The film was nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress and won seven of them, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron

Movie: Cast Away
Star: Tom Hanks
Where He Was Stranded: A deserted island
With: A volleyball named Wilson
How It Worked Out: Hanks was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar

Movie: Buried
Star: Ryan Reynolds
Where He Was Stranded: Buried alive in a coffin that’s slowly losing air
With: Close-ups
How It Worked Out: No Oscar nominations, although it did earn Reynolds some of the best reviews of his career

Movie: 127 Hours
Star: James Franco
Where He Was Stranded: In a narrow canyon, with his arm trapped by a boulder
With: A video camera
How It Worked Out: It was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor, and was the basis for an endless stream of jokes about Franco’s career

Movie: Moon
Star: Sam Rockwell
Where He Was Stranded: In a spacecraft orbiting the moon
With: An awkward teenaged water park visitor who just needs some confidence… oh, wait, that was a different movie
How It Worked Out: Was nominated for two BAFTA awards, and won for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for director Duncan Jones

Movie: Panic Room
Stars: Jodie Foster
Where They Were Stranded: A panic room in their home as robbers attempt to force them out
With: Her diabetic daughter Kristen Stewart
How It Worked Out: No major awards, but it did get very good reviews

Movie: Man on a Ledge
Star: Sam Worthington
Where He Was Stranded: On the window ledge of a 21st floor hotel room
With: A lot of press attention
How It Worked Out: It got mostly negative reviews and everyone promptly forgot about it

Movie: Phone Booth
Star: Colin Farrell
Where He Was Stranded: In a phone booth
With: A remarkably poor conversationalist on the other line
How It Worked Out: No awards, but generally positive reviews

Movie: Life of Pi
Star: Suraj Sharma
Where He Was Stranded: On a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean
With: A tiger named Richard Parker
How It Worked Out: The film was nominated for 11 Oscars and won 4, including Best Director for Ang Lee

Movie: Snow Dogs
Star: Cuba Gooding Jr.
Where He Was Stranded: In a cave out in the Arctic
With: A pack of lovable huskies
How It Worked Out: The less said about this one, the better