The Titan (2018)


Introduction

The Titan is a 2018 science fiction thriller film directed by Lennart Ruff and starring Sam Worthington, Taylor Schilling and Tom Wilkinson.

A military family takes part in a ground-breaking experiment of genetic evolution and space exploration.

Outline

In 2048, on an Earth overpopulated and riven by violent conflicts, scientists are looking to Saturn’s moon Titan as a new home for humanity, spearheaded by Professor Martin Collingwood.

Rick Janssen, a fighter pilot, volunteers to be a part of an experiment on 14 test subjects that forces human bodies to adapt to the super-cold methane liquids and the ultra-low oxygen atmosphere of Titan. He is joined by his wife Abigail, a medical researcher, and their son Lucas, at the Titan I research area. The initial results are promising. Rick becomes able to swim at incredible speeds and stay underwater for 42 minutes.

Rick’s training becomes increasingly intense as he and the others adapt to increasingly Titan-like environments. Rick finds that some of his hair is falling out, and one of the team members starts convulsing and dies. Abigail notices the blood veins of all the test subjects becoming darker. Fellow volunteer Zane has a mental breakdown which causes him to attack his wife, Rayenne.

Rick takes a break by sitting at the bottom of their swimming pool, where large amounts of his skin are shed. Abigail’s concern grows, and she begins experimentation on a sample of his blood, finding that it is indeed becoming darker. Rick undergoes corneal surgery to accommodate the low light on Titan. When he later has complications, Abigail confronts Collingwood about Rick’s changes, but he divulges nothing.

Zane suffers another mental breakdown and throws Rayenne through a window, killing her instantly. He is shot and killed by military police. While visiting Rick in the medical facility, Abigail steals his key card and sneaks into Collingwood’s office. She finds reports of autopsies of the numerous deceased test subjects, discovering that they were having their DNA infused with animal DNA in an attempt to create the next human species, Homo titaniens.

During a meeting with NASA, Collingwood is chastised for doing forced evolutionary experimentation without proper evidence or ethical reasons, and is threatened with having his operation shut down. Abigail confronts him on the same issue, and he admits to her and Rick that he does not actually know what the surviving subjects will eventually become.

Rick willingly undergoes major surgery to adapt to his new senses and become fully ready for Titan. He and Tally, the only other surviving test subject, complete their training and finish their transformations into Homo titaniens. Abigail is horrified when the significantly-transformed Rick loses the ability to talk, now communicating in a low frequency that is undetectable by normal human ears.

Tally kills her husband, later visiting Rick at his home. Abigail and Lucas hide while military police surround Tally and Rick. Tally kills a member of the police before she is killed, and then Rick easily kills many more. When Abigail and Lucas confront him, Rick flees, realizing what he has become. The military hunt for Rick, but it is Abigail who finds him on a hill they often jog to. The military arrives and arrests them.

Abigail wakes to find Rick in critical condition, due to his newly evolved incompatibility with Earth’s atmosphere. Abigail is forced to give him a chemical solution that acts similarly to a lobotomy, erasing all of his memories. However, she actually gives him a harmless saline solution instead, allowing him to escape. Rick begins killing soldiers as Abigail and Lucas flee with Dr. Freya Upton, an assistant to Collingwood who disagrees with his methods.

The group find a heavily wounded Rick before they give him first aid. Collingwood arrives but his men disobey an order to fire upon Rick, Abigail, Lucas and Dr. Freya. The colonel, who has been vocally against Collingwood’s experiments, soon arrests Collingwood for his treachery. Abigail and Dr. Freya become researchers at the Titan II facility, using more ethical methods than Collingwood had. Rick is shown exploring Titan, flying under his own power over a methane lake.

Cast

  • Sam Worthington as Lieutenant Rick Janssen, Lucas’ father and Abigail’s husband.
  • Taylor Schilling as Doctor Abigail Janssen, Lucas’ mother and Rick’s wife.
  • Tom Wilkinson as Professor Martin Collingwood.
  • Agyness Deyn as Doctor Freya Upton.
  • Nathalie Emmanuel as Warrant Officer Tally Rutherford.
  • Diego Boneta as Doctor Iker Hernández.
  • Corey Johnson as Colonel Jim Petersen.
  • Aleksandar Jovanovic as Sergeant Johan Werner.
  • Noah Jupe as Lucas Janssen, Abigail and Rick’s son.

Production

In August 2015, Sam Worthington, Ruth Wilson and Sofia Boutella signed on to star in the film to be directed by Lennart Ruff. Voltage Pictures would handle international rights sales while CAA would handle domestic sales. Producer Arash Amel spoke of his enthusiasm for the project:

The Titan is, at its core, a love story that is set in the pioneering edge of space exploration, a world of fear and wonder. In Brian [Kavanaugh-Jones] and Ben [Pugh], I’ve been lucky enough to find smart, dedicated producing partners to embark on this adventure with, and we now find ourselves surrounded by a highly talented group of artists led by Ruth Wilson and Sam Worthington, under the direction of the incredible Lennart Ruff. I’m very excited that this team will be bringing this passion project to the screen, and to continue the relationship with Automatik, 42, and Motion Picture Capital.

In October 2015, Tom Wilkinson joined the cast with Voltage Pictures planning to sell international rights to the film at the 2016 American Film Market. In December 2015, Taylor Schilling signed on to replace Wilson, who, alongside Boutella, dropped out of the film. In January 2016, Diego Boneta, Aleksander Jovanovic and Agyness Deyn joined the cast. In February 2016, at AFM, Voltage Pictures managed to sell international distribution rights in multiple countries. However, in February 2018, it was reported that Netflix had picked up worldwide distribution rights to the film. The film has also been released on Blu-ray in several European countries including the United Kingdom. Principal production was slated to commence on 18 January 2016, in Europe but was pushed back to 01 February 2016, where shooting began in Gran Canaria.

Trivia

  • The Spanish Army took part in the film with 100 soldiers and 20 vehicles.
    • It is the first participation of the Spanish Army in an international film.
  • The locations of The Titan belong to the island of Gran Canaria, Spain. It took eight weeks to shoot all the scenes.
    • The crew filmed in different locations and they were assisted by the Spanish Airforce in some of them.
  • In the scene at around 44 minutes where Rick and Abi are in bed there is a musical reference to the 1st movement of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No.1 in D Major, known as “The Titan”.
  • This is the third time Sam Worthington stars in a movie filmed in the Canary Islands.
    • All of them contain the name “Titan” in their title.
  • The trailer for this film uses the same music as the trailer for the 2014 sci-fi movie “Interstellar” and both share a similar premise about humans leaving a devastated Earth to settle on a new planet, and they also share a similar tagline about how the end of Earth will not be the end of humanity.
  • Sam Worthington and Agness Deyn both starred together in the remake of Clash of the Titans; Worthington played Perseus and Deyn made a cameo as Aphrodite.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Lennart Ruff.
  • Producer(s):
    • Rory Aitken … executive producer.
    • Arash Amel … producer.
    • Fred Berger … producer (p.g.a.).
    • Nicolas Chartier … executive producer.
    • Leon Clarance … producer.
    • Jonathan Deckter … executive producer.
    • Adrián Guerra … executive producer (as Adrian Guerra).
    • Joshua Horsfield … executive producer.
    • Max Hurwitz … associate producer.
    • Brian Kavanaugh-Jones … producer.
    • Jo Monk … co-producer.
    • Toni Novella … line producer.
    • Ben Pugh … producer.
    • Michael Reuter … executive producer.
    • Jimmy Star … assistant producer.
    • Olive Uniacke … associate producer.
    • Núria Valls … producer: Nostromo Pictures.
    • Laure Vaysse … executive producer.
  • Writer(s):
    • Max Hurwitz (screenplay).
    • Arash Amel (story).
  • Music:
    • Fil Eisler.
  • Cinematography:
    • Jan-Marcello Kahl.
  • Editor(s):
    • Ann-Carolin Biesenbach.
    • Dominic LaPerriere.
  • Production:
    • 42.
    • Motion Picture Capital.
    • Movie Trailer House (trailer post-production services).
    • Nostromo Pictures (in association with).
    • The Amel Company.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Future Film (2018) (Finland) (all media).
    • Digi-Optic Films (2018) (Philippines) (theatrical).
    • Shaw Organisation (2018) (Singapore) (theatrical).
    • Cinemundo (2018) (Portugal) (all media).
    • EuroVideo (2018) (Germany) (Blu-ray).
    • EuroVideo (2018) (Germany) (DVD).
    • Exponenta (2018) (Russia) (all media).
    • Film & TV House (2018) (Non-US) (all media).
    • GEM Entertainment (2018) (Non-US) (all media).
    • IPA Asia Pacific (2017) (Thailand) (all media).
    • IPA Asia (2018) (Thailand) (all media).
    • Netflix (2018) (USA) (all media).
    • Signature Entertainment (2018) (UK) (all media).
  • Release Date: 03 February 2018 (Gerardmer International Fantastic Fil Festival, France).
  • Running Time: 97 minutes.
  • Rating: 15.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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