Sean Penn is headed to Hulu, and like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall before him, he’ll be getting his ass to Mars. In what will mark Penn’s first time as a TV series regular, he’ll play the lead in The First, the new series from House of Cards creator Beau Willimon.
The series’ first trailer introduces Penn’s Tom Hagerty, the leader of a five-person mission to establish the first-ever human colony on Mars. As the astronauts undergo the intensive training necessary to pilot and survive a mission of that length and nature, they struggle equally with the personal sacrifices demanded of such a mission. Despite the insistences of Natasha McElhone’s tech magnate, who’s convinced of the mission’s grandeur, the fear (and potential glory) of being the first manned mission to successfully reach the Red Planet is just too much to deny.
Penn will draw a fair deal of attention to the series, but what’s perhaps even more intriguing is this being Willimon’s first project since his departure from Cards. The eight-episode season will premiere on Hulu on September 14th, so we won’t have to wait long to see if the streaming service will be able to muster another big hit to build on the momentum of The Handmaid’s Tale.