You may know Constance Wu from her roles in Fresh Off the Boat and Crazy Rich Asians, but you may not know that she also played an astronaut in Nine Minutes, a science fiction short film that arrives on DUST later this week.
Directed and written by Ernie Gilbert (Atlanta, Barry), the story follows Lilian (Wu), a scientist for the United Earth Space Administration who finds herself stuck on an alien planet light-years from home. With some help from her A.I. companion named M.A.R.C. (voiced by comedian Reggie Watts), Lilian attempts to stay alive for as long as she can.
"It was pretty warm, yeah, but the wardrobe crew did a great job of keeping it tolerable with ice packs inside the suit," Wu tells us of the space-suit costume she had to wear on location in the real-world California desert (Trona Pinnacles, to be exact) where the project was filmed.
The film was shot several years ago, but never premiered to the public — not even at festivals. So here, for the very first time, SYFY WIRE presents the exclusive teaser trailer for Nine Minutes:
"I wrote and directed Nine Minutes from a simple idea I had. What if you knew you had only minutes left to live. What would you do? Where would your mind wander? Could you let go? From there, I knew I wanted a grand backdrop to tell an intimate story," Gilbert said in a statement. "I landed on a solo astronaut explorer, Lilian. Intense and enthusiastic about her work. Unyielding to the end. Alone on an alien planet, she has to choose between her work and her survival. Nine Minutes ultimately became an allegory for my feelings about leaving home to move to Los Angeles to follow my career ambitions and what that meant leaving behind. What relationships would end, how to spend time apart from family, and eventually coming to terms with my stubbornness and doubts."
"It was cool. I liked working with Ernie and his crew," adds Wu.
Below, you can see two exclusive behind-the-scenes images from the short, which reminds us of sci-fi gems like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Moon, Interstellar and Planet of the Apes.
Nine Minutes exclusively premieres on DUST this Thursday, Jan. 30.