Hulu has released the trailer for The First, the mission to Mars series from House of Cards creator Beau Willimon. In the brief teaser, Sean Penn contemplates blasting himself off into the furthest reaches of space, leading thousands across the country to mourn the fact The First is not a documentary.
But seriously, this first look at the new show is the definition of a teaser; we don’t get much in ways of a concrete story, just brief—albeit occasionally gorgeous—shots intermingled with a voiceover from Penn, who is playing astronaut Tom Hagerty. The real intrigue here comes from the fact that The First will mark Penn’s return to television after a 17-year hiatus following his brief stint on Friends in 2001 (Unless you count one-off appearances on Two and a Half Men and Family Guy, both times playing himself). That trailer-crescendo line—”Any time people venture into the unknown, there is a cost”—counts double for traveling to Mars and hiring Sean Penn to star in your TV show.
The show will also mark Willimon’s first small-screen project since departing House of Cards—which has since toppled in the wake of Kevin Spacey‘s #MeToo reckoning—after four seasons as showrunner. The filmmaker also scripted the upcoming Mary Queen of Scots from director Josie Rourke, which stars Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie as competing royals.
Check out the trailer for The First below. The streaming series—which also stars Natascha McElhone, Rey Lucas, LisaGay Hamilton, and James Ransone—hits Hulu on September 14.
Here’s the official synopsis for The First:
Sean Penn leads an ensemble cast in this near-future drama about a crew of astronauts attempting to become the first humans on Mars. Under the direction of visionary aerospace magnate Laz Ingram (Natascha McElhone), the crew contends with peril and personal sacrifice as they undertake the greatest pioneering feat in human history.