Distant: release date, cast and everything we know about the sci-fi movie

Anthony Ramos
Anthony Ramos (Image credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage)

One of the expected early entries to the slate of new movies in 2023, Distant is a sci-fi survival adventure for movie fans to enjoy. But hailing from the directing duo behind the likes of Blades of Glory and Office Christmas Party, there could very well be a good dash of humor as part of the mix.

2023 has a handful of big sci-fi movies on its plate, including the Adam Driver-led 65 and Dune Part Two. How will Distant stack up against them?

Here is everything that we know about Distant.

Distant release date

Distant was scheduled to release on January 27 in the US (February 10 in the UK), in fact the Amblin Entertainment website still lists Distant with that release date, but the movie is not currently available to watch anywhere, nor has there been any promotional materials released for the movie and there has been no update to a change of release date.

It's curious, but we'll keep this page update with any news regarding the Distant release date. 

Distant cast

Headlining Distant is the duo of Anthony Ramos and Naomi Scott. Ramos plays Andy Ramirez, a low-level space mining engineer who finds himself in a do-or-die situation. Scott plays Naomi Calloway, a crew member with Ramirez.

Ramos, was one of the key members of the original cast of Hamilton and like many of his peers has made a nice transition from stage to the screen. He appeared in the Will & Grace reboot, Bradley Cooper's A Star Is Born, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and, most notably, was the lead in In the Heights. He's also got a big year ahead of him in 2023, because in addition to Distant, he stars in the Disney Plus Marvel series Ironheart and the blockbuster Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.

Naomi Scott is no stranger to big movies, having starring roles in 2017's Power Rangers, in the live-action version of Aladdin as Jasmine and in the attempted reboot of Charlie's Angels. Most recently she was seen in the limited series Anatomy of a Scandal.

Other confirmed members of the Distant cast include Zachary Quinto (Star Trek), who is voicing the AI system that aids Andy Ramirez, and Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones), who plays a character named Dwayne.

Distant plot

Distant was written by Spenser Cohen, who wrote the 2022 sci-fi movie Moonfall. Here is the official plot synopsis for the movie:

"Not everyone who goes to space gets the glory. Some are just blue-collar guys like Andy Ramirez, who hasn’t been trained for days like this.

"A low-level mining engineer, Andy was aboard a transport ship that was struck by an asteroid, crash-landing him on an unknown alien planet. With his oxygen running low and his AI survival suit not helping, Andy's only chance to get out of this alive is to find another survivor.

"When he connects via radio to a fellow crew member, Naomi, Andy thinks his prayers are answered. That is, until he finds out Naomi is trapped inside her escape pod and he may not have enough oxygen to make it to her. Not to mention, alien creatures, Andy has yet to realize, will be stalking him every step of the way."

Distant trailer

A trailer for Distant has not been released yet, a bit surprising with the release date scheduled for January 27. Once one is, we'll add it to this post.

Distant directors

Josh Gordon and Will Speck direct Distant. The duo is best known for their comedy work, including the likes of Blades of Glory, The Switch and Office Christmas Party. Their most recent movie was the 2022 kids movie Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).