Martian Child is a 2007 American comedy-drama film about a writer who adopts a strange young boy who believes himself to be from Mars. Martian Child was released on November 2, 2007. The film was directed by Menno Meyjes and produced by New Line Cinema. It stars John Cusack and Bobby Coleman.


David Gordon (John Cusack), a popular science fiction author, was widowed when his wife Mary died as they were trying to adopt a child. Two years later, David is finally matched with a young boy named Dennis (Bobby Coleman). Socially awkward, Dennis believes he is from Mars and only goes outdoors when under the cover of a large box to block out the sun's harmful rays. Although initially hesitant to adopt a boy by himself, David recognizes a part of him in Dennis and slowly coaxes him out of the box and into his home.

With the help of David's friend Harlee (Amanda Peet) and sister Liz (played by Cusack's real life sister Joan), David and Dennis begin an arduous process of learning about each other, from Dennis's incessant photo-taking habits, his inclination to eat only Lucky Charms, and his perpetual stealing, to David's continuing love of his wife, his love of baseball and his own struggles to be accepted by others.

As David teaches Dennis how to be an "Earthling," father and son earn each other's trust and eventually find someone who will love them unequivocally.


  • John Cusack as David Gordon
  • Bobby Coleman as Dennis
  • Amanda Peet as Harlee
  • Sophie Okonedo as Sophie
  • Joan Cusack as Liz Gordon
  • Oliver Platt as Jeff
  • Anjelica Huston as Tina
  • Richard Schiff as Lefkowitz
  • Howard Hesseman as Dr. Berg

Background and production

The film is based on David Gerrold's award-winning semi-autobiographical novelette The Martian Child, which he later expanded to novel length. Gerrold had, in real life, adopted a son as an openly gay man. The novelette leaves the sexuality of the narrator undisclosed, however, the novel version identifies him as gay. In the film, the protagonist is straight and has a female love interest, a development which inspired criticism from members of the gay community.


Martian Child's box office performance was poor, grossing only a little more than US$9 million. Rental and DVD sales of the film were good, although not enough to match the amount of money used to produce the film. Critical reception was mixed to negative, with a 33% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

DVD release

Martian Child was released on DVD on February 12, 2008. It opened at #20 the DVD sales chart, selling 69,000 units for revenue of $1.3 million. As per the latest figures, 400,000 DVD units have been sold, acquiring revenue of $7,613,945. This does not include DVD rentals/Blu-ray sales.



External links

  • Official site from New Line Cinema
  • Martian Child at the Internet Movie Database
  • Martian Child at Rotten Tomatoes
  • Martian Child at Metacritic
  • Martian Child at Box Office Mojo
  • Martian Child at AllMovie

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