Another Earth Mike Cahill and Brit Marling

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX – Directed by newcomer Mike Cahill, “Another Earth” is a fantasy/science-fiction movie about, well, another Earth – a mirror image of our planet.

On the night this duplicate planet – complete with duplicate people -- is discovered, a student causes a tragic accident that lands her in prison for four years. As she tries to make amends for the wreck, she wonders about her other self on the other Earth.

Brit Marling, who also is new to movie making and co-wrote the movie with Cahill, plays that student. Veteran actor William Mapother, who played Ethan Rom on the hit series “Lost,” also stars.

“Another Earth” was the official selection at Sundance, and won the Alfred Sloan special jury award and has been garnering acclaim and buzz since then.

Cahill and Marling, who recently started shooting a movie with Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon, stopped by 3TV to chat with Tara Hitchcock about how “Another Earth” came into being.

The pair met as economics majors at Georgetown.

“I think economics teaches you that there’s an opportunity cost to spending your life doing something that you don’t want to do,” Cahill said.

There are two distinct stories but they are woven together in an interesting way.

“There’s the macro story of the other Earth and there’s the human drama,” Cahill explained. “We could have subtracted the other earth and just told this drama, but the other Earth allows the big questions to enter the film – the idea of what it would be like to confront yourself. If you saw another version of yourself, how would you judge that person?”

The release of the movie comes not long after NASA ended its 30-year shuttle program and is mapping out its next move in exploring space.

“We hope this film makes people look up again – you walk out of the theater and you look up at the night sky and you reconnect with the stars and the cosmos and our place within this universe,” Marling said. “[We hope] you’re intrigued again.”

Hitchcock saw the movie and said it was quite well done.

“Another Earth” opens Aug. 5. The movie is rated PG-13.