The arrival of a new Claire Denis film is enough itself to incur anticipation, but when it seems to be an unexpected, outside-the-box project, we’re even more intrigued. Such is the case for her follow-up to Bastards, a science-fiction drama now revealed to be titled High Life. Written by Zadie Smith and Nick Laird, Robert Pattinson is set to lead as an astronaut, and now we have our first substantial plot details and additional cast members.

ScreenDaily reports Patricia Arquette, who won an Oscar last year for Boyhood, and Mia Goth (Nymphomaniac) have joined the cast. Denis’s English-language debut follows “a group of skilled criminals who, in a bid to escape their long sentences or capital punishment, accept a likely-fatal government space mission to find alternative energy sources.” It sounds like a fascinating change-up for the director and we can’t wait to see the results.

Additional collaborators include artist Olafur Eliasson and astrophysicist Aurélien Barrau, as well as TindersticksStuart Staples, who has had many previous collaborations with Denis. With the picture set to kick off production early next year, hopefully it’ll be finished in time for Cannes 2017.

What do you think of the plot and cast?

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