Species II is a 1998 American science fiction horror film, sequel to the 1995 film Species and the second installment in the Species series. The film was directed by Peter Medak and starring Natasha Henstridge, Michael Madsen and Marg Helgenberger, all of whom reprise their roles from the first film. It also features actor James Cromwell as "Senator Judson Ross". The film was followed by Species III (2004). Roughly two years after the first film, an American space mission lands on Mars; Patrick Ross, the commander of the mission, collects soil samples. However, the temperature on board the ship thaws a mysterious substance within a sample, which then attempts to infect the astronauts, causing a seven-minute time gap in radio contact between Earth and the shuttle. The mission is still considered a success and the crew safely returns to Earth. Only Dr. Cromwell, a former scientist and now an inmate in an asylum, reacts violently to their return.