Back in April Ridley Scott entered talks to direct an adaptation of Andy Weir’s science fiction novel, The Martian, which stars Matt Damon as astronaut Mark Watney, who finds himself stranded on Mars. With limited supplies, damaged machinery, and an unforgiving environment, Mark uses his ingenuity to try and find a way home.
Drew Goddard was originally attached to direct, but had to drop out due to his commitment to Sony’s Sinister Six film. According to producer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Scott will take Goddard’s “incredible” finished script and start production in the fall.
The biggest question this creates is whether or not Scott will direct Prometheus 2. We assumed Scott would helm that project next, in order to meet its already-announced March 4, 2016 release date. If he begins work on The Martian at the end of this year, it will be impossible for him to finish post-production and then prep, shoot, and edit Prometheus 2 in time. There’s always the chance that Fox could move its release date to allow Scott the room to make both films, or simply hand off the sequel to another director. We’ll keep you posted on that particular hurdle as more information becomes available.
In the meantime, here’s the official synopsis of The Martian:
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?