Like its protagonist, sci-fi thriller The Martian seemed adrift last month, still in possession of a star (Matt Damon), but detached from anyone to direct it after Drew Goddard cut the cord to go and work on Amazing Spider-Man spin-off Sinister Six and Netflix’s Daredevil. Fear not! The Mars-set film has found someone experienced with unearthly movies: Ridley Scott.
Yes, that weeping and rending of garments you might be able to faintly hear comes from Scott’s development folder as various planned movies have their dreams of being made next cruelly crushed now that he’s in negotiations to take on the Mars movie.
Taken from Andy Weir’s e-book, the film version of the story has been described as a hybrid of Apollo 13 and Cast Away, with an American space explorer trapped on the Red Planet and forced to find a way to get back to Earth before his supplies run out as NASA struggles to mount a rescue. While it certainly has thematic overtones that may put you in mind of more recent orbital hit Gravity, The Martian is said to be a very different take on space suit survival. And Goddard’s influence won’t be completely absent: he wrote at least the current draft of the script, which may now be tinkered with if Scott brings in someone else.
Scott, who last ventured beyond our atmosphere for Prometheus, is back on Earth and back in time for his latest, Exodus: Gods And Kings, which casts Christian Bale as Moses. He’ll set his people free on December 26 this year.