No one is more excited for “The Martian” to hit movie theaters than Andy Weir. The upcoming science fiction movie is based on Weir’s novel of the same name but, since the trailer dropped Monday, Weir has been inundated with questions about the movie’s accuracy and star Matt Damon, who played a similar role in “Interstellar.”
“The Martian” was first released as a self-published novel in 2011. It tells the story of Mark Watney, a NASA astronaut who’s stranded alone on Mars when his crewmates think he’s killed in an accident on the Red Planet. From there Watney, played by Damon, needs to figure out how to stay alive by himself on a desolate tundra without fertile soil and enough supplies to last only 31 days.
Unlike similar stories, though, “The Martian” immediately earned rave reviews for its scientific accuracy. Weir, a computer programmer by day, told the Wall Street Journal last year that he figured out how far Watney would need to travel across Mars and mapped the route with NASA’s real-life satellite imagery of Mars. He also calculated how many calories Watney would need to consume to survive on Mars, figured out the chemical reaction that’d enable Watney to create water and determined that it would be possible for an astronaut to grow his own potatoes on Mars despite being 141,600,000 miles from the Sun.
“So in the face of overwhelming odds, I’m left with only one option: I’m going to have to science the s--- out of this,” Damon, as Watney, says in the trailer in what could be the biggest understatement in cinema history.
Damon also played a stranded astronaut in 2014’s “Interstellar,” something Weir noted on Twitter. Other “Martian” cast members include Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig and Michael Pena.
Why yes, Matt Damon did play a stranded astronaut in Interstellar. Thank you, thousands of people, for pointing that out over and over.
â€” Andy Weir (@andyweirauthor) June 8, 2015
But Weir, for all his research on the book, said in a Reddit Ask-Me-Anything interview that he’s had no involvement with the movie or director Ridley Scott.
“I’m very excited about the movie. They have a top-notch cast, awesome screenplay writer and one of the best directors of all time,” Weir wrote.
“I haven't spoken to any of the cast or crew. I think Matt Damon will be excellent in the role. He gets cast into action movie archetypes so often, people forget what a talented actor he is. Watch "The Informant" to get feel for his range. As for the similar role in Interstellar, that's a minor headache, but anyone who watches both movies will agree there's no correlation or similarity other than an overlap in cast.”
The movie is scheduled to be released November 25.