By Tim Murr
I’m always excited for a new Ridley Scott movie. I saw Alien the same year (1980) I saw Jaws and Jaws 2, which was two years before I saw The Empire Strikes Back (my first Star Wars film). So despite having Star Wars toys for most of my short life, my first sci-fi love came from Scott’s shocking, atmospheric, and dark film. When I was a kid, there weren’t many directors’ names I knew, but I knew George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg, and Ridley Scott. Of those three, the only one I still get excited about is Scott.
The Martian, starring Matt Damon and a long list of serious talent (Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, Sebastian Stan, Donald Glover, and Jeff Daniels, for starters) tells the story of an astronaut, left behind on the surface of Mars and believed dead. He survives only to face certain death unless he can manage a miracle: growing enough food on a dead planet to last the four years it will take for a crew to return to Mars to pick him up.
The trailer is tense and exciting and epic. In short, it looks like a Ridley Scott movie. I’d rather be getting the Prometheus sequel next, but if The Martian delivers half of what the teaser promises, then I should be able to make it through the long wait.
The Martian is based on Andy Weir’s book of the same name (which I’m unfamiliar with, but will be seeking out at the library ASAP). The screenplay was written by Drew Goddard, who has been involved in a long list of great geek touchstones, including Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Cloverfield, Lost, Cabin In The Woods, and Netflix’s Daredevil.
With all this talent and creative muscle, there’s little reason to not be excited about this film. The Martian looks like the type of movie that makes you want to see it in a theater, and you will be able to do just that on October 2.