Directed by: Ridley Scott
Written by: Drew Goddard (screenplay)
Other cast: Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.
Release date: September 27, 2015
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
Running time: 2h24min
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return.
Producer Simon Kinberg began developing the film after 20th Century Fox optioned the novel in March 2013, which Goddard adapted into a screenplay and was initially attached to direct, but the film did not move forward. Scott replaced Goddard, and with Damon in place as the main character, production was approved. Filming began in November 2014 and lasted approximately 70 days. Some 20 sets were built on a sound stage in Budapest, Hungary, one of the largest in the world. Wadi Rum in Jordan was also used as a practical backdrop for filming.
The film premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2015, followed by the United States’ theatrical release on October 2, 2015 by 20th Century Fox. The film was released in 2D, 3D, IMAX 3D and 4DX. The film received positive reviews and has grossed over $630 million worldwide, becoming Scott’s highest-grossing film to date, as well as the tenth-highest-grossing film of 2015. It received several accolades, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Goddard. Damon won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy and was nominated for several awards including the Academy Award for Best Actor, the BAFTA for Best Actor, and the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actor.