Movie, "The Martian", due October 2nd, based on Andy Weir's great book

georgegassaway

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This is a spinoff from the "Anyone else read"Wool"?" thread of over a year ago. Chris Attebery had recommended a book titled "The Martian", by first-time author Andy Weir.

https://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?57796-Anybody-else-read-quot-Wool-quot/page2

A great book. Which those of us who already read it, were happy to hear the news that it was being made into a movie, which will be released at Thanksgiving. Directed by Ridley Scott, starring Matt Damon, and quite an interesting collection of other actors which include includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Michael Pena, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mackenzie Davis, and Donald Glover.

There is still no official trailer for it, despite claims by fakers. Although some clips were shown at a recent sci-fi convention.

EDIT - There are two real trailers now. See messages #25 and 29.

A few photos have been released, I'll include two at the end of this message.

I recently started re-reading the book. It is interesting to re-read it, even knowing how it goes. And now to put "faces" with a lot of the characters by knowing who is playing what. Envisioning a critical early scene with the character Mindy Park, played by Mackenzie Davis, for example - I won't even hint at what that scene is about but anyone who reads it should know what I mean.

I have one big recommendation for those who have not heard of it, and want to find out more about it...... you might not WANT to find out much more. At least not about the plot. Because already there are online descriptions of the book plot that just give away too much info. Sort of like how for the movie "Interstellar" (spoiler alert, jump to the next paragraph if you have not seen that movie but plan to on cable), more than one site blabbed about how many years went by on Earth, specifically for a major character (I was glad I saw the movie early and had not read that first).


So, after the pics below, I'll copy my basic description of what it is, and is not, without spoiling anything that is not in the first chapter of the book.

If you're not into book readin', that's OK, just wait for Thanksgiving and avoid trying to find out more unless you do not care about possible spoilers. But if you want to read a great sci-fi book. that is actually realistic, get the book and read it, don't go looking for more info or you'll likely spoil some really neat stuff.

- George Gassaway

martian-matt-01-800.jpg


This pic looks like Damon's helmet faceplate is off. Well, must be a break in the filming, as the story has no technobabble/magic solution to allow the atmosphere on Mars to be breatheable (unlike the tricks on "Robinson Crusoe on Mars", for example). Or....possibly they wanted a clear view of his face and a virtual faceplate will be added by CGI (as was done in a least some scenes in "Gravity"), but it's likely just during a break. The Earth-blue sky of the pics will probably be changed to a reddish tint, and the ground redder. Edit - Forgot that the Mars sky is actually blue most of the time, other than when the sun is low on the horizon and dust storms

the-martian-01.jpg


I realized I went a bit too far in not trying to spoil anything, that so far there has been no basic description of what "The Martian" is, or isn't.

It is not about aliens or monsters.

It is not about using some future "technobabble" technology magic.

It is a realistic story that uses the same technology as exists today, but more advanced as it would be a few decades into the future.

It IS about a future mission of humans from Earth to Mars (Sadly, that is the most outrageous fictional part of the book….. that we'd actually DO it, and actually plan to do many of them).

The story is about the third mission, which was getting about the same attention on Earth as the 3rd planned lunar landing on the Moon (Apollo 13, which was being mostly ignored until, you know).

Mission 3 lands safely on Mars, the crew sets up camp, begins exploring, and so on. Routine.

A few days later... a natural event happens… a severe one…. leading to a disaster.

I've not spoiled earlier chapters of the book, because the book starts off after the disaster has occurred, and the above is described early in chapter 1, beginning with the 9th paragraph.

There are many clever moments in the book. Even at least a couple of "OMG" moments. Many many problems to be solved, or else. Also many setbacks. Also, some old tech. And some very VERY old tech.

Here's a link that has the first chapter, and the first 8 paragraphs of chapter 1 are pasted below:

https://www.space.com/24721-chapter-one-of-the-martian.html


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Chapter 1: Log Entry SOL 6

I'm pretty much f*****.

That's my considered opinion.

F*****.

Six days into what should be the greatest two months of my life, and it's turned into a nightmare.

I don't even know who'll read this. I guess someone will find it eventually. Maybe a hundred years from now.

For the record . . . I didn't die on Sol 6. Certainly the rest of the crew thought I did, and I can't blame them. Maybe there'll be a day of national mourning for me, and my Wikipedia page will say, "Mark Watney is the only human being to have died on Mars."

And it'll be right, probably. 'Cause I'll surely die here. Just not on Sol 6 when everyone thinks I did.

Let's see . . . where do I begin?"
 
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etoyoc

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Great book, but you can already spot in the very first picture things that they changed in making the movie. Of course, I can't see them making a movie without making at least one of the changes. Still, I will probably watch it if I ever find it in a store.
 

tab28682

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I will invest in buying the tickets sometime during the opening week to see this on a big screen!

"The Martian" is probably my favorite hard/realistic Science Fiction novel ever.

Fingers crossed that Hollywood does not hose up the story much.
 

Bat-mite

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Anyone ever read Man Plus or Mars Plus by Frederik Pohl? If not, I highly recommend them. It is about a man who gets selected to undergo body alteration to make him able to survive on Mars, as the beginning of a colonization effort. But it is very much more about the psychology of becoming something "other than" human, and that is the central theme. Great books!

I think I'll add The Martian to my list. Thanks.
 

georgegassaway

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I will invest in buying the tickets sometime during the opening week to see this on a big screen!

"The Martian" is probably my favorite hard/realistic Science Fiction novel ever.

Fingers crossed that Hollywood does not hose up the story much.

I definitely plan to see two movies this year within the first day of their release, this is the first of them *.

And I can only add "Me too" to what you said about favorite hard/realistic sci-fi.

I also wonder in what ways the story might be changed for the movie. Hopefully very little in regard to the main story, and not "dumbing-out" too much of the technical issues Watney has to deal with (it is a given that it will happen to some extent). I can see in the narrative of the book (in the form of the diary) how it might be difficult to get some things across onscreen. But it was once said that Tom Wolfe's book "The Right Stuff" would not be possible to turn into a movie..... but it was, and awesomely so even if some things were changed up a bit (and lots of things not used because the 3+ hour movie would have been 6-7 hours otherwise). But this book is way more straightforward than The Right Stuff. BTW - The Right Stuff is the only other case I can think of where I read a book then later saw the movie.

The way the book starts right off with Watney by himself.... then describing what led up to him being alone, I would be fine with it if they flip it around and show the mission in chronological order (though I think the way it's done at the start of the book, where he's "F'ed", and then does a brief recap of how/why, is better). And if they did that, then probably would add more scenes about the launch and trip to Mars, which could be good or bad depending on what they do and focus on. After all, the key to this story is NOT really about a trip to Mars, any more than the movie Apollo-13 was about a trip to the Moon....otherwise the title would have been "Apollo-11" with a far different plot. But I could see some more time being given to fleshing out some other characters, and some of the many problems Watney deals with, being reduced for time.

So, anyway, I'm not expecting the movie to match the book scene-for-scene and detail-for-detail. I do expect the movie to have the same spirit as the book, not mess up the "WTF", and "OMG" moments of the book, not go TOO far in simplifying the technical issues that are a big part of what makes the book so great, and to not to lose focus on what has to be done for Watney to try to survive. I won't be surprised with a bit of a change at the very end of the movie, can't say what in the book (spoiler), nothing drastic.

If at the end his chest starts heaving, then some little creature with many teeth popped out of his chest..... that would probably be Ridley Scott's last movie!

- George Gassaway

* - this is the other

10919287_798961453521779_1904042585_n.jpg
 
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ThirstyBarbarian

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I'm really looking forward to seeing this. I liked the book more than most things I've read in a long time. It's a great sci-fi adventure that sticks very close to reality --- no aliens, no miraculous, physics-defying technology, no "larger meaning", no time travel --- just a good story of survival under difficult odds with a man using his brain to work through the problems.

A lot of the appeal of the book is that the main character explains the reasoning, science, and mathematics of what he is doing to solve different problems. That's something of interest to a lot of us science, space, and engineering nerds who are drawn to rocketry, but might not have a broad appeal to a mass audience. I wonder if they will keep true to that aspect for the movie, or if it will be dumbed down some for broader appeal. I hope they can find a way to keep it true and still be a successful movie.

The other thing that might be a challenge for a movie is that the main character doesn't have anyone to talk to for a lot of the time, except for his audio log. That might not play as well on screen as it does in the book.

It'll be a challenging screen adaptation, but I'm optimistic.
 

etoyoc

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I'm really looking forward to seeing this. I liked the book more than most things I've read in a long time. It's a great sci-fi adventure that sticks very close to reality --- no aliens, no miraculous, physics-defying technology, no "larger meaning", no time travel --- just a good story of survival under difficult odds with a man using his brain to work through the problems.

A lot of the appeal of the book is that the main character explains the reasoning, science, and mathematics of what he is doing to solve different problems. That's something of interest to a lot of us science, space, and engineering nerds who are drawn to rocketry, but might not have a broad appeal to a mass audience. I wonder if they will keep true to that aspect for the movie, or if it will be dumbed down some for broader appeal. I hope they can find a way to keep it true and still be a successful movie.

The other thing that might be a challenge for a movie is that the main character doesn't have anyone to talk to for a lot of the time, except for his audio log. That might not play as well on screen as it does in the book.

It'll be a challenging screen adaptation, but I'm optimistic.

Also consider that most whenever he is outside doing anything, his helmet isn't transparent. So you wouldn't hear dialogue (unless he constantly talks to himself or audio blogs), and you would see any facial responses. So like I said above, there are things that would have to change to make it a movie.
 

Zeroignite

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Definitely looking forward to this movie, as I loved the book. It definitely has some aspects that'll be a challenge to bring to the screen.

I am a bit worried that to my eye at least, those deserts look pretty terran. The color is okay, but those erosion and water-pan features don't look like what I've seen on mars. Ah well :)
 

ArizonaSportsman

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The other thing that might be a challenge for a movie is that the main character doesn't have anyone to talk to for a lot of the time, except for his audio log. That might not play as well on screen as it does in the book.

It'll be a challenging screen adaptation, but I'm optimistic.

I really enjoyed the book as well and was totally expecting a movie to come of this. I think they could easily deal with the non-dialog by staying true to the audio log concept. Castaway didn't have dialog for an hour plus....unless you count Hanks talking to Wilson....which I guess counts.....but incorporating the audio log concept for narration would work pretty well too.

I'm cautiously-optimistic and will go in with an open mind. But, I enjoyed the book so much - it will be extremely difficult for the movie to live up to the book, in my opinion.
 

djs

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I'm thinking that it might be a good movie to take my son to (who turns 7 when this movie comes out). if it's close to the book, there's no violence or nudity, only a little bit of language, and he loves space.
 

georgegassaway

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Definitely looking forward to this movie, as I loved the book. It definitely has some aspects that'll be a challenge to bring to the screen.

I am a bit worried that to my eye at least, those deserts look pretty terran. The color is okay, but those erosion and water-pan features don't look like what I've seen on mars. Ah well :)

Well, keep in mind those are original photography as seen thru the lens. Effects have not been added in yet. And not necessarily movie camera images but could be "photo" camera still shots (the 2nd one, with the rover, seems more like during a break unless the helmet was open for some other reason, for computer effects to fix.). Not that hard for computer effects to modify the landscape.

After all, what is it about this pic in Arizona that does not look enough like Martian terrain?

mars_rover_curiosity_1_year.jpg



A couple of more pics below. The 2nd one below, yeah, I buy that for Mars, not going to nit-pick.

Oh, and the above pic in "Arizona", that was a trick. It was shot by the Curiousity rover, on Mars. I do admit to picking one that could easily be believed to be on Earth. And I'd forgotten that the sky does not look reddish during most of the day there.

- George Gassaway

91325.jpg



the-martian-02.jpg
 
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dcastle

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Awesome book, one of those I read through in about a day because I couldn't put it down. Just got a second copy from Amazon this week because I lent my first copy out never to be seen again....can't wait for the movie. Trying to get my daughter to read it but no luck so far.
 

jadebox

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Definitely a good book.

And the story behind it is interesting, too. The author originally put it online on his web site as a free download. Some people asked him to make it into an eBook at Amazon.com to make it easier to download to their Kindles. So, he uploaded it to Amazon and set the price to the lowest allowed. The book quickly became a bestseller on Amazon - selling more copies than had been downloaded for free. Of course, this attracted the attention of a publisher and the book became a NYT best seller.

I have high hopes for the film. Ridley Scott is good at showing you the big picture and allowing tension to build (as opposed to the continuous action and indecipherable jump cuts in most action films). It must have been a challenge to convert the first-person narrative and lengthy exposition of the novel into a screenplay. So, I suspect we'll see the astronaut facing slightly different obstacles than in the book. That should help make it more interesting to those of us who have read the book.

And knowing the outcome shouldn't make much of a difference. I knew how Apollo 13 would end and, even after repeated viewings, I still feel the tension as we wait to hear from the astronauts during re-entry. It's interesting how a film, one that is crafted well, can do that.

-- Roger
 

Zeroignite

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Well, keep in mind those are original photography as seen thru the lens. Effects have not been added in yet. And not necessarily movie camera images but could be "photo" camera still shots (the 2nd one, with the rover, seems more like during a break unless the helmet was open for some other reason, for computer effects to fix.). Not that hard for computer effects to modify the landscape.
[snip]
Oh, and the above pic in "Arizona", that was a trick. It was shot by the Curiousity rover, on Mars. I do admit to picking one that could easily be believed to be on Earth. And I'd forgotten that the sky does not look reddish during most of the day there.
Oh, I recognized that as mars, all right. Something about the foreground rocks sticking in the dirt, and the sky, and the color are all really distinctive. I've seen a lot of photos of mars, which is probably why earth-for-mars is less convincing :)

You do have a point about these being pre-digital-effects though. Hell, looking at that last photo I can see a couple small bushes, which I really hope would be edited out of the final movie.
 

ChrisAttebery

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I can't wait to see it with my 12yo son. I hope they keep the language PG. :wink:
 

georgegassaway

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Looks on to me. You can clearly see the outline of the domed glass.
I was referring to the pic below that, Damon with a beard, leaning against a wheel of the rover. But I see in review how I could have ID'ed which pic better.

Oh, I recognized that as mars, all right.
I figured you've seen enough real pics from Mars, and Mars-savvy enogh to know that was not Arizona, maybe you even had seen that actual image. But a lot of people would not know enough to tell the difference. If days ago someone had shown me that pic and not hinted at Mars, I'd have presumed that to be an Earth pic. But in any case, they'll no doubt use digital effects to remove obvious Earth-like details to make it more "Marsy". There is a continuity error story about some western movie (no idea which) shot long ago (1950's or 1960's), where in the clear blue sky there was a jet contrail.... that could be fixed now..... :)

OK, so now for a few more pics.

This one, apparently during a scene, not gonna say where I think it is (spoiler).

EgimiDV.jpg


This one... (below) I think during a break.... :)

xBDZqav.jpg



OK, I HAVE FOUND some images that have had the Special Effects added, I'll put them into another message.

- George Gassaway
 
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georgegassaway

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Let the effects begin!


One of the Effects designers used to work at Penrose, CO.

2xbZnwZ.jpg




Also, I have heard a rumor that Sarah Silverman has joined the film, playing a character that is new to this story.

Js66pmj.jpg




So the movie is getting a new title.....

C8v7YFk.jpg



OK, for the humor impaired whose Photoshop detection perception is zero....... all of the above in this post is fake. Well..... three are actual photos from The Martian, before I went to work on them.

- George Gassaway
 
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ThirstyBarbarian

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I can't wait to see it with my 12yo son. I hope they keep the language PG. :wink:

I bet Kristen Wiig plays the potty-mouth PR lady. That part of the book I found hilarious --- the one person who is supposed to be the public face of NASA swore like a sailor in the book! Maybe they'll tone it down a bit.
 

georgegassaway

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I bet Kristen Wiig plays the potty-mouth PR lady. That part of the book I found hilarious --- the one person who is supposed to be the public face of NASA swore like a sailor in the book! Maybe they'll tone it down a bit.

Oh absolutely that is the character she plays. She should be great in that. When I was re-reading the book, I was imagining her playing that character. Also realizing they might tone down some of that, and not just for the sake of language. As otherwise in the book that is a bit too much of a one-note caricature (or one word caricature....). But I think she is talented enough to not go all "hammy" in this role (she nailed it in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty). And that Ridley Scott would keep it real enough, albeit part of that role has a "comic relief" element, so there's a line to tread to get the optimum out of that character and Wiig's talents.

- George Gassaway
 
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cls

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Yeah I am definitely going to see The Martian in the theater.

Also looking forward to the new Star Wars... And the Iron Sky sequel, that just looks over the top hilarious!
 

djs

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for those of you who aren't on reddit- this was posted today:

[video=youtube;CumZP6_9sHU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CumZP6_9sHU[/video]
 

rocketgeek101

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I'm really looking forward to this movie! Definitely gonna go see it in theatres. I read the book earlier this year and really enjoyed it! It'll be interesting to see how they adapt the story to the screen. I hope they don't mess it up in the process...

I'm also looking forward to the new Star Wars... I'm really hoping it's good, and based on the trailers I'm feeling optimistic! :)
 

georgegassaway

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for those of you who aren't on reddit- this was posted today:

[video=youtube;CumZP6_9sHU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CumZP6_9sHU[/video]

AWESOME! Sets things up well, doesn't give away any spoilers, and we get to see a lot of the crew.

And the whole thing is not in the book at all (if IIRC), yet done very well, so ....yeah! Still a long way to go to the real meat of the story, I know, but looks good.

The issue some brought up before about adapting the narrative from the book, we probably see how it'll happen. The video blog he creates for this, when he is by himself, will probably be how a lot of that is handled on Mars in place of a written/typed diary.

Thanks SO MUCH for posting that djs. :clap:

:wave::wave::wave::wave:
 
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etoyoc

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Pretty cool video and despite my earlier posts, I am looking forward to seeing this.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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Check out the new trailer:

[video=youtube;Ue4PCI0NamI]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ue4PCI0NamI[/video]
 

boomtube-mk2

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Anybody seen “Europa Report”?
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2051879/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
If not; try and find a copy at your local video rental shop.

As for books to read.
John Scalai’s “Old Man’s War”, “Ghost Brigade” and “The Last Colony”

Alastair Reynolds’ “Inhibiter” trilogy. “Revelation Space”, “Redemption Ark” and “Absolution Gap”.
His answer to the Fermi paradox will scare the [email protected] out of you.

If you are not familiar with the author Jack McDevitt you should make his acquaintance and there is no better way than to pick up the re-release of his first novel “The Hercules Text” which has been re-written to better fit with today’s events.

As far as a man stranded on Mars.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058530/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_151
 

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