Ridley Scott Knew About Water on Mars, Almost Worked It Into The Martian

Tuesday, 29 September 2015 - 11:50AM
Space
Science of Sci-Fi
Mars
Tuesday, 29 September 2015 - 11:50AM
Ridley Scott Knew About Water on Mars, Almost Worked It Into The Martian
When NASA announced yesterday that they've confirmed the presence of liquid water on Mars, many cynical onlookers noted the suspicious timing. We've been looking for water on Mars for many years, but NASA just so happened to make this announcement at the very beginning of the opening week of Ridley Scott's The Martian, for which NASA consulted on the science of the script



Of course, NASA didn't actually put off telling the public about this monumental discovery, but they have been withholding the information for at least two months, as they reached out to Ridley Scott this past summer and gave him the opportunity to integrate the discovery into the film.

Unfortunately, two months didn't give him a lot of time to rework the film, and as he explained to The New York Times, he would have had to sacrifice an important sequence in the movie. In the book and the original script, Mark Watney has to toil to make water by creating humidity and capturing water droplets on a plastic tarp, and the presence of liquid water would have made it a little too easy for him. So Scott almost re-shot the scene, but ultimately decided not to.

Opening quote
"He'd've found the edge of a glacier, definitely. It would be fascinating. But then I would've lost a great sequence. He has to make water, and the steaming device, and put up the plastic tents, which creates the humidity, which grows the plants, which is the most basic form of irrigation. They still do it in Spain that way."
Closing quote


Integrating the discovery into the film would have been exciting and timely, but foregoing the change may have been the right decision. From what we know about the film, a major theme is the triumph of the human spirit, which is undercut a little if he just happens to find water.

The Martian hits theaters this weekend, starting on October 2.
Science
NASA
Space
Science of Sci-Fi
Mars
Ridley Scott: Water On Mars Almost Worked It Into The Martian

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