The Martian

Jessica Chastain as: Melissa Lewis
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Screenplay by: Drew Goddard (screenplay)
Based on: “The Martian” by Andy Weir
Selected Cast: Matt Damon, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan
Running Time: 144min
Release Date: September 11, 2015 (TIFF)
Wide Release: October 02, 2015
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

Production Notes

Filming began in Hungary on November 24, 2014. Korda Studios, in Budapest, was chosen for filming interior scenes of The Martian. It was favored for having one of the largest sound stages in the world. A practical backdrop for Mars was filmed in Wadi Rum, which is a UNESCO world heritage site located in Jordan. A special Mars rover model was built for the filming; the movie cast and team presented the rover model to Jordan in return for the hospitality they had received. The rover is now exhibited in Jordan’s Royal Automobile Museum. Filming lasted approximately 70 days.

The filming had a huge support from NASA , which decided to assist the filmmakers with depicting the science and technology in The Martian since it saw potential in promoting space exploration. Jessica made the press tour alongside NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson.

Chastain prepared for her role by meeting with astronauts and scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. She was inspired by astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, saying “She’s very matter of fact, very straightforward. My character is dealing with the guilt of leaving a crew member behind, but she’s still responsible for the lives of five other crew mates. I tried to play her as Tracy would have been in those moments.

It was reported Cate was the first choice to play Melissa Lewis, but she declined for schedule conflicts.

Critical Responses and Awards

‘The Martian’ was included in many critics’ Top Ten Films of 2015 lists, and also received various industry awards and nominations including 26 Best Picture, 20 Best Director (for Scott), and 19 Best Actor (for Damon) nominations at different organizations and associations. The American Film Institute selected The Martian as one of the Top Ten Films of the year. The film garnered two Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Damon. Scott was also nominated for Best Director. It received nine nominations from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Visual Effects. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The Martian was named Film of the Year by National Board of Review also winning Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Ranked at position eight, it won the Top Ten Films of the year award at African-American Film Critics Association. It received eight nominations from Satellite Awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor – Motion Picture, Best Screenplay – Adapted, and Best Visual Effects.

The Martian was named one of the best films of 2015 by over 50 critics and publications and was ranked seventh on Rotten Tomatoes and thirteenth on Metacritic’s best scored film of 2015.