When the trailer for Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” hit the web last week, it impressed a lot of people. With a talented director, grade-A cast, and breathtaking visuals, it managed to hit all the perfect notes. But, there is one inescapable comparison this movie will face in the coming months. That’s right, I’m talking about 2014’s “Interstellar.”
Admit it, it’s crossed all of our minds. You can’t hire both Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain on a space picture without at least thinking about their roles in Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending acid trip. I’m happy to say that fans aren’t the only ones who thought this. In fact, it was one of the main concerns Matt Damon had after signing on to “The Martian.”
In an interview with Yahoo Movies, Damon expressed his initial concerns:
“I’d never met Ridley [Scott], not even in passing…I went in to meet him, then I signed on really quickly. I went in and I said, I really love this script, but my only hesitation is I’ve just done ‘Interstellar,’ in which I played a dude stranded on a planet, it might be weird if, after taking a year and a half off, I played another dude stranded on a planet.
I explained ‘Interstellar’ to him, and he said ‘The movies are totally f***ing different, this is going to be f***ing fun. Let’s do this!’ He was infectious, I couldn’t really say no to him.”
Even Matt Damon knew how weird it would be for an audience to separate the idea of the two films. But at the end of the day, Ridley Scott really hit the nail on the head. Those who have read Andy Weir’s “The Martian,” the book on which the film was based, will know that the two properties couldn’t be more different.
While Nolan’s “Interstellar” plays out like a highbrow space opera, without a comedic bone in its body, “The Martian”—if its tone is in keeping with the book—will be chockfull of black humor, with the Damon’s character making jokes at the expense of his own survival. We got a small taste of the tone and humor in the trailer, when Damon’s character says he’s “going to have to science the sh*t” out of his situation in order to survive. While one film is more of a philosophical nature, the other is a straightforward, nail-biting tale of survival.
So what did Jessica Chastain, the other star of both “Interstellar” and “The Martian,” have to say about the similarities? Well, not a lot, to be honest. At the end of the day, her character in “The Martian” serves a vastly different function from “Interstellar”’s Murph, so her experience has been quite the contrast. On the whole, Chastain seems happy just to work with such iconic directors.
“How cool to work with Chris [Nolan] and then Ridley [Scott]? It’s just so rad. They’re both guys who are making their own rules, in the way that they’re shooting and the visuals that they’re using, they’re always pushing the bar and challenging something, and also they make things on an epic scale.”
Are you convinced yet? Let us know your thoughts below.
“The Martian” hits U.S. theaters on October 2, 1015.