This fall, director Ridley Scott is bringing Andy Weir’s best-selling novel The Martian to life as a feature film. Matt Damon stars as Mark Watney, an astronaut who finds himself trapped on Mars with little hope of rescue. Using his background in science, Watney has to find a way to survive on the Red Planet.
The story behind The Martian is just as interesting as the one playing out on the big screen. Weir was a computer programmer turned writer who ultimately had to self-publish The Martian (his third novel) as an ebook in 2011. It was picked up by Crown Publishing for print and it found an audience before 20th Century Fox optioned The Martan as a movie.
Back in November 2014, Weir taped an extended interview with Adam Savage (Mythbusters) for The Talking Room video podcast. It may have been released this week to capitalize on the trailer for The Martian that came out last Monday, but it’s a truly fascinating interview, and it even kicks off with Weir and Savage geeking out over one of the spacesuit helmets from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001.
While speaking with Savage, Weir explains the exhaustive research he put into The Martian before he started writing the actual story. Weir shared some of the surprising sources for his novel, and he even openly acknowledged which areas he had to alter for dramatic license. But for the most part, Weir’s story used technology that currently exists in some form, which gave The Martian a greater sense of reality.
The interview clocks in at just over 55 minutes, but Weir and Savage are very engaging so you’ll hardly notice at all…especially if you love science and space exploration. The film adaptation of The Martian will be released on November 25, 2015,
What did you think about Weir’s appearance on The Talking Room? Launch your thoughts on a journey towards the comment section below!