NASA rocked the science world this week with news that there is likely liquid water on Mars, and it turns out that huge discovery almost made it into Ridley Scott’s new sci-fi flick The Martian.
In an interview with The New York Times, the director revealed that the head of NASA actually reached out approximately two months ago to show him photos of the water and brief him on the findings so he might have a chance to work the discovery into the film. But, two months out from opening day, it was too late to make changes of that magnitude. So, sorry, science nerds — Mark Watney will not be stumbling upon surface water when the film opens this weekend.
Minor spoilers ahead for The Martian!
The potential change factors into a scene in the film where Matt Damon’s character makes water to grow crops by creating humidity and heat and trapping droplets on a plastic tarp. Though he wasn’t able to work it into the film, Scott said he already had an alternate scene worked out that would’ve mirrored the recent scientific discovery:
“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.”
It’s obviously a bit disappointing they couldn’t work the cutting edge announcement into the film, but looking at the stellar reviews rolling in, the omission doesn’t seem to be hurting the production. If nothing else, this is just one more interesting peek into the painstaking efforts made to nail the science stuff.
Well done, Ridley.
(Via The New York Times)