The Sword and Laser discussion

The Martian
This topic is about The Martian
262 views
2014 Reads > TM: think a movie adaption is possible?

Comments Showing 1-46 of 46 (46 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Tamahome | 6089 comments I think the funny parts would play well in a movie. But explaining all the science in a movie might be difficult. I guess Apollo 13 pulled it off.


John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1527 comments Listening to the audio book, there were parts that almost sounded like they were meant to be in a screenplay. How about a short miniseries 2-3 two hour installments. Would give more time to deal with the science, and draw it out so you get more of a feel for what Mark is going through. I know it will never happen in today's market, too expensive for most TV, but I think it sure would be fun.


Tamahome | 6089 comments Or even more unbelievably, a miniseries on PBS a la Nova. At least through most of it you wouldn't need that many special effects. Wasn't AMC going to do Red Mars?


Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments I think they're making it into a movie. I think I saw something about Matt Damon as Watney but I always pictured Chris Pratt. I also imagine it very Moon-like. Instead of a written log, I imagined it all as vlogs.


Tamahome | 6089 comments I think the author's ideal was Bradley Cooper. Hubba hubba.


William Chinda (willchinda) | 15 comments This book reminded me a lot of Apollo 13, which had TONS of space jargon. Though I barely followed all the technical details, I could pretty easily sort out the drama through the performance,

I could a movie Martian playing out like this (though that would depend on casting great actors), but maybe with some onscreen graphics and visual explainers, a la Sherlock.


Trike | 8146 comments I just watched the Robert Redford movie All Is Lost tonight and I think they did a very good job of implying why you need to do the things you do, without actually explaining anything. They let you put the pieces together without resorting to dialogue or on-screen explanations.

For instance, when his boat gets punctured by the errant cargo container, his radio gets wet. Once he gets it on deck, he uses drinking water to wash off the components. Which is mystifying if you don't know that saltwater is worse for electronic components than freshwater. (If you drop your phone in the ocean, rinse it off with freshwater.) Once it dries, the salt shorts it out, so you stand a better (if still slim) chance of having it work if you rinse it off. But you don't need to know that to see this weird thing he does and puzzle over it if they explain (or imply) other things well enough.

The other way to go is the Apollo 13 route where they periodically have dollops of exposition to fill us in. Like that moment where the guy dumps all the stuff on the table and holds up the two different size filters saying, "We have to make THIS fit into a hole for THIS using nothing but THAT." That sort of scene is done purely for the audience's benefit, because everyone in that room would know that. But it works as the momentum of the story carries you along.

If I were writing this movie, I'd have him do things like discover the USB drive with the label "Good Music" on it and put it in the sound system... only to have disco come out. Cut to the outside: "Nooo!" Then later, show him dancing to the disco, actually getting into it. And then, much later, show him getting fed up with it and throwing the USB drive ineffectually across the room.

Little things like that work on two levels: being slightly humorous as well as showing the character's progression.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1860 comments If I were writing a film version, I think I'd place more of the focus on earth than Mars. It's tricky to pull off one person alone for long on film, and the story from the Earth's perspective might be more dynamic. I'd maybe start with the accident, showing how the crew left Watney behind, then fast forward to the discovery that he is still alive. Then you could zoom over to see what Watney is up to, skipping the more tedious early survival stuff that was great in the book, but would be tough to translate to film. Of course, I am not a script writer. Would love to see what professionals come up with. Definitely a film I'd go and see.


Trike | 8146 comments Ruth wrote: "If I were writing a film version, I think I'd place more of the focus on earth than Mars. It's tricky to pull off one person alone for long on film, and the story from the Earth's perspective might be more dynamic."

If you do that, though, you're running right into the gigantic wall that is Apollo 13. That movie is beloved for a reason: it is possibly the best movie about the American space program ever made, edging out previous champion The Right Stuff.

There are plenty of examples of excellent movies which feature one actor for most of the movie. As I mentioned, All Is Lost stars Robert Redford completely alone and it's terrifically compelling. But also Moon, Gravity, Cast Away, Buried, 127 Hours... heck even Wall-E or I Am Legend/Omega Man.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1860 comments Trike wrote: "There are plenty of examples of excellent movies which feature one actor for most of the movie. As I mentioned, All Is Lost stars Robert Redford completely alone and it's terrifically compelling. But also Moon, Gravity, Cast Away, Buried, 127 Hours... heck even Wall-E or I Am Legend/Omega Man. "

Very true. They must be hell to write though. That's why I'll leave it to the experts. ;p


message 11: by Eric (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 617 comments I think a movie adaptation would lose a lot of what I love about this novel - his log. It'd be tough to do a good narrated movie. Because, after all, movies are meant to show, not say. But it's the way he writes it that makes it awesome. It's why I didn't like the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie as much as the book. Vogons on their own are a little funny. But the way Adams describes them is hilarious.


message 12: by E (new) - rated it 4 stars

E | 16 comments Dara wrote: "I think they're making it into a movie. I think I saw something about Matt Damon as Watney but I always pictured Chris Pratt. I also imagine it very Moon-like. Instead of a written log, I imagined ..."

It brought Moon to mind for me as well! I hope they wouldn't cast Damon, I just don't think he could pull of this style of comedy. I pictured someone like Fran Kranz. Though I suppose he doesn't look like your typical astronaut but he always pulled off the tech-talk/humor mix well as Topher Brink in Dollhouse.


terpkristin | 4117 comments If they make a movie, will they call it Hermes Mutiny or something (or maybe that as a subtitle) as a nod to the line in the book? ;)


David(LA,CA) (davidscharf) | 327 comments terpkristin wrote: "If they make a movie, will they call it Hermes Mutiny or something (or maybe that as a subtitle) as a nod to the line in the book? ;)"

Perhaps the secret shooting title, like Blue Harvest.


message 15: by Eric (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 617 comments It would be awesome if they clear the rights for the 70s music and TV shows


Paolo (ppiazzesi) | 51 comments I agree with what´s been said - this book is just dying to be adapted into a film. I think it could actually be one of the rare cases where the movie is better than the book - all the characters have little depth, which really stands out to me in a novel but isn´t that much of a problem in a 2-hour Hollywood blockbuster.

I´m picturing Apollo 13 for the Earth and spaceship scenes, and Moon for the Mars scenes. I wonder if the movie will stick to the very lighthearted tone of the book (which didn´t work out that great for me).


Julian Arce | 71 comments It would have to be narrated I guess, it would all the depend how you can get a balance between a good voice that does the talking, and actor who plays out the actions... dunno how it would look. I also expect a lot of the humor to be lost.


Michele | 1154 comments I think it would make a great movie if they did it right.

Probably have the actor talk to himself a lot and also some video diaries and then the action scenes and the Earth stuff, all mixed together with news reports, internet memes, vigils, crackpots. Could be a lot of fun.


Walter (walterwoods) | 144 comments Completely doable. Drew Goddard is going to need a really good editor to make all of the aspects come together and make sense (especially with the science stuff). But I think it could be amazing.

The great thing about it is you have a storytelling element built in. It makes sense for Mark to narrate it since he's keeping logs (for the movie we'll say entirely audio logs) of everything he does. Granted, you'd only have to use those for more confusing science explanations and for dramatic or comedic effect.

Not sure who I'd cast as Mark. Chris Pratt is probably too young. Joel Mchale?

Other casting thoughts I had while reading...

Viola Davis as Lewis
Bradley Whitford as Mitch
Hugh Dancy as Teddy
Kumail Nanjiani as Venkat
Kristen Bell as Annie

I dunno...


message 20: by E (new) - rated it 4 stars

E | 16 comments Walter wrote: "Completely doable. Drew Goddard is going to need a really good editor to make all of the aspects come together and make sense (especially with the science stuff). But I think it could be amazing.

..."


I love the idea of Viola Davis as Lewis. I pictured Annie as Mindy Kaling but I could definitely see Bell working as well.


Walter (walterwoods) | 144 comments E wrote: "Walter wrote: "Completely doable. Drew Goddard is going to need a really good editor to make all of the aspects come together and make sense (especially with the science stuff). But I think it coul..."

Ooo! She'd be good too.


terpkristin | 4117 comments I just finished the book. If they make it a movie, they need to not add the drama of Hermes falling apart and possibly have 1 fewer "thing that almost kills Mark Watney." Timing-wise, I think they could do without the Hab airlock failing. It's just too much.


Tamahome | 6089 comments They need a monkey and a sidekick.


message 24: by Skip (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skip | 517 comments Considering most of the movie would one actor and a green screen, I would imagine that the movie could be done like Gravity was done, fairly cheaply even with good actors. You just have to cast an actor you're willing to watch by himself for most of a movie.


message 25: by Eric (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 617 comments Walter wrote: "Completely doable. Drew Goddard is going to need a really good editor to make all of the aspects come together and make sense (especially with the science stuff). But I think it could be amazing.

..."


Perhaps it's Community or perhaps it's The Soup, but fairly or unfairly to the man, I see Joel Mchale as projecting to much of a jerk vibe to be Matt


message 26: by Rick (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rick | 2775 comments I'll be contrary - I don't think an interior book like this lends itself to the movie format. You can adapt the book, but you end up with something like Ender's Game which externalizes a lot of stuff and really misses the mark about what made the book compelling (Ender's loneliness and internal life). Did the movie tell the story of the book? Yeah. But it had different appeal because the movie format has different characteristics from the book.


Walter (walterwoods) | 144 comments Rick wrote: "I'll be contrary - I don't think an interior book like this lends itself to the movie format. You can adapt the book, but you end up with something like Ender's Game which externalizes a lot of stu..."

It would definitely be hit or miss.


Nathan Marchand | 11 comments While reading I wondered if it could be made into a movie. I also thought of Moon in terms of a similar movie.
Only they'd probably have to add a AI for him to talk to and leave behind with a heartfelt goodbye.


message 30: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jlawrence | 960 comments Mod
Well, Ridley Scott is great at science-fiction when he has a great script (Blade Runner, Alien) and, well, mixed when he has a weak script (Prometheus. Actually, if you watch its deleted scenes, it's clear the film could have been stronger if they hadn't cut so much to make it seem more 'mysterious' - but it still would have been flawed).

I'm a little scared that Scott might bring Lindehof in to rewrite of Goddard's script...


Tamahome | 6089 comments Can we change it to a female lead and cast Noomi Rapace?




Walter (walterwoods) | 144 comments I'd imagine Goddard's script is really good. And The Martian actually does have some comedic beats similar to Cabin in the Woods.


message 33: by Dara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments I didn't picture Matt Damon but that's fine with me. It's hard not to like Damon. He'll be great.


Markt5660 | 39 comments I was thinking: Val Kilmer as Watney, Carrie-Anne Moss as Lewis, Benjamin Bratt as Martinez... No wait, they alredy did that one. Screwed it up by adding killer robots and killer bugs. Oh well, keeping my fingers crossed.


message 35: by Cris (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cris | 5 comments Christopher Meloni as Watney.


message 36: by Jim (last edited May 17, 2014 10:53PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Saul (jjsaul) | 16 comments I couldn't help hear Mike Massimino's voice as Watney.

It will make a great movie - Apollo 13 is a fantastic model to follow. Of course, Cast Away is another model... makes it hard to avoid casting Tom Hanks I guess.

There's even an old B movie that, despite ridiculous science, was vastly entertaining: Robinson Crusoe on Mars. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058530/


Trike | 8146 comments Ridley Scott, bleh. This movie needs someone with a grasp of science and a sense of humor.


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

The only way I can see this working as a movie is if the did selective log entries as a voice over as Mark progresses, and talking to himself at other points.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1860 comments I think I have how I would do this film sorted now. I'd start with the accident, then go down to earth. Newspaper headlines explaining Watney's death, folks at NASA explaining how they are worried about the moral of the crew. The funeral. Etc. Then, oh, what's this? Is Watney alive? What is he doing? We stay firmly on earth until we get to the communication bit. I forget now what he said when, but surely something amusing. If it wasn't all that funny in the book (it surely was) we can make it funny for the film. A nice little relief, as there'd have been all kinds of tension built about how he was coping. Then I'd zip up to Mars for a 'what has Watney been up to' lengthy, in detail flashback. Catch up, and the rest of the story would flick between the earth and Mars POV's, etc. Done! Now to write the screenplay! lol


Robert of Dale (r_dale) | 185 comments Matt Damon? Really? Bleh. I've had enough of Matt.

Danny Glover as Watney. He's got geek cred, he's got incredible comic timing, is about the right age now, and he has a great dramatic range, even if you just pay attention to his sitcom work.


Michele | 1154 comments Danny Glover?!??!! I like the man, but he's 67 yrs old. I think it's got to be someone in the 35-45 range, because I can only suspend belief so far.

I think Matt Damon will be ok, though I'd prefer someone a little younger and more overtly geeky. I...OMG did you mean DONALD Glover from Community? Because he would be great!!!


message 42: by Dara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments Donald Glover in everything. Always.


Tamahome | 6089 comments Danny Glover was driving when you were still an itch in your Daddy's pants.


message 44: by Ty (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ty Wilson (ShatterStar66) | 165 comments Danny Glover doesn't want to kill you and you don't want to be dead.


Robert of Dale (r_dale) | 185 comments I'm too old for this s***.

That's embarrassing. Yes, I meant Donald Glover. From Community. Not Danny Glover, who I know mostly from the Lethal Weapon movies, and The Color Purple.

Man! I could have saved myself from looking like an ass with a quick IMDB search, but nooo…


message 46: by Dara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments Haha, it's all good. :-)


back to top