Sunday 17 December 2017

The Martian director Ridley Scott says he knew about NASA's discovery of water on Mars 'months ago'

Matt Damon in The Martian
Matt Damon in The Martian
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

As NASA announced on Monday that they had discovered water on Mars, the cynics of the world took to Twitter to speculate that the announcement was timed to coincide with the release of Ridley Scott's Hollywood film The Martian.

And Scott has done nothing to dispel rumours of a perfectly choreographed PR tie in with the US space agency by revealing he knew about the discovery "months ago".

“I knew that months ago,” he told Yahoo Movies.

“When I first talked to NASA, we got into all kinds of stuff and I said, ‘So I know you’ve got down there [these] massive glaciers,’” he said.

“And he said, ‘Yeah, that the massive white thing that gets covered with dust, we think that’s ice.’ And I said, ‘Wow! Does that mean there was an ocean?’ Are we right now what Mars was 750 million years ago?’ And they went, ‘Uh, good question.’ So they want to go up there and find out.”

The Martian is based on the best-selling novel by Andy Weir about a US astronaut (Matt Damon) who is stranded, believed dead, on Mars and is forced to learn how to survive as the debate rages back home whether or not to rescue him.

However, Scott also revealed to the New York Times that he only found out about water on Mars after the script was written and the film in production.

Had he known about the water he wouldn't have had Damon's character struggling to make water himself, which is a key sequence in the film.

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