When Matt Damon needed to play an astronaut stranded on Mars, he and director Ridley Scott turned to NASA to make the extreme circumstances of 'The Martian' as scientifically accurate as possible.
By
Reuters, Variety

20 Aug 2015 - 10:06 AM  UPDATED 20 Aug 2015 - 10:20 AM

The new trailer shows the Matt Damon's astronaut Mark Watney having to "science the s--- out of" his surroundings to make water and grow food on a planet that can't sustain life.

He has been left stranded on Mars after his team, led by actress Jessica Chastain's Captain Lewis, presume he is dead in the aftermath of a powerful Martian storm.

"I am the greatest botanist on this planet," Damon says.

Back on Earth, NASA decides his fate as the public demands his safe return home.

The highly anticipated film also stars Kate Mara, Jeff Daniels and Kristen Wiig.

Drew Goddard wrote the screenplay, based on Andy Weir's beloved novel of the same name.

NASA recruited to simulate life on Mars

"We're kind of on the cusp of being able to do everything that happens in the movie," Damon told Reuters, speaking of space exploration.

"With the right funding and the right attention, these are the kinds of things that we will be exploring in the very near future and this is going to be a part of our kids' lives."

With no means of communicating and the next manned mission to Mars four years away, Watney tries to survive on the deserted lands of Mars, using his skills as a botanist to grow food using Martian soil.

To mark the release of the trailer, Fox hosted an event on Tuesday with Damon at NASA and its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, which specialises in planetary science and launched the Mars Curiosity rover in 2011.

Journalists were given tours of the facilities and given explanations why The Martian could reflect how humans could live on Mars in the near future.

"As soon as Ridley contacted us and we recognised that he wanted to paint that really accurate picture, it was easy for us to endorse the movie and then provide whatever kind of consultation and advice he needed to be able to execute on it," said Jim Green, director of NASA's planetary science arm.

The movie from 20th Century Fox will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month and opens in Australia on September 30.

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