The ink was barely dry on Andy Weir’s bestselling The Martian when Hollywood came calling. Ridley Scott snapped up the rights to the science-heavy thriller about an astronaut accidentally left behind on an early Mars mission, who has to use his wits to survive until help can arrive.
With Matt Damon bringing his everyman charm, solid understanding of celestial mechanics, and other wicked hahd science stuff to the lead role of Mark Watney, the stranded astronaut, Scott is now working on casting the supporting roles. Jessica Chastain and Kristen Wiig are said to be in talks for some of the book’s female characters, of which there are surprising number for a story of a lone man who’s millions of miles from the nearest person.
If we had to wildly speculate, we’d guess Chastain would play Melissa Lewis, the captain of the Mars mission, who makes the snap decision that leaves Damon’s astronaut behind, then wrestles with whether she did the right thing. Wiig’s role is harder to guess. She could play Johanssen, a fellow astronaut on Lewis’ ship, or Mindy Park, the NASA employee who discovers Watney is still alive and convinces her superiors to mount a rescue effort. Yes, Park is 23 years old and Asian, but we’re pretty sure somewhere in Hollywood, Wiig’s agent is trying to convince someone it’s the role she was born to play, all while Brenda Song checks her voicemail, hears “no messages,” and sighs loudly.
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