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Director Ridley Scott makes the most of an excellent script and a first-rate star for a scintillating sci-fi trip to the red planet
Proving conclusively that it really is all about the writing, Ridley Scott’s most enjoyable film in years reassures us that the creakiness of Prometheus, the cack-handed contrivance of The Counsellor and the sheer stodginess of Exodus: Gods and Kings were genetically rooted in their respective screenplays. Scott may not have the best eye for a decent script (he thought A Good Year read like a charming Russell Crowe vehicle), but when the right words are on the page he can visualise them like no other. From the creative back and forth of Hampton Fancher and David Peoples on Blade Runner, through the genius of Callie Khouri’s Thelma and Louise screenplay, to this terrifically crowd-pleasing adaptation of Andy Weir’s book by The Cabin in the Woods creator Drew Goddard, »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
Special Mention: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Directed by Jim Sharman
Screenplay by Richard O’Brien and Jim Sharman
For the unfamiliar, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the film adaptation of a popular musical stage production composed and written by Richard O’Brien, a struggling actor at the time who was best known for his performances in such musicals as Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar. For O’Brien, The Rocky Horror Picture Show was an homage to drive-in double features and science fiction B-movies of the fifties, and ironically, the film itself went on to become the ultimate midnight movie. To this day, screenings held in and around its anniversary as well as on Halloween sell out. It has never been pulled by 20th Century Fox from its original 1975 release, and it continues to play in cinemas four decades after its premiere, making it the longest-running theatrical release in film history. »
- Ricky Fernandes
Ridley Scott’s adaptation of “The Martian” stays rather true to the novel that inspired the movie. But for you fans of the book about an astronaut stranded on Mars, you may still be wondering about some parts of the book that were altered for the movie. Specifically, we’re betting you’re curious about what happened to astronaut Mark Watney’s Aquaman quip, Beth’s shocking conversation with her dad, and that memorable first line of the book. Earlier this week, HitFix presented you with our Andy Weir Q&A about his book largely free of spoilers about just how the movie adaptation plays out. Now that you’ve had a chance to see the film (which opened in theaters yesterday), here’s more of what the software engineer-turned-bestselling author had to say about the movie: Spoilers For “The Martian” Book And Movie Lie Ahead! On the book moment »
- Emily Rome
“The Martian” has been called “‘Cast Away’ on Mars” in various corners of the Internet, but it’s actually quite a different movie than the 2000 Tom Hanks film. Yes, Matt Damon’s astronaut is stranded in a place where he has little hope of surviving, but he approaches the extremely treacherous situation very differently from Hanks’ character. Damon’s character remains rather humorous, upbeat and optimistic in his time persevering to survive on the Red Planet. That optimism is largely what spoke to “The Martian” screenwriter Drew Goddard when he read the novel by Andy Weir that’s the basis for the film, which opened in theaters yesterday. Goddard (whose past credits include “The Cabin in the Woods,” “Lost” and “Buffy”) spoke to HitFix about the challenges of adapting a book with a lot of technical language, why he considers “The Martian” a “religious movie,” and which book moment that »
- Emily Rome
It broke the mold of horror films and scored strong acclaim in the process, but 2012's "Cabin in the Woods" was only a modestly successful box-office performer.
Now writer/director Drew Goddard says that Lionsgate is reportedly interested in pursuing a sequel. Speaking with Den of Geek this week about his script work for "The Martian," Goddard reveals he was approached to do a 'Cabin' follow-up:
"The funny part is, I don't think we planned that movie to do a sequel, you know? But that being said, the fun thing about Cabin is, the rules are pretty crazy. We get away with a lot of crazy stuff.
So, I'm sure we could figure it out if we got inspired to. I know Joss and I both feel like we don't want to tarnish what we did with the first one. With a sequel, we'd only do it if it made us laugh hard enough, »
- Garth Franklin
Drew Goddard cut his teeth in the entertainment industry as a writer for Joss Whedon on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Since then he's stayed largely in the TV world, having worked on Alias, Lost, and Marvel's Daredevil series, but he continues to flex some increasingly big movie muscles. He wrote Cloverfield, he directed Cabin in the Woods (which he co-wrote with Whedon), and he was supposed to write and direct The Sinister Six before the Andrew Garfield-version of Spider-Man fell to the wayside. Goddard's latest movie credit is as the screenwriter of The Martian, which he adapted from Andy Weir's fantastic book about an astronaut who gets mistakenly left for dead on Mars. In fact, Goddard was the original director on the project but had to pass when The...
- Peter Hall
Both Robert Zemeckis’ “The Walk” and Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” made their way to theaters this week, and both have something unique to offer in the Oscar race. No, not spectacle, though they have that in spades as well. Rather, in a season typically packed with deadly serious themes and issues, these movies trade in delighting their audiences.
Zemeckis’ could almost be described as a family film; its jaunty tone and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s bubbly persona are an antidote to somber stories on the circuit. Meanwhile, that quality is part of the very fabric of “The Martian,” which finds actor Matt Damon left behind on an unforgiving extraterrestrial world in a story that could, for obvious reasons, have been much darker. As screenwriter Drew Goddard told me this week, “It has this optimistic soul to it, which is not something you see a lot in science-fiction in general.”
- Kristopher Tapley
After sitting on a shelf for several years due to MGM's financial difficulties, Drew Goddard's gleefully imaginative take on horror movie tropes was finally released in 2012 after being rescued by Lionsgate. The Cabin In The Woods didn't make any huge waves at the box office, but it did strike a chord with critics and horror fans alike and has since developed a large... Read More »
- Kevin Fraser
If you have not seen "The Cabin in the Woods" and don't want to know what happens, do not read this article. I repeat: Do Not Read This Article. Don't. Do it. Now, on to the major, major spoilers... In a recent interview with Den of Geek, "The Cabin in the Woods" writer/director Drew Goddard spilled that Lionsgate is actually clamoring for a sequel to the film, which grossed $66 million worldwide and was presumably profitable. "...the studio wants to do it," said Goddard. "They've come to us. ...The funny part is, I don't think we planned that movie to do a sequel you know?" He's not kidding. As anyone who has seen the uber-meta horror flick knows: the world ends at the end of the movie. As in, finito. Finished. No more world. Bye, bye, world. Goddard is unperturbed. "...the fun thing about Cabin is, the rules are pretty crazy, »
- Chris Eggertsen
It took Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard a long time to bring The Cabin In The Woods to the big screen, and when it was finally released, it was delayed by a number of years thanks to MGM’s near bankruptcy (which is why it starred a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth). However, the movie was still a decent sized hit with over $65 million worldwide, and now Lionsgate apparently wants a sequel.
In a recent interview to promote The Martian, Goddard confirmed:
“The studio wants to do it. They’ve come to us. There’s nothing in the hopper right now, but who knows? The way [co-writer] Joss [Whedon] and I work, we might wake up tomorrow and go, ‘let’s go do that’, or whatever.”
It’s no secret that Whedon wants to do something original after helming two Avengers movies, but it’s not hard to imagine him being tempted back »
- Josh Wilding
Ridley Scott still remembers, vividly, sitting down in a movie theater, watching the lights go down and experiencing as a gamechanging moment as 2001: A Space Odyssey sputtered to life onscreen. "It had been out less than a week," the filmmaker recalls, settling into a chair in a cavernous hotel conference room in Toronto. "I sat in theater all by myself in the middle of the day, in Queensgate, London, with a pack of cigarettes — you could smoke in theaters in those days. It was a brand-new 70mm print, and »
On today’s movies and TV show, we talk about our hopes for ‘The X-Files’ revival series. We ask the question: Why is Mulder calling Scully from behind a door a few feet away? From there we discuss Drew Goddard’s hopes that there will still be a “Sinister Six” movie and our ideal villain team-up. And, Honey, where are my paaAAAAANTS!?! Talk to us on Twitter! Jon: @JonathanLDavis Roth: @RothCornet Louis: @LouisVirtel »
- Roth Cornet
Drew Goddard's Cabin In The Woods had a bumpy ride to the big screen. Delayed from release thanks to MGM's near bankruptcy a few years back, Lionsgate rescued the tongue-in-cheek horror movie and released into theaters, where it did solid, but not spectacular business. Everyone figured it would live on a cult favorite, and we'd never really hear anything about it again, but surprisingly, it seems the studio wants more. Chatting with Den Of Geek, Goddard revealed that Lionsgate is keen on the notion of a followup. "...the studio wants to do it. They've come to us," he said. The movie, which deconstructs the tropes of the cabin-in-the-woods thrillers, before going for a balls out, gonzo finale, by its very concept doesn't seem like one that would organically conjure a sequel, though if the folks behind "Scream" could it, I suppose nothing is out of the question. And I »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Take another look @ footage from director Ridley Scott's 3D science-fiction feature, "The Martian", written by Drew Goddard, based on the novel of the same name by author Andy Weir, opening November 25, 2015:
"...during a manned mission to Mars, 'Astronaut Mark Watney' is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived, finding himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet.
"With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.
"He knows, however, that even if his survival was somehow made known, there is no conceivable prospect for a rescue..."
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "The Martian"...
- Michael Stevens
He's also the writer/director of 2012's critically-acclaimed slasher horror The Cabin in the Woods while more recently, he's been part of - then dropped out of - a number of interesting projects, from Marvel's Daredevil to the planned Spider-Man spin-off movie Sinister Six.
Digital Spy caught up with Goddard to talk about all this and more, from his work with Steven Spielberg - he's written the script for Robopocalypse - to his forthright take on movies based on video games.
Were you not earmarked at one point to possibly direct The Martian?
"Yeah. The plan was to direct, and then – and this falls under "good problems to have" – but I had three things all green-lit »
The Martian, 2015.
Directed by Ridley Scott.
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.
The Martian is a 142 minute movie that opens up with the above mentioned failed Nasa mission that ends up deserting team botanist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) on Mars thanks to a hailstorm. It’s a decision by director Ridley Scott (whose movies are all over the map in terms of quality lately) that pays »
- Robert Kojder
We’re almost a week into the Fall, a time for serious stuff at the cinema, not saucers and BEMs (bug-eyed monsters). Well, hold on to your ray-guns, this isn’t a Summertime sci-fi staple with a much delayed release date. You see, the title character is actually an Earthman, but he’s also an alien since he’s not on his home planet. Huh? And this isn’t a tale set hundreds of years in the future, or is it set “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” (gotta’ wait another ten weeks or so for that). No, this is set in the very near future (unlike that other star franchise), plus it’s rooted pretty much in the realities of space travel. No warp drives or matter transporters here, so star hopping takes a long, l-o-n-g time. Oh, and this flick’s main setting has »
- Jim Batts
Directed by Ridley Scott
Though it boasts the spectacle we’ve come to expect from sci-fi blockbusters, The Martian is a glorious celebration of scientific endeavor and problem solving. Director Ridley Scott shows amazing restraint as he scales back the pyrotechnics and emphasizes human ingenuity. The result is a crowd-pleasing adventure that entertains, engages, and inspires. Smart, accessible sci-fi at its best.
You don’t need a doctorate in astrophysics to understand the premise of The Martian. We open with the frantic evacuation of the first Martian outpost, as six resident astronauts scramble to escape a massive storm. Amidst the swirling red chaos, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is clipped by debris and blown beyond the reach of his crewmates. When a desperate search yields no trace of Watney, the team leader, Commander Lewis (Jessica Chastain »
- J.R. Kinnard
Back in June, a rumor surfaced that Sony Pictures and Marvel may be developing a new movie based on the Spider-Gwen comics, after Marvel's Ike Perlmutter recently green-lit a new solo comic series for the character. We never heard anything concrete about this Spider-Gwen spinoff, but earlier this week, a new fan-made trailer started making the rounds, stoking interest in the character getting her own solo adventure. During a Q&A to promote Avengers: Age of Ultron, producers Kevin Feige and Jeremy Latcham revealed they hadn't yet seen the trailer, but they both thought the comic book version of Spider-Gwen was "cool."
The Spider-Gwen trailer that surfaced this week featured footage from The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, along with Julianne Cancalosi portraying Spider-Gwen in scenes where she's wearing the masked costume. Even if a Spider-Gwen movie does happen, it likely won't be with Emma Stone, »
How on Earth (no pun intended) does one write a screenplay like The Martian, where the majority of your story is set on an alien landscape? How, in addition, does a screenwriter attack a story where the lead character is all alone on a planet for 95% of the film? These are but a sliver of the obstacles facing The Martian screenwriter Drew Goddard as he sat down to adapt Andy Weir.s best-selling novel for Sir Ridley Scott to direct. Goddard.s no slouch at the keyboard, having scripted episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alias and Lost, as well as the feature films Cloverfield and The Cabin in the Woods (the latter of which, he directed). We were able to speak with Goddard at the Toronto International Film Festival about his experiences working on The Martian (a movie we Loved), and this is what we learned: Writing Scenes Set »
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