The Martian Is Nothing Like Interstellar, According To Matt Damon

Ridley Scott's upcoming sci-fi blockbuster The Martian has drawn a number of comparisons to Christopher Nolan's Interstellar... and with good reason. After all, both movies feature Jessica Chastain and Matt Damon, and are set around the idea of astronauts finding themselves trapped in space and hoping to find a way back. Despite these similarities, however, Matt Damon has gone on record saying that the two films are really not the same thing.

Yahoo! UK recently had the chance to chat with the Bourne star about his upcoming film, and it was during their conversation that Damon actually revealed he was seeing the Martian/Interstellar comparisons before he signed on to the project. However, his view on the whole thing changed when he met with Ridley Scott to talk about the movie, and the British director explained away his concerns. Said the actor,

I went in to meet him, then I signed on really quickly. I went in and I said, I really love this script, but my only hesitation is I’ve just done Interstellar, in which I played a dude stranded on a planet. It might be weird if, after taking a year and a half off, I played another dude stranded on a planet. I explained Interstellar to him, and he said ‘The movies are totally fucking different, this is going to be fucking fun. Let’s do this!’ He was so infectious, I couldn’t really say no to him.

In Interstellar, Matt Damon played Dr. Mann, a scientist who went into space looking for a livable planet before Matthew McConaughey's Joseph "Coop" Cooper and his crew did. Mann wound up getting stranded on an ice planet, and after putting himself into stasis waiting for rescue, he was discovered by the mission led by McConaughey. In contrast, The Martian will see Damon playing an astronaut named Mark Watney who is left stranded on the surface of Mars after his crewmmates leave the planet during a rough storm. Using limited supplies, he must not only find a way to survive, but also somehow contact Earth for rescue.

Watching the recently released trailer for The Martian, you can understand what Matt Damon and Ridley Scott are talking about. Interstellar is a largely humorless sci-fi drama, but The Martian looks to actually have a good amount of comedy running through it while also playing out as a survival thriller. Most of this is because Damon's character comes across as a really cool and positive-spirited guy who isn't going to let the intense gravity of his situation hold him back. Watch the aforementioned trailer below and you'll see what I mean.

People will likely continue to make comparisons between The Martian and Interstellar between now and the former's release date, but what will be interesting is to see if the dialogue changes at that point. We'll have to wait and see how it plays out after October 2nd.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.