(Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Martian).
The Martian was a recent blockbuster by director Ridley Scott, based on the novel by Andy Weir. Full of action, humour, an interesting plot, and an amazing cast, it was definitely one of the best movies of the year. While the film was certainly awesome, there are still some astonishing facts out there which may surprise even the most eagle-eyed viewers. So let's take a look at 8 Mars-Merising Facts You Didn't Know About 'The Martian'!
1. The opening sandstorm scene was mostly created with real effects
Ridley Scott, the director of the movie, didn't want to rely completely on digital effects for the film, and wished for it to look as real as possible. In order to do that, he had some giant fans installed on set, which blew the dust and stones everywhere.
They also got into the air vents of the suits, which made the actors struggle to breathe. The scene took a little over 3 days to film.
2. Matt Damon spent most of his time filming alone
In order to perfectly capture the emotions of stranded astronaut Mark Watney, Matt Damon spent most of his time filming alone, separate from the rest of the cast. It made his performance quite authentic and real. This filming was completed in 5 weeks.
3. The shooting for the Martian landscape was done in Jordan
Originally, the movie was supposed to be shot in the Australian Outback. However, in order to make it look authentic, some of the filming was done in the Wadi Rum desert of Jordan, which provided a stunning backdrop of the Martian landscape.
The special effects department also studied the movement of the sun through the desert, and replicated it when they were filming back in the studio, on a giant sized green-screen.
4. More than 4,000 tonnes of soil were used to create the surface of Mars
The Martian surface required over 4,000 tonnes of soil and various other materials in order to look the way it did in the movie. In order to get the right colour, 3 types of soil were mixed together, to give it a reddish colour.
The filmmakers also set up a separate area for Mark Watney to grow his potatoes. Over 1,200 of them were grown on the set.
5. The Martian rover was inspired by NASA's 'Curiosity' rover
The rover used for The Martian was based off the Curiosity Rover sent by NASA to Mars. However, The Martian's rover was a lot bigger, and required more than 35 people to help construct it.
In order to test its ability to move on rough terrain, the rover was used in a Hungarian quarry.
The solar panels installed on the rover made the audience think that it ran on solar power; however, it actually had a 2 litre diesel engine powering it.
6. The Hermes spacecraft was inspired by the International Space Station
Specifically, the ISS inspired the interlocking module mechanism used by the Hermes spacecraft.
The white interior of the Hermes was a tribute to the memorable sci-fi movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
In order to make it look like the actors were floating in zero gravity, the filmmakers decided to use a giant winch system on the set, to which the actors were harnessed. People were required to pull the ropes to move the actors where needed.
7. The spacesuits were based on real-life suits worn by astronauts on missions
The costume designers visited NASA facilities in order to make the spacesuits which were used in the movie. In order for the actors to be comfortable, a lot of weight was reduced from the actual suits, which made them less bulky.
Underneath the suits, a system of water pipes with cold water flowing through it was in place to keep the actors cool. In addition to that, their backpacks had a fan to channel the air into their suits as well. This system was also used during the filming of Interstellar.
8. NASA had close involvement in the creation of the movie
Several members of the cast worked closely with NASA personnel in order to fully understand about life in space, which would help them while filming. Cast members were also allowed access to a virtual reality helmet, through which they looked at photographs of the actual Martian surface taken by the Curiosity Rover.
NASA also allowed them to film at their launch sites, including during the launch of the Orion spacecraft - which coincidentally was sent in order to obtain more knowledge about Mars. Aboard the spacecraft was a draft of the script for The Martian, with a drawing of Mark Watney by director Ridley Scott.
The first ever screening of The Martian took place on the International Space Station.
So there we go - 8 things you probably never knew about The Martian. If you liked the article, check out my other posts, and make sure to follow my page for more content (it will be very appreciated)! Let me know of any feedback in the comments!