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PODCAST: How Screenwriter Drew Goddard Masters the Unclassifiable

PODCAST: How Screenwriter Drew Goddard Masters the Unclassifiable

Drew Goddard was a science kid. Growing up in the tucked-away town of Los Alamos, NM, he was surrounded by the type of minds and personalities on display in “The Martian.” Goddard adapted the script from Andy Weir’s novel, a project that originally crossed his desk in its nascent e-book form.

“I started describing the book to [my wife] and she said, ‘Oh, that sounds like your hometown,'” Goddard said, adding, “Andy captured scientists the way that I’ve been used to hearing scientists my entire life.” This week on Indiewire Influencers, Goddard talked with Indiewire Editor in Chief Dana Harris about the process of making a brainy crowd-pleaser.

It was the novel’s grasp of interpersonal scientist banter that showed Goddard the inherent connection between humor and science. “I think that science, by its nature, is based on failure,” Goddard said, adding of scientists, “In order to do that, you can be despondent or you can develop a sense of humor about it.”

Because the film proved to be difficult to classify (a trait common to much of Goddard’s recent work), he and director Ridley Scott looked to religious epics as a reference point for interested studios. “It’s a man lost in the wilderness and has to rely on his own faith to get him through it,” said Goddard. “It’s just in this case, the faith is science.” 

For more, including a surefire way to spot a scientist simply by their wall calendar, listen to the full interview above.

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