READ MORE: How Drew Goddard Made ‘The Martian’ Smart and Why It Needed Two F-Words
While Fox was expecting “The Martian” to score at the box office, the movie continues to perform so well ($590 million worldwide) that it knocked out rivals like underperforming “Steve Jobs,” which will nonetheless contend for Oscars—against “The Martian.” And Fox booked the film at festivals in Toronto and New York and Academy-friendly AFI FEST, where Scott participated in a Conversation. With rave reviews, the movie could score nominations in multiple categories, including Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Production Design, Costumes, Score and Visual Effects. There were turnaway crowds at the PGA and Academy screenings, who responded enthusiastically.
The filmmaker digs into the filmmaking details in our video interview (above), but it should be remembered that he’s also a master of working with actors, as Matt Damon delivers his best and most delicate lead performance in years as an astronaut stranded on Mars who talks to video cameras around the base to keep himself pumped to survive. The movie sticks with the solo performer for 20 minutes until Scott finally cross-cuts with NASA on earth and the crew that had left their colleague behind. Somehow Scott managed to make a movie about Mars commercial; it’s considered death at the box office. “The Martian” is both epic and intimate. And much like Best Picture Oscar-winner “Argo,” the movie celebrates American ingenuity. It makes us feel good about ourselves.