A couple of days ago, we learned that The Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard has closed his deal to direct Sony’s Spider-Man spinoff film The Sinister Six. However, it appears that his busy schedule has subsequently forced Goddard to back out of a different project. The Wrap reports that Goddard has exited 20th Century Fox’s sci-fi film The Martian, which he signed on to last year. With his impending schedule, Fox wasn’t keen to wait on the filmmaker to move forward on the project. Not only is Goddard writing and directing Sinister Six, but he’s first running and directing Marvel’s Daredevil Netflix series, so he wouldn’t be able to move his focus back to The Martian for quite some time.
Hit the jump for more, including the potential involvement of Matt Damon.
With Goddard officially off the film, 20th Century Fox is now looking for other directors for the project. Based on an e-book by Andy Weir, the story revolves around an astronaut who becomes stranded on Mars and must figure out how to survive long enough to return to Earth. It’s described as a cross between Apollo 13 and Cast Away, but The Wrap’s report notes that it’s apparently “quite different” from Gravity. Goddard penned the script for The Martian, but it’s unclear if the studio will be starting over from scratch when it enlists a new filmmaker.
In searching for a new director, Fox is keeping Matt Damon in mind. Damon is their top choice to star in the project, and they’d like to bring in a filmmaker that would potentially make Damon eager to sign on. Damon appears later this year in director Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi film Interstellar, but beyond that he hasn’t officially set any other projects for the coming months. Should he commit to The Martian, the project would reunite him with Elysium producer Simon Kinberg.