As Ridley Scott completes post-production on this December’s Biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings and continues to work on that Blade Runner sequel, the 76-year-old filmmaker is also busy prepping to direct his next feature film, The Martian. Scripted by Drew Goddard, the sci-fi pic is based on Andy Weir’s e-book of the same name and will star Matt Damon as an astronaut who is stranded on Mars and must find his way back home. While the Cast Away slash Gravity-esque story suggests that Damon will be commanding most of the screentime solo, two intriguing choices have surfaced as possibilities to take on supporting roles in the film: Jessica Chastain and Kristen Wiig. More after the jump.
The folks over at Variety broke the news that Jessica Chastain is in early talks for the female lead in The Martian opposite Damon, and Deadline adds that SNL alum Kristen Wiig is circling another role, though her involvement with the film is reportedly “less likely” than Chastain’s. Neither report specifies the characters that Chastain and Wiig are up for, and having not read the book I can only assume that they might play fellow astronauts on the (presumably) doomed mission and/or NASA folks back home on Earth.
Should Chastain sign on, this would add another legendary director to her already impressive resume, having already starred in films for Terrence Malick, Kathryn Bigelow, Jeff Nichols, and Liv Ullman, with impending appearances in films directed by Christopher Nolan, Guillermo del Toro, and J.C. Chandor. She could almost start to give Damon a run for his money with regards to the prestige of her directorial collaborators.
Chastain will, of course, be seen in the upcoming Interstellar, Crimson Peak, and A Most Violent Year, while Wiig has been building up a solid post-SNL slate of her own and stars opposite Bill Hader in the excellent drama The Skeleton Twins, opening this fall.