Jessica Chastain and Kristen Wiig Circling Ridley Scott’s THE MARTIAN Opposite Matt Damon

     September 3, 2014


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.

jessica-chastain-the-martianThe 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.


The Martian Jessica Chastain Kristen Wiig

  • PewPewPew

    Having read the book, I could see Chastain as Melissa Lewis, the stern and pratical commander of the ship that left Watney (Damon) behind. Wiig could be the female NASA employee (I forgot her name) that discovers Watney on Mars via satellite images. Both would fit their respective characters amazingly. These are great choices. This film is on the right track.

  • Dan_K

    I dunno if there’s even an “almost” in that sentence; Chastain is racking up quite the directors bench.

    • Adam Chitwood

      Only reason I said “almost” is because Damon’s resume is nearly unrivaled. Has worked with Scorsese, Spielberg, Coen Bros, Soderbergh, Van Sant, Minghella, Greengrass, Eastwood, Gilliam, Crowe, Nolan, etc.

      • Dan_K

        Good point….I suppose I’m devaluing Damon a little bit there. I appreciate the response, however I apologize–in hindsight, it sounds as if I was being incredibly pedantic. My intention was only to marvel at what she’s done in such a short amount of time.

      • Adam Chitwood

        For sure, she’s definitely built an excellent resume thus far.

  • Vulcan

    I haven’t read the book, but I love both actresses, so this just makes me more interested in the project. Putting the book on my to read list.

    • Nick Erickson

      The best decision you’ll make today. The book is fantastic.

  • Nick Erickson

    Chastain would be perfect as Cmdr Lewis. However, I saw someone younger in my head for Mindy Park, which is who imagine Wiig would play. An Anna Kendrick type, age 27-33. That’s just me.

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