'The Martian': Ridley Scott Says He Knew About NASA's Water Discovery on Mars "Months Ago"

"I said, 'Wow! Does that mean there was an ocean? Are we right now what Mars was 750 million years ago?' And they went, 'Uh, good question' "
Courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival

NASA's announcement Monday morning that it has discovered evidence of saltwater on Mars was a big deal to the scientific community — but it was old news to Ridley Scott.

"I knew that months ago," the man behind The Martian told Yahoo Movies in response to news of the announcement. Both he and screenwriter Drew Goddard worked closely with NASA to ground the science of the movie, Scott explained, and it was during one of those early discussion sessions that the topic came up.

"When I first talked to NASA, we got into all kinds of stuff and I said, 'So I know you’ve got down there [these] massive glaciers.' And he said, 'Yeah, that the massive white thing [on the surface of Mars] that gets covered with dust, we think that’s ice,' " Scott recalled. "And I said, 'Wow! Does that mean there was an ocean? Are we right now what Mars was 750 million years ago?' And they went, 'Uh, good question.' So they want to go up there and find out."

The Martian is set to be released Oct. 2.

Sept. 28 at 5:50 p.m. A previous version of this story improperly reflected Scott's quotes about the discovery. THR regrets the error.

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