A Hollywood shakeup has landed Matt Damon’s name on a short list of possible stars to take on the leading role in the film The Martian. According to an exclusive report by The Wrap, Damon might end up taking the part in the science fiction movie based on the e-book by Andy Weir.
The Wrap also reports that Matt taking role or not might depend on who directs. Drew Goddard was supposed to direct, but he has departed to take on The Sinister Six. That project, headed by Sony, is a villain spin-off of The Amazing Spiderman. Deadline reported a few days ago the news, and that Goddard wrote the script.
The studio for The Martian, 20th Century Fox, would not comment about whether or not Matt Damon was being considered for the lead role.
The rumors of Matt playing the role are by no means due to his huge availability. Damon has been incredibly busy in the past year, with several back-to-back films including his most recent release, The Monuments Men. Though he doesn’t have a very long history of playing sci-fi film leads, Damon is known as a strong action actor, particularly in the Jason Bourne trilogy.
Other films Damon has coming out this year that fall more closely in the sci-fi genre include The Zero Theorem and Interstellar.
In The Martian, Matt would play an astronaut who gets stranded on Mars and has to figure out a way to survive so he can go back to planet earth. It is rumored to be a sort of hybrid between Apollo 13 and Cast Away, but nothing like Gravity, in which Sandra Bullock got stranded in outer space.
The team that Matt would work with if he does do the movie includes producer Simon Kinberg and Aditya Sood through Genre Films. Fox pictures has Steve Asbell overseeing the project for the studio.
Damon has also been busy recently keeping up with his philanthropic work, particularly in relation to clean water.
Last year Matt launched a campaign for more clean water worldwide in a YouTube video where he breaks up with his toilet to petition on behalf of those in need.
About 2.5 million people around the world don’t have access to improved sanitation, which could include a toilet. Another 780 million lack access to clean water.
In 2009, Damon co-founded the non-profit water.org to address the problem.
If Matt Damon does take on the new sci-fi role in The Martian, he will have to juggle quite a few different film and philanthropic projects in various stages.