Here is the Aquaman joke ‘The Martian’ author fought to keep in the movie

Ridley Scott”s adaptation of “The Martian” stays rather true to the novel that inspired the movie. But for you fans of the book about an astronaut stranded on Mars, you may still be wondering about some parts of the book that were altered for the movie.

Specifically, we”re betting you”re curious about what happened to astronaut Mark Watney”s Aquaman quip, Beth”s shocking conversation with her dad, and that memorable first line of the book.

Earlier this week, HitFix presented you with our Andy Weir Q&A about his book largely free of spoilers about just how the movie adaptation plays out. Now that you”ve had a chance to see the film (which opened in theaters yesterday), here”s more of what the software engineer-turned-bestselling author had to say about the movie:


On the book moment he wishes made it into the movie:
“It seems like such a minor thing, but I was really sad that the Aquaman joke didn”t make it in. I did [fight for that]! ‘Come on.” But they were like, ‘No.” They really liked the disco running joke, and that”s where it was convenient and reasonable to introduce the disco joke.”

On how the Project Elrond scene played out with “Lord of the Rings” actor Sean Bean in the cast:
“What”s funny is that”s all pure coincidence “cause the whole Project Elrond thing was in the book. It's not like that was added for the movie cause they had Sean Bean or anything. Ridley was actually like, ‘Well, this is stupid. Get rid of that. Call it something else. Pick some other sci-fi or fantasy reference.” And one of the Fox execs was like, ‘No. That is funny. You keep that in.””

On Beth Johanssen”s conversation with her dad, when she reveals the dark plan for her survival if the resupply for Hermes fails:
It is kind of dark, but it wouldn”t have played too dark [in the film], “cause there”s not a prolonged tension on that. In the book it”s like, ‘Oh, if the resupply doesn't work, everybody”s gonna commit suicide and Beth”s gonna eat “em.” But that only lasts a short time. The resupply came across fine, everything”s great. It wouldn”t have stayed dark for very long. And then there”s an awesome gag afterward where Martinez is like, ‘Oh who would you have eaten first…”

The reason they took it out was because this was all going during a montage in the film with ‘Starman” playing in the background. So they couldn”t have much dialogue or conversation going on with their calls home. They show Vogel doing Zero-G antics and acrobatics for his kids back home. You see a brief conversation with Martinez and his family. And you see Commander Lewis” husband and his antique ABBA album he finds. But there are no deep conversations, nothing that would require you to stop the montage music. Talking about suicide and cannibalism wouldn”t really fit with ‘StaaaarMAN waiting in the sky!” – ‘Anyway I'll eat the crew-“”

On how the spirit of the book”s first line (“I”m pretty much f—ed.”) was captured in the first word of the movie in an earlier draft:
“In the original screenplay, it was actually the first word. It was like you see Mark, wordlessly through that whole scene where he”s got the antenna stuck in his side, that grisly scene where he”s fixing his wound. And then he just goes, ‘F—.” In the original screenplay, that was his first line. It”s just ‘Mark: ‘F—.” Cut to title: ‘The Martian”” So we were actually going to use it within 30 seconds. I”m really happy with that editing decision. I think it was great to put what was the flashback first. But, yeah, I am a little bummed that he never said the line, ‘I”m pretty much f—ed.” But in the end, the profanities in the book are just a seasoning. They're not the main course. So it”s okay to lose them.”

On talking with screenwriter Drew Goddard about the opening scene of the film:
“In the book, they”re all waking up in the morning in the Hab and they”re having breakfast. Originally Drew wrote it so he basically translated that scene to the screenplay from the book. But Ridley said, ‘No, I already did a movie where we introduced a bunch of characters as they”re having breakfast, and I don”t want to do that again. Give me another way to introduce them.” As he was writing that scene, he was like ‘Okay, I want to show a small bit of the personality of each of these characters in their introductions.” [Goddard] talked to me a lot about character when he was working on that scene.”

For more about “The Martian,” now in theaters, read HitFix”s Q&A with screenwriter Drew Goddard.