Matt desperately tries to remember where he parked his X-Wing.


Matt desperately tries to remember where he parked his X-Wing.

THE MARTIAN

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. MARS

MATT DAMON and his fellow MARSTRONAUTS merrily conduct MARS SCIENCE while engaging in some FRIENDLY BANTER to establish their deep-rooted camaraderie.

MATT DAMON

Hey, Michael Pena, you asshole! I found some interesting soil samples!

MICHAEL PENA

Good for you, douchebag! I can't wait to see what we find on further analysis, you fucking piece of shit!

KATE MARA

Excuse me, twatnozzles, but I'm reading a huge storm heading our way. I know we were expecting a "mild disturbance" level storm but apparently it's been upgraded to "total fucking catastrophe" because that's just how movie sensors work.

JESSICA CHASTAIN

As commanding officer, I'm aborting the mission! Everyone into the ascent vehicle!

(nobody moves)

Oh, er, you jizz-slobbering taintscratches!!

The TEAM rushes to the ASCENT VEHICLE just as the STORM HITS, but MATT gets hit by an ANTENNA and thrown out of sight!

JESSICA CHASTAIN

Goddamit, noooo! This can't be happening!!

SEBASTIAN STAN

You've got to accept it Jessica! Matt is gone!

JESSICA CHASTAIN

No, I mean this crazy weird sandstorm isn't possible given the surface conditions on Mars! There's so much good science in this movie, how can we kick things off with something so off-base and utterly contriv

(drowned out by storm)

KATE MARA

We can't wait any longer! Apologies to Matt Damon, we've run out of time!!

They TAKE OFF and inform EARTH that MATT is TOTES DEAD. However, once the storm clears it turns out MATT is STILL ALIVE!

MATT DAMON

Wow, this piece of antenna in my gut destroyed my bio-link computer, but also kept my suit airtight! PLUS it penetrated just far enough to wound me, without shredding any intestines or whatnot. What are the odds it would find that sweet spot of "unlucky enough to get me stranded, lucky enough for me to live"?

(shrugs)

Of course, without this improbable turn of events there's no movie, so hey.

MATT drags himself back to the HABITAT, digs out the ANTENNA, and initiates EMERGENCY PROTOCOL 1A: VIDEO DIARY NARRATION.

MATT DAMON

(grimly)

Well, I've taken stock and it doesn't look good... Supplies are low and this structure isn't built to last long-term. Also, I've already used up one "fuck", and according to my calculations I can only use one more without losing our precious PG-13 rating. This is gonna be tough.

INT. NASA - JEFF DANIELS'S OFFICE

HEAD NASA GUY JEFF DANIELS is arguing with CHIWETEL EJIOFOR. Their CHARACTER NAMES AND JOB TITLES are helpfully typed out on the screen, a pattern that CONTINUES throughout the movie, in case you miss all the times names get said aloud or are shown on office doors or appear on name-patches.

JEFF DANIELS

C'mon, you really want to make this whole movie about Mars? Mars is box-office death! Or need I remind you of Mission to Mars, Red Planet, John Carter, Mars Attacks, Mars Needs Moms, Veronica Mars...

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

True, but on the other hand, you're clearly set up to be The Big Asshole Who's Wrong About Every Last Fucking Thing. Since you're against the idea, it must be right.

JEFF DANIELS

Good point. So what's next?

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

I've asked Mackenzie Davis to scan the surface of Mars. In the book she does this on her own initiative, but I looked at the script and realized that I don't achieve a whole lot, so I'm taking credit for anything I can.

JEFF DANIELS

(frowns)

Mackenzie Davis? Isn't that character supposed to be Korean?

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

(shrugs)

Yeah, well I was supposed to be Irrfan Khan until he dropped out. And, ah, every other Indian actor on the planet had just stepped out for tea. Yup. Let's go check if Mackenzie's found anything.

INT. NASA - CONTROL ROOM

MACKENZIE DAVIS

Oh my god guys, I think Matt survived! Look, the Rover shifted between this photo and that one!

JEFF DANIELS

That proves nothing. It could have spontaneously gained sentience and driven itself over there.

MACKENZIE DAVIS

And all this stuff moved too!

JEFF DANIELS

There's plenty other explanations for that. Mini-sandstorms, temporally detached superheroes, Martian ghosts...

MACKENZIE DAVIS

And over here somebody drew a huge "SOS" with their foot on the wide open landscape!

(pause)

Or at least, somebody who knows we regularly take high-def photos of the Martian surface probably SHOULD have done that.

JEFF DANIELS

Fine, fine, I'm convinced. Get Sean Bean and Kristen Wiig down here right away! Wait, Kristen Wiig, really? Did Archie Panjabi back out at the last minute?

INT. MARS HABITAT

MATT continues to helpfully narrate into his VIDEO CAMERA just in case a crowd of people unfamiliar with the basic tenets of his mission and with only a rudimentary knowledge of science should ever happen to watch it.

MATT DAMON

Good news, I've managed to grow potatoes in my own shit. In your FACE, Neil Armstrong! Now if I can just make roast beef out of snot and piss in a cup, I can open my own Arby's franchise HEY-OHHHH

(grins)

Anyway my plan is to keep myself alive another four years, then rendezvous with the next Mars mission. Granted, they won't have an extra seat home or extra food or extra fuel, but on the other hand, this is a terrible plan.

MATT begins adapting the ROVER for long-distance use.

MATT DAMON

I can keep the Rover heated with this exposed plutonium, so SUCK my FAT DICK, Buzz Aldrin! The long-term effects will be horrible, but that won't matter if I can't get home, right? Now, if I DO get home, that's another story. As in, literally another story. THIS story will ignore it completely.

MATT continues building things and eating his POOPTATOES for a while.

MATT DAMON

Wait, I've finally realized that everything I'm doing is useless unless I can establish communications with NASA. Maybe I can find an old NASA probe and use that! But it's a big planet, what are the odds something would be close enough, never mind still functional...

(looks out window)

(winks to camera)

Well whaddya know, guess you can just GOBBLE MY BIG HAIRY BALLS, Yuri Gagarin!!

INT. NASA CONTROL ROOM

CHIWETEL and MACKENZIE spot MATT driving away from the HABITAT.

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

Whaaa?!? Where's he going? Quick, get a map! Someone give me a map for fuck's sake!!! I NEED A MAAAAAAP

MACKENZIE DAVIS

We are literally staring at a giant satellite map of Mars at this very second.

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

NO, NOT GOOD ENOUGH!! I need something FAR more precise, like a photo hanging on a cafeteria wall!! LET'S GO!!

They rush to the CAFETERIA and CHIWETEL scribbles in marker on the framed photo instead of doing something more scientific like screencapping the current satellite photo and using MS PAINT. They have a REALIZATION!

INT. JET PROPULSION LABORATORIES

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

Matt is going to dig up Pathfinder and use it to contact us! You guys have a totally accurate replica, right?

BENEDICT WONG

Well it's not QUITE accurate, we added some flashy LEDs that weren't on the real craft. But if you're asking, is it a duplicate of the not-quite-accurate version Matt's using? Then yes.

They use the two PATHFINDERS to achieve rudimentary, time-consuming communication using HEXADECIMAL. Then, realizing that using this method for the rest of the movie would take FOR FUCKING EVER, they send MATT instructions on how to download JAVA FLASH so they can use a chatroom instead.

JEFF DANIELS

Remember guys, we haven't told the rest of his crew yet. We want them to focus on getting home. So avoid that topic with Matt.

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

Roger. No talking about the crew.

(typing)

Hi, Matt, how are you? Remember to say everything you type out loud for the benefit of the movie audience!

MATT DAMON

(typing)

Yeah I'm good how's the CREW? What did the CREW say when you told them I'm alive? What are they wearing? Are CREW cut socks still a thing? Who's your favourite member of 2 Live CREW? How's the interest on my stocks doing, did it acCRUE?

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

Er....

SEAN BEAN

Oh for God's sake just tell him. It's not like he can swear at us all day.

MATT DAMON

(typing)

That's what you think! I can put the camera outside the window so we only SEE me swearing! Or I can type using dashes in my swears! I'm gonna science the s#!t out of this arbitrary PG-13 restriction!! Get ready for a metric fudgeton of censorship dodgeball!!

KRISTEN WIIG

Aw, p00p.

INT. HERMES SPACECRAFT

JESSICA CHASTAIN and the CREW are lounging about their improbably well-furnished spaceship full of heavy, specialized gym equipment when a message from SEAN BEAN arrives.

SEBASTIAN STAN

Ooh, a message! Maybe NASA finally remembered that excess weight is like super awful when it comes to space missions. I hope we don't have to jettison the grand piano or the antique cars...

SEAN BEAN

(on video)

Hey gang. Turns out, Matt is still alive. But he knows it's not your fault. He made it very clear you shouldn't feel bad for being selfish assholes that left him to die alone in a harsh alien climate. Under no circumstances should you blame yourselves for abandoning him like a pack of fucking cowards.

JESSICA CHASTAIN

(frowns)

Matt Damon stranded on a faraway planet... why does this seem so familiar to me?

SEAN BEAN

NO REASON. Now please don't worry about Matt, I'm sure he'll be all right, all right, all right.

INT. NASA - BOARD ROOM

KRISTEN WIIG

We calculate that Matt's tater turds will last until we can get more supplies to him; which in turn should last long enough until we can Bring Him Home on DVD and Blu-Ray just in time for Christmas. So things are looking up!

JEFF DANIELS

I guess everything's going to be okay....

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

Wait, don't--

JEFF DANIELS

...as long as NOTHING GOES WRONG.

(walks under ladder)

(breaks mirror)

(launches production of MacBeth and says "MacBeth" a lot)

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

GODDAMMIT JEFF

(flips table)

EXT. MARS HABITMATT

At that very second, the HABITAT blows open a GIANT HOLE which FRAGS THE WHOLE SHITFARM and WASTES A FUCKTON OF AIR and CRACKS MATT'S HELMET and CALLS STRIKE THREE ON A PITCH WELL OFF THE PLATE FOR FUCK'S SAKE WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT.

MATT DAMON

Crap! My source of food... gone!! Also: crap, my source of food, gone! At least I still have Jessica's awful disco music, which, why was she the only person to bring music anyway? It's not like digital files weigh anything.

INT. NASA - CONTROL ROOM

With MATT'S source of FECES FRIES destroyed, NASA rushes the supply rocket to launch phase, SKIPPING all the safety checks. It TAKES OFF!

ALL OF NASA

Hooray! The rocket got off the ground with no problems, we are 100% home free! Yay! Hurray!!

(rips off clothes)

Nothing has ever gone wrong with a launch at the exact height the rocket is now! Everything is totally super awesome forever!!

(has massive orgy)

ROCKET

Oh my God guys, have you SEEN a movie.

(explodes)

INT. CHINA NATIONAL SPACE ADMINISTRATION

EDDY KO

I see the Americans have failed. Perhaps we should help NASA and let them use OUR rocket.

CHEN SHU

I'm concerned that if we did, our plotline might intersect too closely with Contact, though.

(replaced by Melissa McCarthy)

EDDY KO

Eh, this is our only real scene anyway. Let them worry about it.

(replaced by Samuel L. Jackson)

INT. NASA - BIG PLOT-AFFECTING DECISIONS ROOM

Having accepted use of the Chinese rocket, the NASA GANG meets to decide what desperate, scrappy, third-act-filling, longshot plan they will use it for.

KIRSTEN WIIG

Okay this meeting is top secret. It's important that we're all together on this, and that nobody fuck up the plan by going rogue or breaking ranks. We're calling it the Council of Elrond.

SEAN BEAN

Er...

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

Anyway this is Donald Glover, he's a random JPL dude who says he's come up with a genius yet risky plan to save Matt.

DONALD GLOVER

Oh wow, a featured part in a Ridley Scott blockbuster! After years of toiling on "Community", it's time to show what I can really do!

(pause)

Fuck it, I'll just do Troy imitating Abed. Beep boop! Who are these hu-manz? Blat snortz!

JEFF DANIELS

Fuck's sake dude. So what's your super genius plan? Is it slingshotting the Hermes around Earth? I mean that's the obvious thing to try.

DONALD GLOVER

No no no, it's FAR more geniusy than that! You'll NEVER guess it!

KRISTEN WIIG

It better not be just using Earth to slingshot Hermes back to Mars. This building is full of astrophysicists who have incorporated slingshot maneouvres into space flightplans for decades, you know.

DONALD GLOVER

Okay. Brace yourselves.

SEAN BEAN

(shifts in chair)

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

It's true, a slingshot would be among the first things that would occur to anyone here, so I really hope you have something more cutting-edge than--

DONALD GLOVER

(dramatically)

We can.... SLINGSHOT Hermes... around..... the EARTH.

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

(flips table)

JEFF DANIELS

NO. NO WAY. It's too risky and too expensive and I suck. We're going with my other, far more boring plan. That should settle it, as long as nobody betrays our agreement and tries taking matters into his own hands. All done.

(pause)

Unless... Sean, did you...

SEAN BEAN

OF COURSE I FUCKING BETRAYED YOU, YOU CALLED YOUR PLAN "COUNCIL OF ELROND" WITH ME RIGHT IN THE FUCKING ROOM, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES

(storms off)

INT. HERMES SPACECRAFT

JESSICA CHASTAIN

I just got a coded message from Sean Bean. We're going to get new supplies and go save Matt! The downside is, it means being in space another 500 days.

(pause)

I want to emphasize that: Five. Hundred. Days. So before everyone agrees, let's be sure we fully understand the physical, mental, and emotional toll this will take on us.

(stares at crew)

SEBASTIAN STAN

(pause)

So... what WILL be the physical, mental, and emotional toll that it takes on us?

JESSICA CHASTAIN

(grins)

Absolutely nothing! Let's go!

INT. MARS - MUCH LATER

An EMACIATED BALLET DANCER gets out of the shower with a towel over his head. He begins putting on a spacesuit and then heads to the CRAFTS TABLE so that MATT DAMON can take over.

MATT DAMON

Since the escape rocket for the next mission is already here, I can use it to meet Hermes in low orbit. But first I gotta get there, which means equipping the Rover with everything I need for the long journey: water refresher, air purifier, solar panels. I was going to add a flamethrower electric guitar until I remembered that's the OTHER movie from 2015 featuring words beginning with "MA" that has long drives through rusty-orange wastelands.

INT. NASA

The GANG continue working on the plan to briiing... HIM HOOOOOME.... BRIIIIIING HIM HOOOOOOOME.... (full song available on the "Les Marserables" original cast recording)

BENEDICT WONG

For the plan to work we need to drastically reduce the weight of Matt's ascent vehicle. But I figure he can use his malnourished, frail, scrawny body to lift off the heavy nose-cone and throw out most of the equipment inside.

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

How's he going to drag all that away from the rocket? Surely we're not going to leave everything piled underneath where it could easily ignite and expl

(drowned out by sandstorm)

EXT. MARS ORBIT

The HERMES approaches the planet!

JESSICA CHASTAIN

Damn, we're going too fast! And we're too far away! Time for some hastily improvised last-minute course corrections!

KATE MARA

I thought Troy-Abed worked all this out with a supercomputer and rigorous math though. If we mess with our course aren't we all fucked? Or are we saying his days of calculations aren't worth shit?

JESSICA CHASTAIN

No time to acknowledge any of that! Ignored Norwegian Guy, build a bomb out of random kitchen stuff! Sebastian, do a completely unnecessary spacewalk while Kate makes the same journey INSIDE the ship, and make sure you're untethered to add a totally gratuitous element of danger! Meanwhile I'll get a "Mission to Mars" visual shoutout prepped! MOVE IT, PEOPLE!!

The crew EXECUTE the nail-biting plan but are still NOT QUITE CLOSE ENOUGH to MATT'S vehicle!

MATT DAMON

I know! I'll puncture a hole in my glove and use the escaping air like a jet.

(actual line)

Y'know, like Iron Man!

MICHAEL PENA

Okay look, that idea's stupid. We're trying to stick to mostly plausible stuff, and you wanna be Iron Man?!? What do you think this is, the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase III?

(winks to camera)

SEBASTIAN STAN

(winks to camera)

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

(winks to camera)

KATE MARA

(stares glumly at floor)

MATT punctures his glove, and despite WAVING HIS ARM ALL OVER THE GODDAMN PLACE manages to fly towards JESSICA in her EVA HARNESS! He MISSES her hand, but grabs the TETHER LINE!

MATT DAMON

Phew, that was close! Now they can reel us in...

JESSICA CHASTAIN

IT'S NOT OVER YET!! WE MUST DRAMATICALLY WHIRL AROUND UNTIL WE TOUCH HANDS!!

MATT DAMON

That's not necessary, if you just retract the tether--

JESSICA CHASTAIN

I CAME BACK FOR YOUUUUU!!!! TAKE MY HAAAAAAND!!!!!!

MATT DAMON

Okay, you need a big emotional moment, whatever.

MATT and JESSICA manage to GRAB HANDS, HURRAYYY!! They both get brought aboard.

MATT DAMON

Who wants a big hug from the star of (500) Days of Not-Showering?

HERMES CREW

WE do!

(embrace Matt)

(power-barf all over entire ship)

EXT. COLLEGE CAMPUS -- SOME TIME LATER

MATT sits on a bench and takes a LOOOOOOOOONNNG sip of his COFFEE, but whoever paid for that product placement gets RIPPED OFF because there's no logo or anything.

MATT DAMON

No, actually this is made from beans grown in my own shit. I can't eat any other type of food now.

(smiles)

But otherwise the only consequence of my whole ordeal, which included prolonged exposure to low gravity and plutonium, was nothing but a few grey hairs! I hope the rest of my crew is doing well also. If only there were some kind of montage to let me know...

MICHAEL PENA

Well I'm going right back into space, against my wife's wishes AND all medical and mission protocols!

(gives thumbs-up)

JESSICA CHASTAIN

I'm preparing to rescue you from inside a supernova next September.

KATE MARA AND SEBASTIAN STAN

Um, we had a baby or something?

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR

I'm still trying to figure out how to recoup the 88 zillion dollars we spent rescuing you.

MATT DAMON

Looks like all's well. Time to go teach a NEW generation of astronauts. Anything you'd like to add, random college student?

DONALD GLOVER

(singing)

Troy-as-Abed saved the Maaar-tian!!

END

This script was made possible thanks to the support of Patrons like Agamemnon.

If you'd like to support the site, please check out our Patreon page where pledging can earn you access to an ad-free version of the site, early access to scripts, exclusive scripts, and other cool shit.

Discussion