Matt Damon is eyeing the leading role in 20th Century Fox's The Martian. TheWrap has the news, also reporting that Drew Goddard, who was previously looking to direct, has left the project due to his commitments to both Netflix's upcoming "Daredevil" series and Sony Pictures' The Amazing Spider-Man spinoff, The Sinister Six.
The Martian is based on Andy Weir's 2012 e-book publication, which issued a print edition this past February. It is officially described as follows:
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
Damon is no stranger to the genre. Among his recent credits are George Nolfi's The Adjustment Bureau and Neill Blomkamp's Elysium with Terry Gilliam's The Zero Theoreom and Christopher Nolan's Interstellar both hitting theaters this year.
Although Damon is not yet a lock, the plan is for Fox to now find a director with whom the star would like to collaborate in the hopes of pushing the film to a green light in the immediate future.
Simon Kinberg and Aditya Sood are attached to produce The Martian.