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'The Martian': The movie adaptation gains cast members

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(Read caption) 'The Martian' is by Andy Weir.

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More actors have joined an already star-studded cast for the movie adaptation of Andy Weir’s sci-fi novel “The Martian.”

According to Deadline, actor Chiwetel Ejiofor has joined an ensemble that includes Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, and Jessica Chastain. The movie is being directed by Ridley Scott of the upcoming movie “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” who was also behind such classic science fiction films as “Blade Runner” and “Alien.”

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“The Martian” tells the story of astronaut Mark Watney (a role which Damon will take on, according to the website IndieWire), who finds he has become stranded on Mars after the other people on his mission left, believing he was dead. He must draw on limited resources to survive. 

The novel was originally self-published by Weir in 2012 before it was released by Crown Publishing in February.

In reviews for the book, Kirkus Reviews wrote that “Weir displays a virtuosic ability to write about highly technical situations without leaving readers far behind. The result is a story that is as plausible as it is compelling… sharp, funny and thrilling,” and Publishers Weekly found the book to be an “excellent first novel… Watney’s solutions to food and life support problems are plausible, and Weir laces the technical details with enough keen wit to satisfy hard science fiction fan and general reader alike… Weir uses Watney’s proactive nature and determination to survive to keep the story escalating to a riveting conclusion.”

Weir told industry newsletter Shelf Awareness that he was inspired by another space movie when writing “Martian.” 

“I wanted to recapture the thrill I got when I watched Apollo 13,” he said. “It's like MacGyver in space, with billions of dollars of equipment being misappropriated to barely stay alive, and everybody working together, and I just love that.” 

According to Deadline, “Martian” will be released in November 2015.