Earlier this week we brought you word that NASA had found signs of liquid water on Mars.
We opened a bottle of Volvic in celebration, wondered at the cost of building an infinity pool on the red planet and openly mocked Ridley Scott's The Martian - which features a major set piece that sees stranded astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) attempt to irrigate a crop of plants.
"Never mind Scott! There's no such thing as bad publicity," we scoffed at his now inaccurate adaptation of Andy Weir's famed book.
But it turns out Scott knew about the watery deposits on Mars long before the rest of us.
When NASA revealed the discovery to the world, Yahoo News sought out Scott for comment. "I knew that months ago," said the 77-year-old director.
It turns out Scott his screenwriter Drew Goddard worked closely with NASA, quizzing their team to ensure the film's depiction of science was as realistic as possible.
"When I first talked to NASA, we got into all kinds of stuff and I said, ‘So I know you’ve got down there [these] massive glaciers.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, that the massive white thing [on the surface of Mars] that gets covered with dust, we think that’s ice,’" explained Scott. "And I said, 'Wow! Does that mean there was an ocean?’ Are we right now what Mars was 750 million years ago?’ And they went, ‘Uh, good question.’ So they want to go up there and find out.’"
Scott also told the New York Times that he had seen the images of the water flow on Mars some two months ago, but it was too late to add any new sequences to the film that might see Watney "dig" for a glacier.
"He’d’ve found the edge of a glacier, definitely. It would be fascinating," he told NYT. "But then I would’ve lost a great sequence. He has to make water, and the steaming device, and put up the plastic tents, which creates the humidity, which grows the plants, which is the most basic form of irrigation. They still do it in Spain that way."
Perhaps there'll be a director's cut which introduces the new sequence?
Here's hoping Scott lines up the Prometheus sequel, Alien: Paradise Lost, to coincide with an announcement of discovering alien life.