As anyone who’s seen The Martian can attest, Drew Goddard’s script is packed full of laughs, including a crowd-pleasing scene involving some clever Lord of the Rings-themed jokes. And while that scene seems to be going over well with audiences, Goddard has revealed that it almost didn’t make it into the final cut.
In an interview with the L.A. Times, Goddard acknowledged that the “Project Elrond” scene was the hardest to write:
“What was the hardest scene? The one that we went over and over several times was the Donald Glover “Council of Elrond” scene, because it’s an eight-page scene. It’s a really long scene, which is something you don’t normally want to do in screenwriting. You want to keep your scenes around three pages, so this was pretty long, especially for this type of movie.”
Since the scene was so long in comparison to pretty much everything else in the movie, Goddard reveals that director Ridley Scott was adament that it be cut, until Steve Asbell, executive vice president of production at 20th Century Fox, made the call to save it.
“Ridley kept wanting to cut the “Lord of the Rings” stuff because he didn’t think it was going to play, and then I started to agree with him, even though I really liked it,” Goddard said. “And then at a certain point we were all going to cut it, and then Steve Asbell walks in with ‘Absolutely not.’ Now, it gets the biggest laughs in the movie. It gets huge laughs!”
We’re glad the scene was spared, but feel that Goddard and co. missed a prime opportunity for even better Lord of the Rings-themed humor. After all, having Sean Bean, AKA Boromir, involved in a scene with the title “Project Elrond” and not having his character say, “one does not simply rescue a man on Mars,” is a missed opportunity that should haunt the makers of The Martian for all time.
For more on The Martian, be sure to check out our review.