‘The Martian’ screenwriter Drew Goddard dishes Oscar nomination and working with Ridley Scott (Exclusive Video)

“It was surreal,” admits Drew Goddard during our recent webcam interview (watch above) as we talk about his Oscar nomination for “The Martian” screenplay. “When I was growing up in New Mexico it actually seemed easier to go to Mars than to go to the Oscars.”

Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions

As proven by the picture, while it may be easy getting to Mars coming back is no cakewalk. Based on the bestselling novel by Andy Weir, this 3D epic tells the story of an astronaut (Matt Damon) who must use ingenuity and optimism to survive after he is stranded on the red planet.

The film gave Goddard, an avid sci-fi fan, the opportunity to work with one of the defining filmmakers of the genre, Ridley Scott. “One of the things that’s fun is that when people ask me what it’s like to work with Ridley, I can just point to ‘The Martian’ and say, ‘that’s what it’s like.’ If you look at the sort of warmth and compassion and camaraderie amongst colleagues, that’s what Ridley Scott’s set is like.”

This in-demand scripter reveals, “I try to only work on projects that speak to me emotionally and that I love and that makes the hard parts easy.” During our chat, he spoke in-depth about the adaptation process, which demands making many difficult choices. “With any adaptation, you have to make hard decisions. You’re going to have to cut things that you love, and it helps if you can build around a central idea and give yourself a spine.”

Goddard has already won the National Board of Review award for Best Adapted Screenplay and contends at both the Writers Guild and USC Scripter prizefests. As part of the team of "Lost" writers, he shared in the 2005 WGA Award for Best Drama Series and contended in that category twice more (2006, 2008) as well as in 2007 with Damon Lindelof for their script "Flashes Before Your Eyes." 

Dish all the Oscar races in our red-hot forums with Hollywood insiders

What do you think will win Best Adapted Screenplay? Make your Oscar predictions using the menu to the right or below. 

You'll compete to win our contest prizes for best picks — $500 (first place), $300 (second place) and $200 (third place) in Amazon gift certificates — a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's Oscar nominations). Be sure to read our contest rules.

Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.

More News from GoldDerby

Loading