How, you ask, could the hype possibly be ramped up more? By creating a “documentary” about the space mission with the world’s most famous figure in space theory.
That would be Neil deGrasse Tyson – astrophysicist, cosmologist, Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, spiritual successor of Carl Sagan, meme, host of the wildly successful TV series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, and creator of the StarTalk science chat show. And the man who called for Pluto’s demotion from planet status.
It’s a bit like if Stephen Hawking had done the marketing for Interstellar.
The three-minute “documentary” trailer details the Ares mission, which is central to the plot of The Martian, discussing its spaceflight to Mars and the scientific purpose and meaning.
It’s also shot in the same style and with the same wardrobe as Tyson’s recent and very well-received Cosmos series, with his voice and narrative style hammering home the “authentic” feel.
Among science fiction enthusiasts, the inclusion of Tyson as a spokesperson is likely to generate interest. He is often called upon in the media to discuss the accuracy of science fiction ideas, and is a proponent of expanding NASA’s role and a real-life manned mission to Mars.
In the meantime, sci-fi enthusiasts are simply hoping the movie delivers on its promise.