Andy Weir’s debut novel, The Martian, started out as free-to-read posts on the AOL programmer’s personal website and spread like a wildfire throughout the space (and enthusiasts) industry. After his views grew, Weir offered the story of a resourceful and witty botanist trying to survive on Mars as an ebook on Kindle for a dollar. Random House took notice of its popularity and helped it become a New York Times bestseller.
The Ridley Scott-helmed film adaptation was wildly successful both critically and financially and even gave a public relations bump to NASA. The film earned seven Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and Best Actor for the films titular star Matt Damon. Strangely, Damon would win the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedic Film while The Martian would win Best Picture in the same category.
“I’m thrilled to see Matt and Ridley get the recognition they deserve for making such an amazing film,” said Andy Weir “I can’t believe how lucky I was to end up with people like that bringing my book to life. My utmost congratulations to both of them and everyone involved in the production.”
Will lightning strike twice for Andy Weir and his commitment to interweaving real science into an exciting narrative? Hollywood is certainly betting on it given The Martian’s box office receipts and it’s no surprise that Weir next project would be optioned for a film right away.
Andy Weir, the visionary behind it all, will soon debut his follow-up novel, Artemis, about a young smuggler living in and navigating the underbelly of a lunar city. The novel will be released on November 14th along with an audiobook narrated by Rosario Dawson.
Back in May, Fox and New Regency purchased the film rights to the novel, and this week the studio (Fox produced The Martian also) announced that Lego Movie directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller will develop the script and direct what will likely be a big-budget tentpole film.
The pair of collaborators recently made headlines when they parted ways with Lucasfilm after production had already begun on the untitled Han Solo standalone film. Ron Howard was hired to replace Lord and Miller.
Here is the official plot synopsis from Artemis:
Jazz Bashara is a criminal.
Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.
Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.
Excerpt from Artemis:
We don’t have streets in Artemis. We have hallways. It costs a lot of money to make real estate on the moon and they sure as hell aren’t going to waste it on roads. You can have an electric cart or scooter if you want, but the hallways are designed for foot traffic. It’s only one-sixth Earth’s gravity. Walking doesn’t take much energy.
You can read the entire Chapter 1 of Andy Weir’s Artemis here.
Featured image credit: Andy Weir/Facebook
Robin Seemangal is a Space Reporter, with a focus on NASA and advocacy for space exploration for the New York Observer. He’s also written for Popular Science and Wired Magazine. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, where he currently resides. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.