Over the past 48 hours or so, a new breed of conspiracy theorist was born in response to NASA's historic announcement of actual water on Mars. For the purposes of readability, this will not be a discussion on the growing number of Republicans currently disparaging NASA's announcement as so-called "leftist" propaganda (though that's sadly a thing that's actually happening). Instead, we focus on those Americans absolutely convinced that NASA is merely out here giving iconic director Ridley Scott's new Matt Damon vehicle The Martian some amazing publicity as part of a multidimensional plan aimed at securing a blockbuster for the star-stacked film.
In a new interview, Scott (unknowingly?) provides a bit of fuel for both sides of that argument. "I knew that months ago," Scott tells Yahoo Movies regarding the discovery of water on Mars. "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 [NASA] said, ‘Yeah, that the massive white thing [on the surface of Mars] that gets covered with dust, we think that’s ice.' 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.'"
Though NASA's revelation didn't come soon enough to change crucial plot points in The Martian, Scott has no regrets. "I would’ve lost a great sequence," Scott says. "[Matt Damon's character] 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."
Fire up your misguided engines, conspiracy theorists. It's going to be a long (and fruitful?) fall.