It was a good Oscar nominations morning for the The Martian. The film, starring Matt Damon as stranded astronaut Mark Watney, received seven nominations, including best adapted Screenplay, best actor for Damon, and best oicture. But, in one of the biggest surprises of the morning, director Ridley Scott was not nominated for top honors in his category.
“It’s very upsetting,” says Martian producer Simon Kinberg. “We’re all shocked about it for all the obvious reasons. The movie was extraordinarily directed and I thought the best directed movies of the year. There’s no question that he’s one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and it felt like this move was an opportunity to honor that. This movie got a lot of nominations and the film is a testament to his talent and his artistry and his humanity. There’s a lot of his heart in this movie. “
Kinberg says he woke up at 4:45 this morning. “My body was like Christmas morning waiting to see if there was anything under the tree,” he says. “While I’m elated about the nominations we got for Matt and [screenwriter] Drew Goddard and everyone in the movie, all of these people at the end of the day march to Ridley’s drums. I’m happy for all of us and I’m happy for Ridley because he’s now a nominee as a producer of the movie. But I do not know how he could have been overlooked as a director.”
Directors cited by the Academy at this year’s Oscars include George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu (The Revenant), Adam McKay (The Big Short), and Lenny Abrahamson (Room).
The 88th Oscars take place on Feb. 28.