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The Book and the Movie are very similar in many ways but they do have some key differences, including but not limited to:

Rescue

  • In the novel, when Watney is rescued, he mentions that if this were a Hollywood movie, the entire crew would gather in the airlock and high-five each other. This is exactly what happens at the end of the movie.
  • In the book, the Iron Man reference is a throw-away joke that never comes to fruition but in the movie the whole dramatic (and visually stunning) ending sequence is based around the idea of Mark puncturing his suit and whizzing around space.
  • In the book Chris Beck is the one to go outside and grab Mark because he's not just a doctor he's also the team's EVA Specialist and Lewis should have stayed inside and commanded her ship but in the movie she gets a sense of closure by going out and saving the guy who was her responsibility and who she left on Mars.
  • The book does not show what happens once they get back to Earth whilst the movie shows Mark's new teaching job, Chris and Beth's new baby and Martinez piloting (and probably commanding) what is thought to be ARES IV.

Differences

  • In the movie when finding out that the crew didn't know Mark was alive Mark sent them an inappropriate message that was not shown. In the published book it said :

"Look! A pair of boobs -> ( .Y . )"
In the original self-published copy of the book it was supposed to be something about felching. There is a reference that this was considered to be included in the movie because a 'behind the scene' moment where Jeff Daniels explains felching to Kristen Wiig (Annie Montrose) (although most of it is bleeped out {and if you know what felching is} for obvious reasons).

  • In the book Vincent Kapoor is called Venkat and is fully Hindu and not a half Hindu and half baptist African-American man named Vincent like in the movie.
  • In the book it is generally agreed upon that Mindy Park is Korean because that is how author Andy Weir imagined her. However this is never explicitly stated in the book meaning that this doesn't really count as a difference but either way this is not the case in the movie. For more information about Mindy Park <click on that link.
  • In the book Mark was stranded on Sol 6 but in the movie they chose Sol 18 instead. This was because Ridley Scott and/or Drew Goddard did not believe that the 6 astronauts could produced enough waste for Mark's soil in 6 days.

Missed Out

  • In the movie Mark never shorts out his drill and breaks the Pathfinder and so never loses communications with earth.
  • The movie missed out the part where he has to navigate the Martian sand storm heading Mark's way whilst he's on his road trip on the way to the Ares IV MAV.

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