Space Movie Trivia and Facts: “Red Planet” & ‘Mission to Mars” (2000)

The opening sequence of ‘Red Planet’ shows a view of earth from space, which was actually borrowed from the Jodie Foster film ‘Contact’ (1997). The only difference in the movie was that they mirrored the images. In actuality, there is no point in space where the earth can be viewed in such a way. Other facts and trivia regarding both “Red Planet” and “Mission to Mars” are found in this article.

Originally, the movie was slated with the title ‘Alone.’ During the pre-production phase, the title became ‘Mars’ until the final title of ‘Red Planet’ was selected.

The majority of scenes depicting Mars were filmed in Wadi Rum, Jordan, which offers miles of desert valley for the mimicking of the planet’s physical characteristics.

Fun trivia alert. It is said that Val Kilmer and Tom Sizemore threw ‘paper, scissors, rock’ to see who would have the honor of saying the only time the ‘F’ word could be used in the film. Since the movie was shooting for a PG-13 rating, only one is allowed. In the end, Kilmer won by displaying ‘scissors.’

The film ran for a total of 106 minutes.

“Red Planet” received a Rated PG-13 for the science fiction violence, brief nudity and language that it contained.

Filming for ‘Red Planet’ took place in a variety of locations about Australia (primarily in New South Wales). Sites included Boral Quarry, Prospect (in Sydney), Breakaways Reserve (in South Australia), Homebush Bay (in Sydney), Mentmore Studios (in Sydney), The Breakaways, Coober Pedy (in South Australia), and White Bay Studios, Balmain (in Sydney). The surface of Mars was filmed at Coober Pedy (in South Australia), while Wadi Rum, Jordan served as the location of filming for the Mars canyons.

‘Mission to Mars’ Comparison

‘Red Planet’ was often compared to ‘Mission to Mars’ since the two movies came out in 2000 and concentrated on the planet as its central theme. However, the plot in ‘Mission to Mars’ differs.

In this film, a mysterious storm wipes out all of the crewmembers of the first manned mission to Mars with the exception of one individual. When a rescue team finds their way to the sole survivor, they learn that the storm was not the average occurrence. Actors and actresses joining Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins in the movie include Don Cheadle, Connie Nielsen, and Jerry O’Connell. A couple of movie trivia and facts regarding this Mars-inspired film include:

·    Interestingly, Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World had theme park attractions called Mission to Mars. Both opening in 1975, the Disneyland attraction shut down in November 1992 with Magic Kingdom following suit the next year.

·    Once permission was given for the Mars Recovery to enter orbit around Mars, Woody Blake says “Let’s light this candle” , the exact words that Alan Shepard (the first American in space) uttered just before lift-off on his inaugural Mercury flight.

·    Taglines used to market the film include: ” Let There Be Life” and “For centuries, we’ve searched for the origin of life on Earth…We’ve been looking on the wrong planet.”

·    Filming locations included Jordan and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.