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Jordan Tourist Board invites The Holiday Place to private screening of The Martian

One of Hollywood's latest blockbusters to make it to the big screen, The Martian, starring Matt Damon and directed by Ridley Scott, features some spectacular footage of Jordan's vast and wild Wadi Rum desert, which in the film doubles as a Mars landscape. No question then as to why The Holiday Place was cordially invited to attend a private screening at London's 20th Century Fox Studios in Soho Square. Read on to see what fascinated us about a very special part of Jordan that took centre stage in the film's storyline.

Jordan Tourist Board invites The Holiday Place to private screening of The Martian

After a courteous invitation by the Head of Marketing at Jordan Tourist Board, Stephen Hurp, two travel experts from The Holiday Place (myself included) attended a very special private screening of one of Hollywood’s most recent and successful productions: The Martian.

The motive? Well, for starters The Martian was partially filmed in Jordan, an amazingly diverse travel destination that The Holiday Place proudly sells and promotes as one of the Middle East’s most fascinating gems with amazingly preserved heritage and captivating ancient marvels.

In the case of The Martian, a large part of the scenes in which the audience sees Matt Damon stranded in Mars, actually take place in Jordan’s red desert vastness of Wadi Rum, a spectacular sight to behold that honestly looks like something truly out of this world; quite literally. No filtering, retouching or computing imaging were needed here (aside the special effects required to create the sand storms), what you see is what you’ll really get if you ever visit this unearthly part of Jordan, so we were in real awe, not only enjoy the film’s gripping plot but also admiring Jordan’s “Martian” beauty.

Before being shown the actual movie, a representative from Jordan Tourist Board briefly introduced us to the breathtaking images of Jordan we were about to appreciate in detail and talked about Jordan’s unique appeal as a travel destination.

In a short clip that preceded the screening we saw Ridley Scott and Matt Damon talking about how choosing Jordan came as natural instinct and how there was no better place on earth that most closely resembles extra-terrestrial territory.

"We shot exteriors at Wadi Rum [in Jordan]. To me, it's the Eighth Wonder of the World. It's incredible. It's only about 100 square miles [259 square kilometers].

And I didn't do anything but shoot it at the right time, from the right positions, then added a bit of red dust to everything. So our film world looks pretty accurate — at least I'm hoping Mars looks a little like that."

But The Martian is not the only film to have been shot in Jordan’s Wadi Rum nor is it the first time that this magnificent setting has been used a backdrop to recreate Martian landscapes. Previous productions like Mission to Mars, Red Planet and, more recently, The Last Days on Mars have also been filmed there, in a place that’s listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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