What is Project Elrond? ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ Easter egg spotted in Matt Damon’s ‘The Martian’

One of the scenes in the hit Matt Damon movie was a direct reference to the Council of Elrond that took place in 'The Fellowship of the Ring'

What is Project Elrond? ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ Easter egg spotted in Matt Damon’s ‘The Martian’
Matt Damon in 'The Martian' and Hugo Weaving' in 'The Lord of the Rings' (IMDb)
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Cult classics used as pop culture references are not a novelty, but they definitely make for great trivia and add to the fun quotient. With Amazon's 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power' set to premiere in September, the trilogy of movies has been a constant topic of discussion, and these movies were referenced in some of Hollywood's finest movies.

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Take, for instance, Matt Damon's 'The Martian' (2015). The movie based on Andy Weir's bestseller of the same name and directed by Ridley Scott follows an astronaut marooned on Mars, and how NASA formulates a plan to bring him home. The film stars an ensemble cast that includes Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Mackenzie Davis, and Jessica Chastain. While the drama is predominantly on the lighter side, there's one 'LOTR' reference and an easter egg that had fans of the franchise fans grinning away. 'Project Elrond' as it was called was a fun scene in the flick.

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A still from 'The Martian' (IMDb)
A still from 'The Martian' (IMDb)

What is 'Project Elrond and why was it named after a 'The Lord of The Rings' character?

In 'The Martian', 'Project Elron' was the name of the secret meeting between Annie Montrose (Kristen Wiig), Vincent Kapoor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Mitch Henderson (Sean bean), Bruce (Benedict Wong), Teddy Sanders (Jeff Daniels), and Rich Purnell (Donald Glover).  In their plan to save Watney, they decide that one of the best ways to get him back to earth before he starved to death was by using the 'The Rich Purnell Maneuver' that was originally shot down by Teddy. However, Mitch secretly mails the plan to the Ares III crew that goes against NASA.

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In the end, the plan works with Watney pulling off a bit of an Iron Man stunt in outer space. Coming back to the Elrond reference, the meeting is a direct reference to the Council of Elrond that took place in 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring' to decide the fate of the One Ring that was searched for by Sauron. Their final decision was to destroy it. In the movie, Anne is the only person who never got the reference. And for 'LOTR' fans, the good part didn't end there. In fact, Bean acted in the cult fantasy movie essaying the role of Boromir and was part of the council.

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'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power' premieres September 1, 2022, on Amazon Prime Video.

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