The findings by officials at America's National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) hit headlines on Monday (28Sep15).

British moviemaker Scott has now revealed he knew about NASA's big news two months before it was announced and was shown photographs obtained by the space agency, but he was unable use the information to change a key plot point of his new movie.

In the film, Matt Damon plays an astronaut left to fend for himself on Mars, and his character uses special equipment to manufacture his own water.

Scott, who previously screened the film for NASA staff, admits the agency's latest discovery would have changed the film if it had come earlier.

He tells the New York Times, "(Damon's character) would've gone and dug in... He'd've found the edge of a glacier, definitely. It would be fascinating. But then I would've lost a great sequence. He has to make water, and the steaming device, and put up the plastic tents, which creates the humidity, which grows the plants, which is the most basic form of irrigation. They still do it in Spain that way."