August 29, 2014

Ridley Scott Reckons BLADE RUNNER 2 Will Be Made Before PROMETHEUS 2, Should Fox Wait For Him?

Recently, director Ridley Scott confirmed to EntertainmentWeekly that indeed his next film will based on the sci-fi novel The Martian starring Matt Damon. He had updates on his two science fiction sequels as well, stating both scripts for Blade Runner 2 and Prometheus 2 are finished. However, Scott believes that Blade Runner will happen first. These statements sound a bit confusing to us, considering we've been hearing the studio has already set it's release date for March 4th, 2016. Release dates change all the time, but waiting for Scott to complete two films might be too long for them. Will the studio wait for Ridley Scott, or will they simply move production forward with another director?

Fox has a history of being impatient when it comes to their science fiction franchises. The Alien saga is littered with stories of how the studio couldn't be bothered waiting for Ridley or James Cameron, and hired other directors to replace them on sequels. They even tossed-out Ridley and James collaboration pitch for Alien 5, in favor for the disastrous Alien Vs. Predator. They have been more intent on release dates, than who directors the film. I'm sure fans including myself want Ridley to return, but if Scott came back the first time wouldn't have James Cameron's Aliens.

Who does 20th Century Fox hire if that can't wait for Ridley to finish-up two films? There's only two directors that scream Alien/Prometheus franchise to me at the moment. They are British directors Jonathan Glazer and Duncan Jones, both who have dipped-their-toes into dark science fiction stories.

Duncan Jones' film Moon, an homage of sorts to the work of Ridley Scott and more directly Alien, proves he understood the dark undertones of corporate greed that was apart of the original films. We know that Weyland Industries will have a returning role in the sequel, and we would need someone who can convincing portray this slime-ball group properly. I think Jones knows better than most what makes the franchise work and how to the mix the elements, without retreading old beats. The only issue with Jones is that he's already busy with post-production on Warcraft, which is expect to spawn sequels if successful. There is also a bit of speculation circling, that Jones could be called-up by Lucasfilm for a Star Wars film in the future.

Jonathan Glazer (Under The Skin, Sexy Beast, Birth) could be our creative diamond-in-the-rough. He's got a stunning visual style, that does remind me of a mix of Ridley and David Fincher (who got his Hollywood start directing Alien 3). If the script is as good as Scott is reporting it is, anyone could pick it up and shoot it. If not, Glazer is accomplished screenwriter himself and understands the thriller genre better than most. I don't think having Glazer adding his flare to the script would be a terrible thing.

I won't deny that Glazer has a bit of an oddball aspect to his films, that might turn-off fans and audiences alike, but taking director risks is what the franchise is known for. As long as Ridley stays-on as a producer it should go over well with his original vision for it. Glazer's Under The Skin reminded of the of horror creepy elements that worked best in Prometheus, I think he'd have an excellent take on the look of the Engineers' homeworld and their society.

The other side of the coin, is that Fox pushes the release date to 2017. It's doubtful they'd want such a delay between the two films. Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender are still under contract, but it's unknown how locked-on Ridley is if he can delay the production by an entire year. I'm sure Fox will make up their minds soon, if they have a completed script movement might start with or without Ridley.

Granted, it should also be noted the film was always envisioned as a two-part epic, even when it was originally titled Alien: Origins. Having Scott complete it makes a lot of sense. When the film was first readying production, Ridley passed-on the torch to one of his Scott Free proteges Carl Rinsch. The studio actually demanded Carl taken-off the film and Ridley direct instead. I can't even imagine what the film would have looked-like with another director. Rinsch would eventually land at Universal making their ambitious trainwreck samurai flick 47 Ronin.

Should Fox wait for Ridley Scott to complete his other two productions first, and push the release date to 2017? Or should Fox move forward with the completed script and find a new director?

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