Ridley Scott is 79 years old and he has directed five movies in the past six years. He’s the human equivalent of the bus from Speed – he can’t slow down. More than that, he’s making the rest of look bad. In the time it takes me to write an introductory paragraph about upcoming Alien movies, Scott has probably signed on to producer another half dozen movies.
With his next movie, Alien: Covenant, due out in a next few months, Scott has revealed that he’s definitely not getting tired of the Alien series. In fact, you’ll have to pry it from his cold, dead hands.
The Sydney Morning Herald (via Coming Soon) visited the set of Alien: Covenant and saw their fair share of Xenomorph-related action. However, the news here is this quote from Scott, who revealed a certain possessiveness of the science fiction horror franchise he kickstarted with 1979’s Alien and revived with 2012’s Prometheus:
If you really want a franchise, I can keep cranking it for another six. I’m not going to close it down again. No way.
After throwing some serious shade at David Fincher’s divisive Alien 3, Scott also revealed the screenplay for the next Alien movie has already been written and that he’s ready to film next year:
You’ve got to assume to a certain extent success and from that you’d better be ready. You don’t want a two-year gap. So I’ll be ready to go again next year.
Rest? Relaxation? Retirement? These words mean nothing to Sir Ridley Scott, apparently. Years ago, Scott said that he planned to make three sequels to Prometheus, with each film bridging the gap toward the original movie. It looks like he really meant it.
Saving the Xenomorph?
It’s no secret that Scott was unhappy with the direction of the Alien series, which eventually saw the scariest monster in movie history entering a goofy battle royale with the creatures from the Predator movies. When I visited the Alien: Covenant set last year, special visual effects supervisor Neil Corbould was pretty upfront about the director’s feelings on the sequels, telling us “I think he saw some other movies that probably didn't meet up to his expectations of what they should've done.” While the series does feature one other masterpiece (James Cameron’s Aliens, of course), it’s easy to understand Scott’s desire to re-establish himself as the father of the Xenomorph. He’s taken it upon himself to restore order to this universe.
Of course, Prometheus was a mixed bag, an ambitious project whose faults I find fascinating and sometimes endearing. Others were harsher on the film, rightfully calling out lapses in logic and supposedly intelligent characters making truly idiotic choices. The biggest takeaway from my set visit was that Alien: Covenant is intended to be a major course correction, a movie that will please fans of Prometheus as well fans of the original film. I’m hopeful for the direction Scott is taking, but I won’t get too excited until Alien: Covenant opens on May 19, 2017 and exceeds my wildest expectations. We’re allowed to hope, right?
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