SlashFilm is reporting some huge “holy shit!” worthy news. It turns out that Ridley Scott will not only be producing but also directing the upcoming Alien reboot/prequel. Scott, who directed the first Alien film, had originally hired director Carl Erik Rinsch to helm the prequel, but apparently 20th Century Fox had been lobbying hard for Scott to direct.
I almost don’t know how to react; this news has me both excited and worried. Ridley Scott is one of my favourite directors, to see him return to the franchise he started is extremely cool. At the same time, it has been thirty years since the original Alien film, and some would argue that Scott is well past his filmmaking prime. He’s not the same filmmaker he was when he made Alien and Blade Runner. Hell, he’s not even the same filmmaker he was when he made Gladiator or Black Hawk Down.
This is his George Lucas moment, his Francis Ford Coppola moment; Returning to a legendary franchise decades later and recapturing the magic is hard to do. We all know that, we saw the Star Wars prequels and as much as I’d like to forget Godfather Part III, I saw that too. Will his be Scott’s moment to shine or to fail like those other directors?
Scott is a tremendously talented filmmaker though, unlike Lucas and Coppola he has consistently produced above average films for his entire career. As for his recent stuff, Body of Lies was not the greatest movie and American Gangster was mediocre at best — we’re still waiting to see what his Robin Hood film will be like. What do all these films have in common? They star Russell Crowe. I like Crowe, but I really hope Scott doesn’t put him in the new Alien film. I think Crowe’s presence as Scott’s burly Australian muse has hurt the director more than helped him.
I was really looking forward to Scott returning to sci-fi with his adapation of Joe Haldeman’s amazing novel The Forever War. That film now looks unlikely to happen any time soon, I guess the Alien reboot will have to suffice. We should all be thankful though, it’s very exciting to see Scott returning to sci-fi, period.
Update: Variety has confirmed that Ridley Scott will direct the Alien prequel.