Man, is this guy trying to work himself to death? Seems like Mr. Ridley Scott never met a project he doesn’t like, even just looking the list of stuff he’s got In Development is exhausting! Don’t get me wrong, I have a ton of respect for the man, I mean after all he made one of my all time favorite movies Gladiator, but it’s possible the guy is a tad too prolific? In any case, IMDb lists no less than 18 projects where he might be involved in some capacity, whether directing or producing under his ScottFree production company (with his brother Tony). So, with Robin Hood‘s release in two weeks (May 14), I wonder what he’ll tackle next.
Below is a quick summary of ten of those projects (in alphabetical order), whether or not they’ll see the light of day remains to be seen:
1. Alien Prequel
MTV recently sat down with the 73-year-old director about the prequel to his sci-fi blockbuster, and this is what he has to say:
- The prequel script is on a fourth draft
- Set in 2085, about 30 years before Ellen Ripley [Sigourney Weaver‘s character], but not sure if Weaver will be involved in this one, even as a voice-only role
- The plot is about finding out who the guy who was sitting in the chair in the alien vehicle, the “space jockey.”
- It will involve the discussion of terraforming — taking planets and planetoids and balls of earth and trying to terraform, seed them with the possibilities of future life
- It’ll be a stand-alone piece, so seeing other Alien films is not a pre-requisite to understand the new one
- Hoping to hit theaters late 2011 or 2012.
2. Pompeii four-hour miniseries
Based on Robert Harris’ best-seller of the same name, it’s billed as “… a thriller about the race to survive the looming disaster of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in ancient Italy.” (The Wrap). According to CinemaBlend, this project was previously developed by none other than Roman Polanski 3 years ago, but it fell apart even before the director’s legal troubles. Reportedly Scarlett Johansson and Orlando Bloom were cast as the doomed residents trying to escape the wrath of Mt. Vesuvius. “Pompeii is a strong and compelling character drama set against a backdrop of a flourishing but ultimately doomed civilization – exactly what makes great event television.” Scott says. Well, if anything it’s kinda timely now given the Ejjgkaljakull’s eruption that’s still going on in Iceland.
3. Brave New World
According to Reuters, Leonardo DiCaprio is set to star, who interestingly enough owned the film rights under his production company, Appian Way. It’s based on Aldous Huxley’s dystopian-themed novel Brave New World, which takes place in a seemingly perfect 26th century world that has achieved harmony by tightly controlling birth, which takes place mainly in laboratories, and outlawing family. The world is populated by a series of five castes, each with its own defined roles. Universal studios has brought Apocalypto writer Farhad Safinia to pen the script.
4. Child 44
Set in Stalinist Russia, Child 44 is a political thriller about the inner workings and defects of Communism as seen through the eyes of a KGB officer who gets involved in the case of a serial killer who murders children. This European film news site reported back in 2008 that Scott has paid a visit to Hungary for location scouting and found locations to stand in for 1950’s Soviet Union. No cast or other info have been released yet.
5. Forever War
Yet another sci-fi epic that’s also based on a novel by Joe Haldeman released in 1974. Book revolves around a soldier who battles an enemy in deep space for only a few months, only to return home to a planet he doesn’t recognize some 20 years later. (Variety) This is what he says about the plot: “It’s a science-fiction epic, a bit of The Odyssey by way of Blade Runner, built upon a brilliant, disorienting premise.” Guardian reports back in Oct 08 that it might be Scott’s new project right after Robin Hood (then called Nottingham), though obviously Scott’s been distracted by a whole bunch of other stuff in the last couple of years 🙂
6. Gucci Biopic
Not satisfied with sci-fi and swords & sandals epic, Scott is reportedly looking to tackle a biopic centering on the founder of the Gucci fashion empire (Screencrave). The film will focus on Italian businessman Maurizio Gucci and his turnaround of the Gucci empire during the 1980s before he was murdered in a plot executed by ex-wife, Patrizia. And the cast Scott had in mind? Leonardo DiCaprio (again) as Maurizio, with Angelina Jolie as Patrizia. Well, I can certainly see Jolie playing such a character, and they both look Italian enough to pull this off.
Now, I’m not going to go as far as SlashFilm in calling it the worst idea ever, but I got to admit it is rather bizarre. But just yesterday, NY Mag posted an article whereScott attempts to convince people he hasn’t gone insane and explain that what he’s got in mind is that he “… decided to make a comedy about a Donald Trump–type character and his dealings with equally vicious real-estate tycoons: “It’s about greed … Greed becomes, hopefully, hysterically funny.” O-kay. Oh, and get this: “I always liked films like ‘Trading Places’ with Eddie Murphy. I’m not saying it’s like that, but it’s somewhere around that route.” Wow, I’d never guess that about him, but this idea just sounds nutty enough it might actually work, no?
8. The Passage
Ok, so now Mr. Scott is after yet another genre: vampire. Well I suppose with Twilight, True Blood being so popular, who blames him for wanting to join the bandwagon? Variety said he might be bringing screenwriter John Logan, his collaborator on Gladiator who also wrote The Aviator & Last Samurai. The Justin Cronin vampire novel is terminally ill patients become healthy after they are bitten by bats in South America, and the government conducts secret tests on human subjects to see if the virus can cure illness. The result is an apocalyptic unleashing of bloodthirsty vampire test subjects that include death row inmates. Scott’s never done a vampire flick before, but with Logan on board, who knows it might actually be decent.
9. Red Riding
I talked about this one back in January when I featured the Red Riding trailer. So it’s going to be a remake of the UK Channel 4’s crime trilogy. This time he’s reportedly going to be working with Oscar-winning writer Steve Zaillian (Schindler’s List, American Gangster) to “… to relocate the story from Yorkshire to a run-down industrial state such as Pennsylvania” (Guardian). The TV show (or miniseries I should say), was well received here in the US. The Guardian article says, “…film historian David Thomson caused a stir at the recent Telluride Film Festival by writing in the festival program that Red Riding was “better than The Godfather.” WOW.
10. Untitled Reagan/Gorbachev Projects
Now, this one definitely sounds intriguing, though he might have to rethink the filming location in light of Eyjafjallajökull’s volcanic eruption. BBC news reported that Scott’s been scouting locations in Reykjavik, Iceland as the movie will focus on the 1986 arms control summit that took place in that city. He did obtained permission to use the historic house where the summit took place. Apparently there’s already a TV movie Breakthrough at Reykjavik in 1987 where actors Robert Beatty and Timothy West played Reagan and Gorbachev respectively. Casting might be tricky for this one.
Of course there’s also reports that Scott is interested in the Robin Hood sequel, as he tole Times Online that he’s a huge fan of the genre. But I’d think it’s premature talk as it remains to be seen if this flick will be a blockbuster the way Gladiator was. Out of all these, I’d like to see him work on the Pompeii series, Brave New World, and Forever War, the last two sounds epic and it’s a genre we know he can handle really well.
So what do you think folks? Which of these possible Ridley Scott projects appeal to you?