When Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” was announced with Matt Damon in the lead a few months ago, it sounded like it had a lot of heat and would be next for the prodigious and eclectic filmmaker. And according to writer Simon Kinberg, it is, and it’s shooting this fall (via Jeff Goldsmith’s great podcast). The much in-demand writer’s career—“X-Men: Days Of Future Past,” “The Fantastic Four” reboot, writing and producing a “Star Wars” movie—has really taken off in the last 18 months, and he’s become the go-to guy for blockbusters. What’s his role on “The Martian”? Well, he’s one of the main producers.
In fact, it was Kinberg that brought the book to Drew Goddard (“Cabin In The Woods”), the writer/director wrote what Kinberg calls an “incredible script” and Goddard was going to helm it, but because of his obligations to the “Spider-Man” franchise (he’s directing the “Sinister Six” movie), he had to bow out. Thus, Ridley Scott is directing, and it's full steam ahead for this fall.
So… what does that mean for Scott’s future schedule? Well, this does make things tricky for “Prometheus 2,” which is what we’ve been saying all along. When it was first revealed that Ridley Scott's 2016 "mystery project" would be "Prometheus 2" (set for a March 2016, release date), The Wrap said the ‘Alien’ prequel-spin-off would shoot this fall, once Scott was done with his Christian Bale-starring “Exodus: Gods and Kings” movie.
Clearly Scott’s not going to be shooting two things at once, and sure, he could shoot it afterwards, release ‘Martian’ in 2015 and have ‘Prometheus’ ready for 2016, but that’s the craziest compressed schedule of all time. More and more, it’s looking like what we’ve been positing for some time now: Ridley Scott is likely not going to direct “Prometheus 2,” will exec-produce and hand it off to someone else instead. And look, we realize the whole snakes and ladders guessing game of production schedules and release dates can be silly, but as it looks right now, this is an educated guess that doesn’t seem insane. At least right now, and with no release date shift. Hell, one of his protégé’s Carl Erik Rinsch was supposed to direct “Prometheus” when it was still more of a proper ‘Alien’ prequel, and “47 Ronin” was a total bomb, so there’s a suggestion for you. Dude needs a hit.
The other conspiracy theory you have is that Fox, who never confirmed “Prometheus 2” officially, are actually planning on releasing “The Martian” as Scott’s 2016 film instead, but… well, we’ll see, won’t we?