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Ridley Scott: From Alien Reboot Prometheus to Blade Runner Sequel

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 18, 2011 at 5:37AM

The highlight of Comic-Con, bar none, was Ridley Scott's Prometheus footage. While Fox and Scott are downplaying the sci-fi space thriller's relationship to the original Alien and the kick-ass James Cameron sequel Aliens, there's no question this movie is grown from the same DNA; Scott admits it. The movie is a further exploration of that future world produced with the scale and scope that new technology makes possible. And its ultimate goal is "to scare the living shit out of you," Scott said via satellite from Iceland. Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, and Noomi Rapace star in the film due in June, 2012.
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Thompson on Hollywood

The highlight of Comic-Con, bar none, was Ridley Scott's Prometheus footage. While Fox and Scott are downplaying the sci-fi space thriller's relationship to the original Alien and the kick-ass James Cameron sequel Aliens, there's no question this movie is grown from the same DNA; Scott admits it. The movie is a further exploration of that future world produced with the scale and scope that new technology makes possible. And its ultimate goal is "to scare the living shit out of you," Scott said via satellite from Iceland. Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, and Noomi Rapace star in the film due in June, 2012.

Scott is one filmmaker, like Cameron, who can both tell a story and deliver high-end performances and visuals. His skill set encompasses all the areas moviegoers seek and so often do not find. That doesn't mean Scott doesn't fumble occasionally; he's still a victim of what the studios will actually finance him to do (see Robin Hood). But this man, in his 70s no less, with three Oscar nominations behind him, is still at the top of his game. That's why it's pretty cool that Scott has finally signed on to produce and direct a follow-up to 1982's Blade Runner, maybe his best movie, which influenced generations of sci-fi films to come. But amazingly, the film was so far ahead of its time, so steeped in noir conventions, that it failed to win over many critics and audiences.

Scott is teaming with Warner Bros.-based Alcon Entertainment (The Blind Side) on the film, with Bud Yorkin and Cynthia Sikes producing; they had recently announced their intention to produce the project, but adding Scott is crucial to its credibility, makes it a legitimate successor. No script is in the works yet--and it's not clear if this is a prequel or sequel.

Released by Warner Bros. almost 30 years ago, "Blade Runner" was adapted by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples from Philip K. Dick's groundbreaking novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" and directed by Scott following his landmark “Alien.” The film was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction). Following the filming of “Blade Runner,” the first of Philip K. Dick’s works to be adapted into a film, many other of Dick’s works were likewise adapted, including “Total Recall,” “A Scanner Darkly,” “Minority Report,” “Paycheck,” and the recent “The Adjustment Bureau,” among others.

This article is related to: Directors, Genres, Headliners, Studios, In Production, Exhibition, Production , Ridley Scott, Sci-fi, Noomi Rapace, Warner Bros./New Line, 3D, VFX


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.