Ridley Scott

Neil Blomkamp's "Alien" announcement on Instagram

Where Are All the New Sci-Fi Movie Franchises?

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Well, there’s going to be a new Alien movie, and for some reason, this is good news. Word broke yesterday that Neill Blomkamp, writer/director of District 9 and the forthcoming Chappie, closed a deal with 20th Century Fox to helm a new film in the sci-fi/monster franchise, and everyone is very excited, somehow ignoring the fact that Ridley Scott’s 1979 original has yielded exactly one good sequel (James Cameron’s Aliens) and no fewer than five more that are varying degrees of terrible (Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection, Alien vs. Predator, Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, and Scott’s own Prometheus). That’s a 16 percent sequel success rate, kids, so let’s maybe keep it in our pants for a minute — particularly as Variety is reporting that the Blomkamp Alien is “separate from Prometheus 2, which Fox is still making with Ridley Scott.” Oh, cool, so they’re making like a whole Alien Cinematic Universe, awesome idea, A-plus you guys. But here’s the more pressing issue: in this era of mega budgets and limitless effects possibilities, why has science fiction fallen so specifically prey to the endless sequel-remake-reboot machine? Where are the new sci-fi franchises?
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The Strange Case of Cormac McCarthy, Screenwriter

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We rarely appraise our most revered literary writers on the basis of their screenwriting. The bald truth is that most great writers never wrote original screenplays, and when they did, they were seldom produced. (Even the crop of famous literary men who dabbled in Hollywood — Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Nabokov, Dos Passos — routinely failed.) Nor do we judge these writers on their adapted screenplays, precisely because these works were adaptations and not originals, but also because Hollywood is a collaboration machine that historically chews up and swallows the solitary imagination, at least during production.
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Still image from "Exodus: Gods and Kings." Seti (John Turturro, background) presents the future leaders of Egypt: Ramses (Joel Edgerton, left) and Moses (Christian Bale).

A Treasury of Dumb Quotes About Whitewashed Casting From the People Responsible for ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’

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Let’s get this out of the way: I have not yet seen Exodus: Gods and Kings, Ridley Scott’s big-budget retelling of the Moses story, and God willing, I won’t have to. For starters, it looks like a yet another dirge-like epic on the order of his earlier Kingdom of Heaven, Robin Hood, and (yes, I’ll say it) Gladiator, a dull slog through the past from a director who works best in the present and the future. But the setting and story aren’t the only elements of Exodus that are tied firmly to the past, as considerable controversy has brewed around Scott’s old-Hollywood decision to cast this story of Egyptian pharaohs and prophets with a cast roughly as diverse as the industry seats at an Eagles concert. And now, facing a backlash from commentators and social media, the people responsible for the movie are in spin mode, prompting a spectacle surely more entertaining than anything Sir Ridley put on screen.
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Flavorwire’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: 50 Gifts for 50 Cultural Icons

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It’s that time of year again: the season of the holiday gift guide. And in keeping with tradition, if you’re looking for a present for that special cultural icon of yours (or just someone who reminds you of a certain famous face), Flavorwire has you covered. Here are our gift recommendations for some of the year’s biggest names in culture, whether they be naughty, nice, or lurking somewhere in… Read More