Sir Ridley Scott is a very busy man these days. Not long after the success of his latest one-Matt Damon opus, The Martian, he professed a desire to return to the Alien universe via the prequel sequel, Prometheus 2. 78-year-old Scott then announced his intention to turn Prometheus 2 into Alien: Covenant, a sequence of three films, connecting the Engineers backstory with the origins of our favorite xenomorphs and returning us to the backdoor of the original Alien. He also plans on following up the long-dormant classic Blade Runner — though as a producer and not director.
Over the course of his career, the acclaimed director has crafted a number of taught thrillers, including his horror sci-fi masterpiece Alien, minor classic, Someone to Watch Over Me, and the less-impressive Silence of the Lambs follow-up, Hannibal. Now, it appears that Scott is considering another foray into the sci-fi suspense realm.
Deadline reports that Scott is currently in talks about reprising the cult classic 1960s spy actioner The Prisoner. Apparently, the film version of the short-lived British series has been bouncing around Universal, with several top writers like Christopher McQuarrie (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) and William Monahan (The Departed) working on drafts. The team behind the upcoming spy comedy Central Intelligence, Bluegrass Films is already onboard to produce the big budget adaption.
Created by Patrick McGoohan and George Markstein and starring McGoohan, the original series ran for just 17 episodes, from September of 1967 through February of 1968. In it, McGoohan played Number Six, a former spy trapped inside a pastoral yet surreal village walled off by mountains on one side and the ocean everywhere else. The town overseer, known as Number Two, doggedly pursues whatever information caused Six to rapidly and angrily depart his espionage work for the British Ministry, continually trying to capture, menace or monitor him. In the classical sense, Six was the man who knew too much to leave.
The Prisoner featured a number of science fiction motifs and psychedelic overtones, including hallucinogenic truth serums, mind-control devices, 1984-like surveillance, a freaky balloon seeker called Rover and the paranoia of never knowing who was friend or foe – since prisoners and guards alike were assigned a number. The influential series was given a new chance at life in 2009 when AMC broadcast a mini-series reboot. The miniseries chose to largely ignore its progenitor’s science fiction tropes, resulting in a watered down and unimpressive reimagination. As a result, interest in revamping the series dwindled, and the film has been floating around Hollywood since at least 2009.
Assuming Scott finds the terms, and the script, to his liking, Scott Free will likely sign on to co-produce the film. With a full slate of pictures, including the upcoming Alien: Covenant, though, it’s hard to predict when shooting could begin. But Scott’s stunning camerawork and skillful abilities to create suspense could turn a well-rounded script into a truly tense spy-fi film and reinvigorate interest The Prisoner.
Screen Rant will keep you posted on Ridley Scott and The Prisoner as news is made available.