Ridley Scott has averaged (nearly) a movie a year since the start of the 21st century, and he doesn't look to slow down the pace soon. Case in point, the news that Scott was interested in directing the sci-fi novel adaptation The Martian only emerged back in May; jump to the present and Scott is already in active pre-production on the project for a Fall 2015 release date, even while he finishes up post-production on the Biblical tentpole Exodus: Gods and Kings (which opens this December).
Scott has four sci-fi projects in varying stages of development; in addition to The Martian, there's the Blade Runner sequel, the Prometheus sequel, and the Forever War book adaptation. For a while there, it looked as though Scott was going to followup Exodus with Prometheus 2, but that was before the reports about his involvement with The Martian were released.
As Scott informed EW, The Martian is currently being storyboarded, with shooting - in such locations as Budapest and Wadi Rum (where Exodus was filmed) - on course to begin this November. The movie, based on Andy Weir's novel about an astronaut (Matt Damon, in the film) who is stranded on Mars, is likened to Robinson Crusoe in Scott's EW interview; although he doesn't talk about the Martian screenplay, it's believed that Scott will be drawing from either the draft by Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods) or a revised version of that script.
The director also talked about the screenplays for Blade Runner 2 and Prometheus 2, which were initially penned by Hampton Fancher (Blade Runner) and Jake Paglen (Transcendence), respectively, then later revised by Michael Green (Green Lantern). To be exact, Scott said "they're all written," in reference to all three scripts; when they will take the next major step forward, however, is another matter.
Scott, when pressed by EW, said that Blade Runner 2 will start filming "probably after ['The Martian']." Back in May this year, Alcon Entertainment made an unprecedented public bid to get Harrison Ford to reprise his role as Rick Deckard in the Blade Runner sequel; while that doesn't ensure that his role will be a prominent one, it does confirm that Ford's character is (for the time being) a part of the movie's script.
Noomi Rapace is still expected to reprise her role as scientist Elizabeth Shaw in the Prometheus sequel, while Scott's long-standing claim has been that Blade Runner 2 will likewise feature a female protagonist. A few months ago, Scott took a trip to Australia, prompting rumors that he was there scouting for shooting locations for both of the aforementioned sci-fi features. That is to say, both movies look to become a reality in time.
When, exactly? Well, therein lies the rub, as even Scott has admitted that he's "got a lot of ducks in a row." It would be interesting if a younger filmmaker ended up being recruited to work on one of these Scott sci-fi sequels - offering a different artistic take on either the Blade Runner or Prometheus/Alien universe, in the process. However, for the time being, it seems as though Scott intends to make both films himself; with the scripts being done, though, at least we can now anticipate that happening sooner than later.
We'll keep you up to speed on development of Blade Runner 2 and Prometheus 2. Meanwhile, The Martian arrives in theaters on November 25th, 2015.