Ridley Scott credits Star Trek for expanding the science fiction genre in film, thus allowing him to return to the Alien and Blade Runner franchises. In Hollywood's early years, sci-fi movies were reserved to adaptations of famed novels from authors such as Jules Verne, Mary Shelley, and Robert Louis Stevenson. It wasn't until the '70s and early '80s - with films such as The Terminator, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and of course, Star Trek: The Motion Picture - that original concepts started to take shape and become mainstream.
The surge in manned space exploration during that time period lent credence to futuristic sci-fi films that inundated those two decades. Furthermore, it's what eventually led to Scott's iconic 1982 film Blade Runner. The film, although technically an adaptation of Philip K. Dick's 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, was, by and large, an original story that followed protagonist Rick Deckard. Even though the movie wasn't commercially successful, it was regarded by critics as one of the greatest sci-fi films ever to release. And it wasn't until recently that Scott even considered returning to the universe, something he credits Star Trek for.
Scott executive produced Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner sequel, Blade Runner: 2049, and he's been busy promoting the film's upcoming release. In an interview with Den of Geek, the legendary filmmaker revealed that he never had any intention to return to the sci-fi genre after releasing Alien and Blade Runner, but once Star Trek had "awakened" the genre, he decided to plot a comeback.
"You change over time. At that point I had no interest in ever doing a sequel, that's why I never did a sequel to Alien for another 20 years, and then I thought 'Do you know what, I'd better go back to this.' Because I'd done two science fiction [films], Alien and Blade Runner, and I felt that that was it. That's enough science fiction for a career. And of course, I never realized that the awakening of the science fiction universe, over many, many films, would get so large. You can't thank Star Wars for that, you can thank, God bless them, Star Trek. You've got all that. It's evolved and made another form of entertainment."
It's certainly interesting that Scott would single out Star Trek for expanding the sci-fi genre into mainstream audiences, but it makes sense considering just how influential the franchise has been over these past 51 years. Gene Roddenberry had created Star Trek: The Original Series, starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, back in 1966. Although the series didn't last long on the air, it was later revived on the big screen, and that spawned a franchise that continues to rage on to this day.
Of course, Scott has since returned to the Alien and Blade Runner franchises in the years since Star Trek - and the sci-fi genre as a whole - began to prosper. He's currently in the middle of developing the Alien prequel series, with two more installments in the pipeline, while Blade Runner: 2049 is on the verge of releasing this weekend. If that goes well, the filmmaker already has ideas on how to expand the Blade Runner franchise. We'll just have to wait and see if that happens.
Source: Den of Geek
- Blade Runner 2049 (2017) release date: Oct 06, 2017