Sir Ridley Scott has made eight theatrically-released features over the past decade - in addition to producing multiple other films and television mini-series - and is a month short of turning 76, but if he's started to lean towards retirement, you wouldn't know it from his upcoming production slate.
The director and author/screenwriter Cormac McCarthy's cinematic "experiment," The Counselor, is now playing in theaters, which means the press have been given a chance to pick Scott's brain and try to figure out exactly which project is going to happen sooner, rather than later.
Scott's next film is Exodus, a re-examination of the Moses story that has already been scheduled for a December 2014 debut in theaters and features a cast that includes Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Aaron Paul, John Turturro and Ellen Ripley herself, Sigourney Weaver. Little is known about the most recent script draft by Steve Zaillian (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), but Scott has teased before that what he's most interested in "isn’t the big stuff that everybody knows" about the famous prophet.
However, in a more recent interview with Empire, he also says that the film's scale will be "F**king huge" and will include the parting of the Red Sea (brought to life via modern visual effects). Expect something on a par with Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven, as far as the production values and set pieces are concerned (hopefully, the script will be equally up to scratch).
In that same interview with Empire, Scott revealed that "I have already got the next two films ready to go," with Exodus in 2014 and "this science-fiction thing" in 2015. Problem is, Scott's latter comment doesn't exactly narrow the field of contenders, given that he has three sci-fi projects - the Prometheus sequel, the Blade Runner sequel and the adaptation of The Forever War - that've entered the writing stage of development this past year. And, judging by his comment, Scott could even be referring to another sci-fi film.
Forever War is based on author Joe Haldeman's award-winning 1976 novel - revolving around a soldier who travels a greater distance from Earth in order to join the war between humanity and an extraterrestrial threat - and is a project that Scott's been wanting to make for decades (literally), as he had to wait 25 years to gain the screen rights. (There's something appropriately meta about all that, considering the story in question but, moving on...)
Dante Harper (Edge of Tomorrow) was hired to adapt The Forever War into a screenplay last year and Scott informed Empire that "we've finally got a very good draft of that" - but will that project take priority over the sequels that the director has in the works right now? (Short answer: who knows.)
While talking to Empire, Scott reaffirmed that a script draft for the Prometheus sequel is either being or has already been written; in addition, he later mentioned that the second Blade Runner movie "will happen sooner or later." The lead cast members from the last/first installment in both of those separate sci-fi franchises - Noomi Rapace and Harrison Ford - have confirmed previous meetings with Scott about the respective sequels; which, again, makes it hard to determine which is more likely to happen next.
However, it sounds as though Scott is leaning towards making the Prometheus sequel first (after Exodus?), based on this comment he made in the Empire interview:
"I thought I’d left science-fiction for too long, that I had better climb back in. Prometheus was a great experience for me. Chasing number two, we can start evolving the grand idea…"
Whatever your feelings are towards Prometheus (love, hate, etc.), the fact that people are still debating the merits of that sci-fi feature are a testament to it being a worthwhile work of art on some level. Similarly, with Scott coming off The Counselor - another film that is too audacious in style and form for people to react with simply apathy - he's in a good place to continue making visually and thematically interesting sci-fi fare. That bodes well for his next exploration of the genre... whatever form that might take.
Which sci-fi film do you want to see Ridley Scott make next? Let us know in the comments section!
The Counselor is now playing in theaters.
Exodus opens in theaters on December 12th, 2014.