Legendary director Ridley Scott suggests in a new interview that he’d never be asked to take on a Star Wars movie because he’s “too dangerous” – a not so subtle swipe at the growing belief that Disney’s franchise filmmaking process is too creatively restrictive.
Scott is one of the most celebrated directors his generation. He made his name with the original Alien film in 1979 and has been churning out hits – as well as a fair number of misses – ever since. 2017 saw him revisit two of his greatest works, with the sequels Alien: Covenant and Blade Runner 2049, the latter of which was directed by Denis Villeneuve with Scott serving as a producer. He also pulled off one of the more impressive technical film feats of all time; after Kevin Spacey was embroiled in a sexual misconduct scandal, the decision was made to edit the actor out of Scott’s All The Money In The World. He was replaced in reshoots by Christopher Plummer, and by most accounts the eleventh hour replacement of a major character is essentially seamless.
Scott is just as well known for his gruff, opinionated nature as he is for his talent. That blunt sensibility cropped again in an interview with Vulture, where the director was asked if he’d ever been approached to direct a Star Wars film by Disney, to which he replied no, because he’s “too dangerous.” Scott went on to lament the current studio system that elevates young indie directors who are ostensibly unprepared for the herculean task of making a $150 million blockbuster.
There’s some merit to the argument Scott is making about the studio’s franchise filmmaking system that has begun to minimize the artistic influence of its directors, but Star Wars is probably the wrong target. J.J. Abrams was not exactly some wide eyed indie filmmaker when he made The Force Awakens, and Rian Johnson not only had few creative restrictions on The Last Jedi beyond playing off what occurred in The Force Awakens. Johnson has even now been given a spinoff trilogy to explore an uncharted corner of the Star Wars universe.
The notion of studio meddling is nothing new, though it’s perhaps been heightened somewhat in the Marvel era, where studio head Kevin Feige’s vision takes precedent over any single director. But despite the well publicized issues with Rogue One and Solo: A Star Wars Story, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has yet to show that level of creative restriction with Star Wars.
Scott also seems to suggest he’s simply too experienced and creatively audacious to work within the franchise sensibilities of the big studios. The fact that we exist in a world where Quentin Tarantino is apparently going to direct an R-rated Star Trek movie makes that particular line of argument seem, well, more than a little silly.
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