Producer Svana Gisla said: “We are searching for a wide variety of creative interpretations, captured in the most visually exciting way you can think of, whether you’ve been a hardcore Tramp since ’73 or have heard one of his songs for the first time today! If you have a parent, a sibling, a neighbor or a colleague who has an interesting tale, we want to know about them. If you can’t use a camera or are not sure how to capture your story then get in touch and we will link you up with someone who can!”
After taking a two week break to travel to the USA in the aftermath of brother Tony’s death, Ridley Scott is resuming production on his new film, The Counselor, in London this week, before going to Spain for location filming later in the month.
The Counsellor is directed by Ridley Scott from a screenplay by Cormac McCarthy and stars Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, and is due for release in 2013.
The latest issue of Newseek has an article by Sir Ridley Scott where he talks his famously strong leading ladies. The end of the article also sees mention of his first meetings on his new Blade Runner project.
The lead in my new film Prometheus was always going to be female, like Sigourney Weaver in the original Alien. Then I came across Noomi Rapace when I was watching The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo about two years ago, and was taken with this little punk in the lead who seemed to own the street.
As a protagonist, she’s a very physical woman who’s almost as agile as an acrobat. She’s also got a real brain in her head. No one’s going to be disappointed. It’s odd because Sigourney is about six feet and Noomi is about 5 feet 5, but you don’t notice the difference onscreen. And she sure does kick some ass in this movie. Her character evolves in a very clever way.
Prometheus originated from a very simple question that haunted me after the first Alien, and no one answered in subsequent Alien films: who was the “Space Jockey”—the big guy in the seat? We didn’t know if it was going to be a sequel or a prequel. I think you might not even argue it’s a prequel because it moves so far away from the original.
The evolution of taking the side of the woman, as far as my career’s concerned, is epitomized by Thelma & Louise. The budget was very slender because nobody wanted to make it. I first came on as producer, and I was selling the notion to four or five male directors that the movie should be an epic about two women on their journey for freedom. One director who turned me down said, “I’ve got a problem with the women,” and I said, “Well you’re meant to, you dope!” So I thought that I should direct it myself.
All the relationships in my life have been with strong women, and I think I get on better with them. My mother was a big part of bringing up three boys, so I accepted that as the status quo. Oddly enough, I find it quite engaging to be working with a female when I’m directing. There are a lot of men who feel they’re being emasculated by having the woman in charge; I’ve never had that problem. The stronger the woman, the better for me.
Now I’m working on a project with Angelina Jolie called Gertrude Bell, which is a period piece about a woman who was partly instrumental in seeing King Faisal to the throne of Iraq. And funnily enough, I started my first meetings on the Blade Runner sequel last week. We’ll definitely be featuring a female protagonist.
Prometheus is directed by Ridley Scott, from a screenplay by Damon Lindelof and Jon Spaihts. The film stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Logan Marshall-Green, Patrick Wilson and Kate Dickie, and is due for release on June 8th 2012 in the USA, and June 1st 2012 in the UK.
Arts Council England’s website The Space have made available an early short – “Boy and Bicycle” – by Ridley Scott, and starring his brother Tony, who grew up to be a blockbuster director in his own right.
From the website:
Tony Scott stars in an atmospheric first film by his older brother Ridley, as a schoolboy playing truant for the day in North Shields.
His bike trip takes him from the beach, to a funfair and to a deserted shack, as we listen to his random thoughts (everything from fish shops to women’s hairy legs).
Boy and Bicycle is truly a family affair, as Scott’s father drove the car used for the many tracking shots, while both of his parents make cameo appearances.
Made on an old 16mm spring-wound Bolex camera, the BFI provided Scott with post-production funding, and the film was finished with a score by John Barry.
The BFI went on to fund brother Tony Scott’s first short film, One of the Missing in 1969 and featurette Loving Memory in 1970.
You can see more, including the first part of the late great John Peel’s massive record collection published online here.
So, over the weekend reports surfaced – first on Twitchfilm – that Harrison Ford was in early negotiations to appear in Ridley Scott’s new Blade Runner project.
Being Scott fans, we’ve naturally been following news of the project with great interest, and to try and find some context for this latest bit of info, I’ve had a look back through what’s been reported so far. First of all, until there’s any official news, I’ll assume that the reports are correct.
When news of the project was first coming out, producer Andrew Kosove said:
“In no way do I speak for Ridley Scott, but if you’re asking me will this movie have anything to do with Harrison Ford, the answer is no. This is a total reinvention, and in my mind that means doing everything fresh, including casting.”
Later, when asked directly whether we would see Deckard, Scott’s answer was “No, not really.”
So what are we to make of these latest reports?
Well, Kosove was clearly stating his own opinion on how the film would pan out, but in the months since, as Scott has been able to dedicate more time to the project, clearly ideas will get thrown into the mix, and directions may change. You have to look no further than Prometheus’s evolution from a direct Alien prequel from proof of this.
As for Scott’s earlier answer, Harrison Ford does not necessarily = Deckard. Indeed, Scott has said several times that Deckard was a replicant, which suggests a limited life span for the character. Depending on the on-screen time span between films, Deckard may be long-dead. Could Ford’s role be a human upon which Deckard was based? Perhaps his appearance will be no more than a cameo. Then again, if VFX geniuses can make Brad Pitt look 16 in Benjamin Button, or knock 30 years off Jeff Bridges for Tron Legacy, I’m sure they could give Ford an effective digital nip & tuck.
Finally, there’s Ford himself, who I think is in need of a hit. Indiana Jones 4, while a money-spinner, was critically mauled, while last year’s Cowboys and Aliens was a box-office dud. If Ford wants a hit, he could do a lot worse than return to one of his most iconic roles.
Ridley Scott took a break from post-production on Prometheus to share his views on the best ways to see movies.
Of course the ideal way remains on the big screen, but here discusses home viewing, and thankfully seems dismissive of claims that physical media is dead. It’s a fascinating read, and shows that Scott has a real understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the various technologies available.
You can real the full article here, but here’s a few highlights:
“In my view, the only way to see a film remains the way the filmmaker intended: inside a large movie theater with great sound and pristine picture. Music and dialogue that doesn’t fully reproduce the soundtrack of the original loses an essential element for its appreciation. Simply put, the film loses its power…
“Short of that … Blu-ray disc … is the closest we’ve come to replicating the best theatrical viewing experience I’ve ever seen…
“Technology will need to make many more huge leaps before one can ever view films with the level of picture and sound quality many film lovers demand without having to slide a disc into a player…
“Far from being dead, physical media has years of life left and must be preserved because there is no better alternative. Pundits aside, Blu-ray for the foreseeable future remains the finest technology to preserve the impact and enjoyment of watching movies at home…”
I have to say I agree. I’ve seen quite a few movies streamed over various speeds of broadband connection, and none have come close to the quality and vibrancy of a well-mastered Blu-ray. In fact many that claimed to be HD streams looked not much better than standard DVD. Long live the shiny disc!
We can hardly let today close without wishing Sir Ridley Scott a happy 74th birthday. Born in 1937 in South Sheilds, in the North East of England, Scott begin his journey to greatness in my own dad’s home town, at the West Hartlepool College of Art, before heading to the big smoke of London town and the BBC.
There can’t be many 74yr old directors deep in production of a film on the scale of Prometheus!
If you are reading this, Sir Ridley – and let’s face, why WOULDN’T you be – happy birthday!
Following the somewhat surprising news that Ridley Scott himself was helming a new Blade Runner project, the director has spoken with the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog.
Until now the film’s place in the original’s universe was unknown, but in the interview Scott does confirm that the film is “liable to be a sequel”.
As for how development is coming along:
“I think I’m close to finding a writer that might be able to help me deliver… we’re quite a long way in, actually.”
Finally, he confirms that none of the original cast will appear. When asked if this means there will be no Deckard, he answers “No, not really.” I suppose that sufficiently vague enough to not rule out some references to events in the original movie.
Now that Prometheus is deep in post-production, it may be a while before Scott can give his full attention to Blade Runner, but it sounds like he is making good progress nonetheless.
Do you have any connection to the new Blade Runner project? If there’s anything you’d like to share anonymously, please get in touch!
Things have been a little quiet since it was announced a few weeks ago that Ridley Scott will be returning to the world of Blade Runner.
Now Twitch are reporting that Bourne Ultimatum and Contagion writer Scott Burns is top of the shortlist for the film. Burns seems a solid choice, and both the Bourne film and Contagion were both well recieved, critically and commercially.
Nothing’s confirmed as yet, but it seems that talks are at an advanced stage.
While our main focus here is on Prometheus and the related Alien and Predator franchises, it goes without saying that we are extremely excited about the possibilities of Ridley Scott’s new Blade Runner project, and we will be closely following the project’s path to the big screen.
If you work within Warner Bros or Alcon, or are otherwise connected to the project, please contact us – anonymously of course – with what you know.
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