We’ve made some Christmas wishes recently here at Giant Freakin’ Robot, but I can’t trust this wish with only one mere holiday. I need to use up an entire year of days, or possibly even a decade, in order to make this one come true. For my wish is for director Ridley Scott to go the rest of his career without going forward with a sequel to any of his films. And if my nickname of Ridley “One and Done” Scott would catch on, that would be cool, too.
Scott is currently in production on one of my most anticipated features of 2015 (or whenever it actually comes out), an adaptation of Andy Weir’s stellar sci-fi novel The Martian. It’s a film that fits into his wheelhouse quite well, as it takes an epic-scale story and brings it down to a human level. But just because Scott has a wheelhouse doesn’t mean he’s always successful with the results, and he’s got enough solid flicks on his resume that any project he talks about gets mass amounts of attention. He’s been talking a lot about extending the story of both a genre classic, Blade Runner, and what is already a pseudo-sequel, Prometheus.
Wary folks like myself have been pleased that these talks have remained on a catastrophe-free verbal level, without any deals being made in an official capacity. (At least none that have been reported on.) Part of this stalling out is because he’s got a slate full of projects that he has yet to get around to, and I’m sincerely hoping he makes every one of those films and TV shows before ever seriously bringing another story about replicants or Alien-ish planets to audiences. If he wanted to make a $100 million epic about Tic Tac Toe, I say bring it on.
Because we don’t need another Blade Runner movie. We technically already have like 15 of them, considering how many cuts of the film are already out there. This kind of problem presumably wouldn’t come up again, but that doesn’t justify heading back into that universe. If there’s another story to be told about Rick Deckard, make it happen through a written narrative. Harrison Ford, capable as he may be of reprising any role in his career, is arguably too old for this. Especially if it will take a heaping dose of awkward CGI to bring him back. I kind of don’t care how good the script is.
On the opposite end of things, Prometheus does feature a universe that would be interesting to explore further. But while that first film utilized some truly amazing special effects, it also featured some of the dumbest characters in modern fiction, minus Michael Fassbender’s chilling android David. Any film that reduces Idris Elba and Charlize Theron to terrible accents and instantly forgettable dialogue, there’s a problem. Sure, those guys wouldn’t be coming back for the sequel, but that doesn’t mean whoever replaces them will be worth their weight in good ideas.
Maybe I’m being too harsh here, and it’s possible Ridley Scott’s career still hasn’t peaked. Maybe these sequels would end up being my favorite movies of this millennium. And maybe if they do get made, I will have grown wings out of my back that allow me to fly to the theater to see them. But probably not. Keep on keeping on with original material, Mr. Scott, and my 2015 and beyond will be truly great.