Ridley Scott Says ‘I Should Have’ Directed First ‘Alien’ Sequels, but ‘I Was Never Told or Asked’ About Them: ‘You Can Imagine I Wasn’t Happy’

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved./ Courtesy Everett Collection

Ridley Scott said in an interview with Vanity Fair that he was never asked to direct the sequels to “Alien” and “Blade Runner,” nor was he even told about their development at the time. Scott reasons that his status as an emerging filmmaker is why he got the boot, not that he was personally interested in directing sequels so early in his career.

“I was slow out the starting gate,” Scott said. “I mean, I should have done the sequels to ‘Alien’ and to ‘Blade Runner.’ You change over the years. At that time, I didn’t want to go through it again. So Jim Cameron came in—and then David Fincher—on ‘Alien.’”

Scott made headlines last fall for admitting regret over letting Denis Villeneuve direct “Blade Runner 2049,” the sequel to Scott’s “Blade Runner” that was released after a 35-year hiatus. The director told Vanity Fair that Villeneuve did “a good job” with the movie, although he’s still “regretful” over the decision. Scott opted to film the “Alien” sequel “Alien: Covenant” instead of helming “Blade Runner 2049.”

“I shouldn’t have had to make that decision,” Scott told Empire last year. “But I had to. I should have done ‘Blade Runner 2.’”

Now speaking to Vanity Fair, the director added: “I’m the author of two franchises. Most directors in Hollywood — certainly, let’s say, at my level — don’t let that stuff go. But I did ‘Alien’ as my second movie, so I didn’t have much choice. And ‘Blade Runner’ was my third movie. So, I had no choice because I had very tough partners. It was kind of ‘Welcome to Hollywood.’ I was never told or asked [about sequels]. You can imagine I wasn’t happy.”

Scott made sure not to make the same mistake when it came to “Gladiator,” his 2000 epic that won the Oscar for best picture. He is behind the camera for the long-awaited sequel, “Gladiator II,” hitting theaters Nov. 22 from Paramount Pictures. Scott also continues to be involved with the “Alien” and “Blade Runner” franchises. He’s executive producing “Blade Runner 2099,” a sequel series to “2049” at Amazon Prime Video that’s set to star Michelle Yeoh and Hunter Schaffer, and producing the upcoming film “Alien: Romulus,” directed by Fede Alvarez.

Speaking to Guillermo del Toro at the DGA Latino Summit last year, Álvarez confirmed that he “had to go through the incredibly tense process” of sending the finished cut of “Romulus” to Scott.

“I wanted him to see it before anybody,” Álvarez said. “And everyone gave me the head’s up that Ridley is really tough. … Even if he didn’t ask for it, I was gonna go there and sit at a table and look at him and get it. Even if he was gonna say, ‘You destroyed my legacy,’ I wanted to be in front of him and see him in the eye. I didn’t want to get an email where it says ‘Ridley says…’ And then he walks into the room and he did say, ‘Fede, what can I say? It’s fucking great.’ … One of the best compliments he said was, ‘The dialogue is great. Are you the writer?’ Yes!”

“Alien: Romulus” is set for a theatrical release on Aug. 16.

From Variety US