After months of tantalizing teasers and trailers (and teasers for teasers and trailers for trailers) for Ridley Scott's new science-fiction film Prometheus, the unofficial (or, rather, officially unofficial) precursor to his iconic 1979 Alien is finally just over a week away from its U.S. opening. And aside from rewatching the other movies (except the dreadful, embarrassing Aliens vs. Predators and its follow-up), we can think of no better way to both pass the time and get even more pumped than by perusing The Book of Alien, released today by Titan Books. Originally published in '79 as an official tie-in to the first movie, this slim but oversized tome written by Michael Gross and Paul Scanlon eschews hyperbole for a journalistic (albeit authorized by the studio) narrative about the conception and creation of a future classic -- a status that nobody interviewed within its pages could've anticipated at the time. If you care at all about Alien, or are simply curious about Prometheus, here's why it's worth a look:
Twenty years ago, the news that Ridley Scott was going to be revisiting the futuristic world he created in Blade Runner would have been met with hosannas by that 1982 film's passionate fanbase. But after two decades, too many "director's cuts," an overabundance of disappointing prequels/reboots/spin-offs of other seminal sci-fi movies and Scott's own spotty recent track record (Robin Hood or Body of Lies anyone?), it's hard to view this as anything other than a bad idea. Nevertheless, there's still a chance that a trip back to the Blade Runner universe could yield something good or even great. We humbly offer a few suggestions on how to avoid a Phantom Menace-like backlash.
Director Ridley Scott recently announced that he was about to begin work on a prequel to one of his most popular films, the sci-fi/horror/genre-defining movie Alien. While we can't deny that we'd love to see a good Alien movie, a prequel seems like the wrong way to go, since Sigourney Weaver's Ripley, the fan-favorite character from the series, couldn't be in it, and to show where exactly the xenomorphs come from would take all of the mystery out of them. We came up with a list of genre films that need prequels -- good ones -- more than Alien does, starting with another Ridley Scott film...
I'm still really confused as to why they hired Sienna Miller -- a blonde, freckled British girl -- to play the raven-haired, Eastern European killer the Baroness in the new G.I. Joe movie. She's pretty, sure, but dark-haired women are pretty, too -- why not give one of them a chance to play one of the all-time dark-haired icons? Sunny, blonde British girls should play sunny, blonde British parts, like...oh, I don't know, maybe Maid Marion in Ridley Scott's Robin Hood movie?
Apparently, everything we know about Robin Hood is wrong, or so Ridley Scott would have us believe. Sure, there are hundreds of different versions of the Robin Hood myth, and Scott himself recently directed a documentary on the myth's origins, but Scott's feature-film take introduces us to a completely different Robin, one with a different last name and a different path to folk-hero status. And you know what? I like this one better.
Hold off on that diet shake and collagen injections: an actress was recently fired for being too thin and too young. Sienna Miller was reportedly released from Ridley Scott's Robin Hood movie because she proved to be too lissome a Maid Marian to the considerable bulk that is Russell Crowe. Reportedly (there's that word again), it was Crowe himself that demanded the cast change. One insider is said to have put it thusly regarding potential love scenes: "He's so old and fat, and she's so young and gorgeous. It's just... gross." So now they're looking for an actress with a few more years on her... and who doesn't look as though she'd snap like a piece of driftwood under the flailings of a bull elephant seal. Here are just a few suggestions for possible replacements.
Variety came out today with news that Ridley Scott has just cast Casey Affleck in the new Warner Brothers film The Kind One, based on a novel by Tom Epperson. Affleck (the younger) who most recently played the part of Patrick Kenzie in his brother's directorial debut Gone Baby Gone, will star as an amnesiac living in 1930s Los Angeles who finds himself working for a mobster and falling in love with the baddie's girl. I did a cursory ancestry.com check and found no familial ties between the director and his lead, so it appears as though Affleck, who's best known as a Hey! It's that Guy in Good Will Hunting and the Ocean's films, scored the part without the help of nepotism. (To be fair, he did win critical acclaim and an Oscar nod for his part in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, though no word is out yet on the involvement of Damon/Affleck (the elder) friend, Brad Pitt.)
Scott, a three time Oscar nominee, who was a producer on The Assassination of Jesse James... had not yet at press time decided whether or not the period noir drama would be an entertaining commercial success (Gladiator, American Gangster) or a self-indulgent therapy session (A Good Year). Being that noir dramas have been Oscar-bait in the last decade, we can all hope it's the former. Similarly, theater workers who still have to manually put up marquees, are just hoping that the name doesn't get any longer like the duo's last joint project.
Here at the Moviefile, we've been musing for a couple of months over the possibility of Russell Crowe playing both Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham in Nottingham, Ridley Scott's re-imagined tale of the woodsy Prince of Thieves. Some of us even rooted for Crowe to don a frock and play Maid Marian, too. The world is ready for a huskier, hirsute Marian, don't you think? While we're at it, just have him play all the merry men, too. Sadly, dreams of an all-Crowe cast are being dashed by producer Brian Grazer, who has just revealed that Crowe won't even be playing the Sheriff of Nottingham, after all. Well, not really.
No, I don't mean that Ridley Scott is going to direct a movie so bad that it will make the sure-to-be-cheesy adaptation of the real estate board game Monopoly look like Blade Runner in comparison. I mean that Ridley Scott, the director of Blade Runner and Alien, who was on the verge of redeeming himself as a geek auteur with adaptations of Robin Hood and The Forever War, is now signed on to direct the Monopoly movie, and he wants to make it look like Blade Runner. Which makes sense, because you'd have to travel pretty far into the future to find a way to make the housing market exciting again. (Or maybe he's going for dystopic?)
There have been many rumors about who would play Robin Hood in Ridley Scott's upcoming Nottingham. Scott needed someone who could match wits with Russell Crowe as the Sheriff of Nottingham, and the latest rumor is that Scott finally found someone who fits the bill: Russell Crowe. [I haven't seen casting that inspired since Jean-Claude Van Damme played twins in Double Impact! - Zach]