Ridley Scott sure is picky for a director who has directed so many movies.
While famous for creating such visual feasts as “Alien,” “Blade Runner,” “Thelma & Louise,” “Gladiator” and “Black Hawk Dawn,” Scott has seemingly exited as many projects as he's seen through.
“Blade Runner 2” is merely the latest “will-he-or-won't-he?” moment in his career.
Recently, Scott dropped some hints about the long-delayed sequel to the 1982 film, but said he wouldn't be sitting in the director's chair. Now, he's backtracking, telling Yahoo, “I don”t know about [not directing 'Blade Runner 2'] yet.” He added that the sequel could be his “most personal” film, and that the present script is “very, very good.”
It's certainly not the first time Scott has been ambiguous about taking on a directing gig.
Here are some of the more interesting projects he never made:
“I Am Legend”
Scott got pretty far along on the pre-poduction process of the Richard Matheson adaptation in the '90s, and Arnold Schwarzenegger was all set to star. Budgetary issues sidelined the film until it was resurrected nearly a decade later with Will Smith and director Francis Lawrence. Scott and Schwarzenegger's take likely would have been very different.
“The Hot Zone”
In the mid-'90s, Jodie Foster was attached to star in Scott and producer Lynda Obst's adaptation of Richard Preston's edge-of-your-seat book tracing the roots of Ebola. Warner Bros. beat them to the punch by fast-tracking the similarly themed “Outbreak,” starring Dustin Hoffman and Rene Russo. However, Scott and Obst recently announced plans to develop a TV version of the book.
In the early 2000s, William Monahan (“The Departed”) penned this script centering on American soldier William Eaton's experiences in the early 19th century war against Tripoli (now part of Libya). Scott was on board, but later exited the epic.
“The Kind One“
Based on the novel by Tom Epperson, this neo-noir was to be set in 1930s L.A., with Casey Affleck attached to play the protagonist suffering from memory loss. First announced in 2008, the adaptation seems to have been forgotten.
“Brave New World”
Yes, that “Brave New World.” Aldous Huxley's timeless novel has been adapted several times before, and a few years ago, Scott and star Leonardo DiCaprio began developing a new version. It fell to to the wayside in order for Scott to focus on the next film on the list.
“The Forever War”
At this point, it seems like Scott's flirted with more sci-fi films than he's actually made. The rights to the Joe Haldeman epic were in tangles for more than two decades, but once they were straightened out, Scott said it would be his follow-up to 2010's “Robin Hood,” and that the busy DiCaprio was again interested in starring. Not much has been heard since, and it feels like we've been waiting…forever.
Scott is one of several filmmakers keen to bring Cormac McCarthy's lyrical, ultraviolent western to bloody life, but he seems to have given up on the mammoth task. Meanwhile, he and McCarthy ended up collaborating on the maligned “The Counselor.” Currently, James Franco is interested in fleshing out his own short film version of “Meridian”.
More recently, Scott has made various announcements about other titles, including a film based on the board game “Monopoly”, and a film about King David. Then there's the Getrude Bell biopic and the football drama he's mentioned in the press. We'll have to wait and see how many of these films actually get made.
Meanwhile, Scott's already-controversial “Exodus: Gods and Kings” will be in theaters later this month, and he's currently shooting “The Martian” with Matt Damon, while developing a “Prometheus” sequel.
If not Scott, who would you like to see direct “Blade Runner 2”?