You know how Donald Trump says stupid things and thinks he's so great?
Ridley Scott is like that, too.
The difference, other than a couple years in age, is that Ridley Scott is actually great sometimes.
But boy does he make it hard for us to acknowledge that.
The inspiration for this post has nothing to do with Scott's new movie, All the Money in the World, which I expect to see on Thursday night. It has to do with a new interview he granted to the Toronto Sun in promoting that movie, in which he got sidetracked talking about his most famous franchise and said the following patently ridiculous thing:
"There's no reason why Alien should now not be on the same level for fans as Star Trek and Star Wars. So I think the next step as to where we go is, do we sustain the Alien (series) with the evolution of the beast, or do we reinvent something else? I think you need to have an evolution of this famous beast because he's the best monster ever, really."
These comments come on the heels of Fox saying it wouldn't go ahead with a sequel to Alien: Covenant after it was a dismal box office failure. Making them all the more idiotic.
So let's recap:
1) Ridley Scott thinks that his franchise is on a par with arguably the two most beloved intellectual properties that exist. (Arguably. Some of the superheros, and maybe Harry Potter, might edge out Star Trek.)
2) Ridley Scott thinks that the star of his series is the "best monster ever." That includes monsters like Frankenstein's monster, the wolfman, the Kraaken, etc. All monsters that have ever existed.
3) Ridley Scott makes these claims on the heels of fans implicitly rejecting the Alien franchise, really in terms of their reaction to both Prometheus and Alien: Covenant when you come right down to it.
4) Ridley Scott thinks that even if you move away from the "best monster ever" and "reinvent something else," there's something intrinsic to the Alien universe -- perhaps his beloved androids -- that still makes it great. That still makes it viable.
I wouldn't be slapping my forehead so violently if it weren't for comments he made a couple years ago, when Scott was asked his favorite science fiction movies of all time and listed not one, but two of his own movies: Alien and Blade Runner. (At least he had the good sense to bump them down to the three and four slots behind Star Wars and 2001. Given these recent comments drenched in franchise envy, one wonders if he'd be so courteous to Star Wars now.)
The funny thing is, I don't totally disagree with what he's saying. He's definitely in the neighborhood of that greatness. In a piece I wrote for ReelGood earlier this year, which talked about 2017 containing movies that are both direct sequels in Scott's two signature franchises (Alien: Covenant and Blade Runner 2049) and possible ripoffs of those franchises (Life and Ghost in the Shell), I said the following:
"In spite of being a total wanker about his own creative output, it could be argued that Scott has contributed as much to science fiction popular mythology as George Lucas or Gene Rodenberry, Ray Bradbury or Arthur C. Clarke."
It's one thing me saying it. It's another thing saying it yourself. Let others sing your praises, Ridley. And if that praise dries up, then go away humbly and quietly.
If we're draining the swamp of sexual miscreants who use their positions of power to abuse young women and men, can we also drain the swamp of boastful idiots who have no awareness of the tone of their own comments?