Know Your Ridley Scott Projects That Will Probably Never Happen
"Ridley Scott is attached to direct." It's among the most abused phrases in Hollywood, arising every few months as the nearly 72-year-old filmmaker tacks a new project on to his schedule, both dazzling the world with his productivity and cracking it up with his delusion. Brilliant as he is (or can be), this man is no Steven Soderbergh or Werner Herzog, and today's announcement of Scott's ninth directorial development in three years has Movieline's bookmaking department laying odds on the likelihood (or lack thereof) of any of them seeing the light of day. Place your bets after the jump.
First announced: June 21, 2006
Odds of getting made: 500-1. Scott was originally drawn to the Gucci clan's wild dynastic drama -- the corruption, conspiracy and murder that roiled beneath one of modern fashion's most influential names. A script is supposed to be sitting somewhere over at Paramount, but then the family hinted it might not cooperate, and by this point even Scott probably forgot he was supposed to make it.
2. Child 44
First announced: April 16, 2007
Odds of getting made: 125-1. Tom Rob Smith's bestseller -- about a framed Soviet-era officer who discovers a child-murder cover-up -- will eventually get made, just probably not with Scott, whom Fox 2000 will trade in for a younger, cheaper model if/when it ever gets around to ordering a script.
First announced: Nov. 12, 2007
Odds of getting made: 150-1. Another Fox 2000 project, this one does have a script whose development under Scott was massacred by the writers' strike. It's his kind of story and would likely play well to the Da Vinci Code crowd -- a big, glossy supernatural thriller tying together religion, mythology and Stonehenge -- but the studio would almost certainly greenlight Scott's more recently announced Alien prequel (see below) before it goes with this.
4. The Kind One
First announced: April 16, 2008
Odds of getting made: 1,500-1. Casey Affleck came aboard this L.A. noir around the same time as Scott, who went from producing and directing for Warner Bros. to simply producing before finally heading off to direct Robin Hood (nee Nottingham). Novelist Dan Epperson was supposed to adapt his own screenplay; its status is unclear.
5. The Forever War
First announced: October 12, 2008
Odds of getting made: 50-1. Not to be confused with David Letterman's accused extortionist, source novelist Joe Haldeman's sci-fi classic wound up in rights limbo for the better part of 25 years before Scott Free acquired them last year. (Scott originally wanted to follow Blade Runner with it.) It's a pet project of his, but likely too effects-heavy and expensive to pull off in the current Hollywood climate.
First announced: Nov. 12, 2008
Odds of getting made: 55-1. This would look all right for Scott's next pick-up, except there's no script for it either. Producer Hasbro has money to burn on something a little higher concept than Transformers; it plans to loosely address America's economic quagmire while keeping the board-game brand safe and accessible for all ages. And Scott, who's been kicking the project's tires for years, officially promoted himself to helmer a little less than a year ago. All it needs now is for Russell Crowe to agree to play Rich Uncle Pennybags, and we're off.
7. Alien Prequel
First announced: July 31, 2009
Odds of getting made: 45-1. Studios want brands and Scott wants a budget. If he decides he can get one and make a movie for adults as opposed to a freaking real-estate board game adaptation, then this might be the film for him. The script should be in by the end of the year.
8. Brave New World
First announced: Aug. 6, 2009
Odds of getting made: 5,000-1. Between Scott, fellow serial attacher Leonardo Di Caprio and the challenge of adapting Aldous Huxley's literary landmark, it'll never happen. You'd probably see Roman Polanski direct Atlas Shrugged before you saw Scott call a single shot on Brave New World.
9. Red Riding
First announced: Oct. 14, 2009
Odds of getting made: 50-1. The latest Scott prospect is another front-runner. Based on the bleak, acclaimed miniseries being released here as a trilogy (which itself is based on the bleak, acclaimed quartet of British crime novels by David Peace), screenwriter Steve Zaillian is on the hook to adapt them as one sweeping American crime epic. Considering the mixed success he and Scott had attempting that with American Gangster, it's odd gamble for Columbia to consider. On the other hand, they probably presume like the rest of us that it'll never happen, so what's the problem?