Do Fox And Sir Ridley Scott Disagree About The ALIEN Prequel??
Published at: Oct. 1, 2010, 11:11 a.m. CST by merrick
Earlier in the week, we learned that Arthur Max, longtime Production Designer for Sir Ridley Scott, was holed up in Pinewood designing Sir Ridley's forthcoming ALIEN prequel. You can find more on that matter HERE.
Yesterday, I posted a trailer for SKYLINE - a new movie from The Brothers Strause - who brought us AvP: REQUIEM. In that piece, I alluded to the inherent difficulty of jumping into a big franchise, and how troubling it can sometimes (often?) be to make pictures at Fox (the Strauses faced both obstacles on AvP: R). SKYLINE details HERE.
Now, unfortunately, it seems these two factors may be colliding in a way that's causing trouble for the ALIEN prequel mentioned above. THIS report at SkyMovies says that Sir Ridley and Fox are at odds over the film's budget and target rating. Scott's said to be looking for an enormous budget of around $250 million and and a hard rating (i.e. "R") - Fox wants the title to have a softer rating and considerably less budget. And, until these misalignements are worked out, seems the production is "stalled."
Well, I'll be the first to express my disdain for many decisions made by Fox over the last two decades...but with today's production capabilities...and with today's technology...$250 million for an ALIEN movie does seem like A LOT of fucking money. UNLESS Scott was planning to shoot two ALIEN movies sequentially or concurrently (a notion that has been rumored), at which point $250 million still seems high - but not altogether irrational. It's hard to know how to fully assess the situation without being clear on Scott's plans or intentions.
As for that rating matter? I've talked about this a billion times and this conversation gets old quickly. There is a quantifiable difference in the "vibe" of a PG-13 movie compared to an R rated film. The studios spin their PG-13 preference as a matter of economy - amidst that argument it's easy to lose sight of the fact that PG-13 -vs- R is also artistic consideration/dictation, one which would almost certainly rub Scott the wrong direction. It's not just a matter of who can see the movie, it's pointedly an issue of exactly what movie a filmmaker is allowed to make. Obvious? Yes. But it's often an overlooked factor in theses discussions. Which bodes the question - why work with a filmmaker like Ridley Scott if you're not going to let him make the movie (thematically, atmospherically) he's interested in making?
This said - the PG-13 rated AvP made north of $172 globally. REQUIEM, it's R rated sequel, made close to $129 million. Was this difference really due to the film's ratings? What other factors played into the imbalance? Hard to tell - and a very tricky matter to mull.
In the meantime, I'm really hoping Scott -vs- Fox gets worked out equitably and quickly. I'm looking forward to seeing Sir Ridley revisit his old stomping ground with a considerably more seasoned approach, and a fresh perspective. Also, all indications point towards Scott & Co. wanting to make a "real" Science Fiction film to boot. For which we're long overdue, and this one could really be something to behold.
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