With striking technical inventiveness and a rich, varying filmography, Ridley Scott is undoubtedly a true giant of the cinema. Through 24 films, some of which are culturally significant, he has garnered the respect and admiration of both his peers and audience, and to this day is in high demand as a filmmaker.
But with recent subpar movies like The Counselor and Exodus: Gods and Kings, or his foray back into the properties he helped create (Alien and Blade Runner), some have expressed concern that Scott is showing several dwindling signs that hinder his creative talent.
By this point, there is nothing new to be said about George Lucas or his Star Wars prequels, but Scott has recently displayed similar traits that have aggravated and alienated fans and general audiences alike. Specifically, Scott continues to tease several more Alien sequels, pursuing asinine ideas that would give Jar Jar Binks a run for his money, including young CG Ripley and an expanded cinematic universe.
The two are worlds apart in terms of their style and quantity of films, but Lucas’ problems as an artist can be likened with Scott’s current (albeit relatively mild) tendencies. This list squarely regards the undying fascination each has with their already overexposed franchises, as well as the kindred issues that obstruct their potential.
5. Relentless Attachment To Their Successes
With both directors, it’s simply a case of not letting go.
For whatever reason, the once avant-garde George Lucas stopped directing original movies after Star Wars, opting instead to exploit the franchise through merchandise and countless re-releases. He ultimately returned to directing in the 90s for the long-awaited prequel trilogy, before going into semi-retirement yet again.
When looking at THX-1138 or his early student work, it’s clear that Lucas is an interesting director with some far-out ideas. Where the immense success of Star Wars should have given him the freedom to flourish as a filmmaker, it instead gripped him in a creative vice and never let go.
While Lucas’ case is far more tragic, Scott’s growing obsession with serialisation rings similar bells. Inexplicably hell-bent on directing endless entries to the Alien series, as well as threatening a Blade Runner franchise and a shared universe between the two, it’s unfortunate that he will have less time for other ventures in the foreseeable future.
The prospect of franchising also devalues them in a way. Words that we would once use to describe Lucas and Scott (innovative, unique, intriguing, good) do not necessarily come to mind when we hear them hawking elaborate plans for unnecessary sequels. This maybe the name of the game in Hollywood these days, but in terms of potential, these two filmmakers are far above and beyond that.