What Ridley Scott Regrets About Alien

Ridley Scott’s 1979 Alien is a horror and science fiction classic. Constantly aped, but never topped, it remains influential to this very day, and has spawned sequels, prequels, and spinoffs everywhere from movies to comics to video games. As successful as the franchise has been, however, there’s one regret that Scott has, he wishes he’d maintained a tighter grip.

The 77-year-old director is hard at work on his follow up to Prometheus, now titled Alien: Paradise Lost. Talking to IGN, The Martian helmer revealed that he wishes he hadn’t let other filmmakers get their hands on the property. He said:

I let the other one [Alien] get away from me – I shouldn’t have…

While some of the subsequent sequels haven’t been particularly grand, especially the woeful Alien Vs. Predator films, James Cameron’s addition to the franchise, 1986’s Aliens, is certainly a worthy successor. That film is definitely more of an action flick (a James Cameron movie trending towards action? Crazy, I know), but it still maintains the much of the tension, and is just as totally badass as its predecessor.

With both 2012’s Prometheus and Alien: Paradise Lost, which is expected to begin production as early as February 2016, Ridley Scott is working his way back, story wise, to Alien. He hasn’t provided a ton of specifics, but in the marketing blitz leading up to The Martian, he did have a lot to say. That’s where we learned that the film is no longer called Prometheus 2, making the connection to Alien that much more explicit. Scott also teased links to franchise lead Ellen Ripley, one of the great sci-fi characters of all time, played so wonderfully by Sigourney Weaver, and revealed that there are multiple more movies in the works.

As the home of one of the most horrific, terrifying movie monsters ever put on celluloid, the H.R. Giger-designed Xenomorphs, Scott also promised that the upcoming cinematic slate will dig into one of the biggest questions posed by the Alien franchise over the years: "Who would create such a dreadful thing?"

We could easily sit back and play the "What If?" game, wondering what it would be like if Ridley Scott had served at the helm of all of the Alien movies. Prometheus, though a gorgeous film to look at, is problematic to say the least, and wasn’t as well received as many of us hoped. But The Martian was awesome, and as he’s doubling down in the genre, it’s hard not to get excited about Ridley Scott making another science fiction movie next.

Alien: Paradise Lost picks up the saga of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and the humanoid robot David (Michael Fassbender), and their search for God, in May of 2017.

Brent McKnight