Why Ridley Scott Thinks Aliens Are Real

As a filmmaker, Sir Ridley Scott is responsible for introducing the world to perhaps the most terrifying movie extraterrestrial of all time, the H.R. Giger-designed Xenomorph from his 1979 sci-fi classic Alien. Though one of his greatest films deals with the subject, does the 77-year-old director actually believe in alien life? As it turns out, the answer to that question is yes.

In the process of hyping up his latest movie, The Martian, a space adventure that features no extraterrestrial life unless you count Matt Damon stranded on Mars, Scott answered some questions for Yahoo, one of which was, do you believe in alien life? He said:

[I]f you take the sun as the center of this particular galaxy, around that radius of where Earth is to the sun, there are millions of planets at roughly the same position. Therefore, logically, if [other planets] are feeding off [their] sun as their main source of survival and evolution there have got to be thousands if not millions of planets that are in the same condition as us. Different in many respects, but evolution of people [or] beings has to be logical.

So, this isn’t a "Ridley Scott says he’s been visited by little green men from outer space" kind of scenario. He’s not Mulder, and he doesn’t necessarily think we’ve been visited and that the government is keeping secrets from us on that front (or maybe he does, I don’t know the guy). From his explanation, he takes a more rational, logical approach to the subject, and believes that, given the size and scope and scale of the universe, that there simply, statistically speaking, must be a planet or two out there that hosts extraterrestrial life.

And Scott is the only one involved with The Martian who harbors such thoughts. When the question is posed, cast members Jessica Chastain, Michael Pena, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Jeff Daniels all chime in that there must be some form of alien life lurking somewhere out there. Their answers are far less in depth than those of their director, but Ejiofor remarks that if we’re alone, it’s a "terrible waste of space." At least as far as this interview is concerned, Matt Damon appears to be the lone holdout, or at least skeptic, on this front, and his silence is noticeable.

Check out the video for yourself, and skip to the 1:07 mark for the extraterrestrial discussion.

While there may not be any alien life to be found in The Martian, Ridley Scott is diving back into that realm for his next picture, the follow up to his 2012 return to the Alien universe, Prometheus, which is now titled Alien: Paradise Lost. We don’t know much about what the film will entail, though it promises to continue exploring the big ideas laid out in its predecessor, like the search for the creators of the human race, and Scott has said that there will be connections to the Alien franchise protagonist Ellen Ripley. We don’t know exactly what that means, but we can’t wait to find out.

Brent McKnight