Though no stranger to exploring worlds of the strong and fantastic, Director Ridley Scott has still never touched a comic book movie. It may seem like the next step in a natural progression, given the popularity of superheroes in the current industry and his résumé, but Scott has finally admitted that he has no interest.
In a recent interview with IGN to discuss his upcoming film Exodus: Gods of Kings, Scott answered the question that’s been at the tip of everyone’s tongue, is there a comic book movie in his future? His answer:
"I've had a lot of opportunities and I tend not to do that. They're the hardest single thing to write. Taking a comic strip character is very hard to write. Because comics are meant to work in one page, to work in frames with minimalistic dialogue. And a lot of it is left to the imagination of the reader. To do that in film you've got to be a little more explanatory. And that requires a good screenplay and good dialogue."
It’s refreshing to hear a director with so much experience and high praise acknowledge the difficulty in creating the films that we consider such a norm these days. Comic book movies are incredibly difficult to write, especially to please comic book fans. Scott makes that very clear when he explains how a comic works. With minimal dialogue and a still frame, a comic book reader uses their imagination to fill in any gaps. To do that in a film means more explaining, therefore losing some of the magic of using your own imagination.
After admitting he had no interest in creating this type of movie, Scott remembered his own cult-classic, Blade Runner. In relation to his description of what a comic book is he added, "Blade Runner was a comic strip. It was a comic strip! It was a very dark comic strip. Comic metaphorically." Of course that makes a lot of sense when you think about. Blade Runner was not an actual comic book, the film was adapted from a 1968 Philip K. Dick novel entitled Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, but as a viewer experience, it was very much like reading a comic book. It left many elements up to the imagination, and stripped away any unnecessary dialogue. So with that being said, Ridley Scott does have the capability of creating an epic comic book movie. The problem really lies in finding a great screenplay that he can work his magic on.
While we can only hope that this magic screenplay falls into the hands of Ridley Scott, he does have plenty of projects keeping him busy outside of the comic book universe. Exodus: Gods and Kings hits theaters December 12, 2014. Scott is also working on an adaptation of the popular Andy Weir science fiction novel, The Martian, scheduled to release in November 25, 2015. He’ll then shift his focus over to Prometheus 2 in 2016, and Blade Runner 2 is set to start production next year.