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Ridley Scott is one of the most well-known and prolific directors working today. The director has had an interesting, if uneven, career, and he is responsible for some of the most enduring and influential films of all time. The man behind cult favorites Legend and Blade Runner, as well as the award-winning Gladiator and Black Hawk Down, has certainly read his fair share of scripts over the years. But for a man with so many lauded films under his belt, he has no problem narrowing down which scripts are the best ones to have fallen into his lap: Alien, American Gangster and All the Money in the World. As Ridley said:
There are [three] good scripts that have landed in my lap over the years, actually three. Alien was very good, and I was fifth choice. They gave it to Robert Altman. The other one was American Gangster. And then [David] Scarpa's [All the Money in the World]. Who was it that said that, was it Hitchcock? It's all about the script, script, script.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Ridley Scott was responding to a question about what drew him to his upcoming film, All the Money in the World. While not exactly a hot take, the three titles he cites are certainly interesting choices for a man who has seen so many scripts and crafted such memorable films. Alien isn't very surprising. He always comes back to that franchise, for better or worse, so it clearly is his favorite and holds the most interest for him of all his oeuvre. It is, however, somewhat surprising that Drew Goddard's Oscar-nominated screenplay for The Martian didn't make his list. American Gangster is certainly one of his better films and is a good point of reference for what Ridley Scott can do with a true story. If he believes that the script for his newest film, All the Money in the World, is one of the three best to have ever landed in his lap, then there should be high hopes for the impending release.
The importance of starting with a good story is often forgotten in this franchise and brand-driven time. Ridley Scott is no fan of the superhero genre because he believes it is lacking in this critical element. While that is debatable, he right that it is indeed all about the script. Other than the Quentin Tarantinos and Aaron Sorkins of the world, most writers' names are not well-known except among the most die-hard of film fans, but they create the foundation upon which films are built.
Ridley Scott's All the Money in the World stars Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Williams, Kevin Spacey and Charlie Plummer. The film tells the true story of the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III and his billionaire grandfather's refusal to pay the ransom. If the trailer is any indication, this could be another acting showcase for Michelle Williams and a transformative role for Kevin Spacey. All the Money in the World hits theaters on December 22. Be sure to also look through our 2017 premiere guide.