Will an “Alien” Prequel Save Us From the Worst Idea Ever?
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a film major, and being a film major I tend to pay closer-than-average attention to the movie industry. Specifically, I follow blogs like /Film and FilmJunk. Normally I wouldn’t want to bore PLS readers with the type of inside-baseball news those sites offer, but a recent story they posted has given me a glimmer of hope for humanity: Apparently director Ridley Scott is going to be making a prequel to his 1979 horror movie Alien.
If Scott’s name isn’t familiar to you, his movies probably are; besides Alien, his filmography includes Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator and Black Hawk Down. Not all of his movies have been great, but he’s certainly established himself as a very talented filmmaker. Make no mistake, however–my enthusiasm for his Alien prequel has nothing to do with whether or not that prequel will be good.
No, I’m thinking back to November of 2008, when it was announced that Scott would be directing a movie version of Monopoly.
Yes, the board game.
Now, making a movie based on a board game is a pretty fucking stupid idea to begin with. But when that movie–which is supposed to be a family-friendly comedy–is directed by the guy who brought us Black Hawk Down‘s find-the-vein-in-the-wounded-soldier’s-leg scene, that’s–well, as /Film put it, that’s just the Worst Idea Ever. That’s like Quentin Tarantino directing a Care Bears reboot. That’s like Barack Obama starting a gangsta rap career. That’s like trying to have sex with a garbage disposal. Not good.
Seriously, brand recognition is the only way that movies get made these days. Studio executives pick products people already like and produce film versions–and who can blame them when this strategy works so well? I can’t count how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I don’t know if the new Transformers/GI Joe/Land of the Lost/etc. movie is going to be good, but I’ll definitely see it because I watched the show as a kid.” What? Ten years from now it’ll be, “I don’t know what Air Conditioner: The Movie is about, but I’ll definitely see it because boy do I love air conditioning!”
Anyway, I’m happy to hear that Ridley Scott is directing an Alien prequel because that means he might not have time for the Monopoly movie. There are already some signs that this could be the case; Monopoly isn’t currently listed on Scott’s IMDB page, or on IMDB at all, for that matter.
So, to summarize, I’m optimistic for mankind because one unoriginal, creatively bankrupt idea might prevent an even more unoriginal, creatively bankrupt idea from coming to fruition. Hooray for Hollywood!
What do you guys think? Is this news exciting or just depressing?