Disney’s Fox deal may have fended off legend Ridley Scott

A new profile from Ridley Scott’s Hollywood Reporter takes a panoramic look at the filmmaker’s career, with a reflection on Blade Runner, alien, Thelma and Louise, and a host of other films that have defined a singular career. The director of Gucci House and The last duel is notoriously particular about his work – there wouldn’t be so many cuts of Blade runner other. And he quickly reveals his reasoning for abandoning a developing project.

For years Scott’s home studio has been 20th Century Fox, now 20th Century Studios, where he directed Alien, The Martian, The Last Duel and others. But when Disney bought the revered studio, “they wanted me to make a wizarding movie, and I’m not making wizarding movies,” he says. “It was a bad idea.”

Scott is probably referring to Merlin, a planned adaptation of TA Barron’s book series of the same name. Disney has its own version of the character from the 1963s The sword and the stoneSo it follows that the company might be interested in a hard reboot. Scott was once attached to the project, but an October 2021 report appointing a new director said he “had split up due to his busy schedule.” Maybe it was a more polished version of “I don’t make wizarding movies”.

Scott’s relationship with the new 20th century, that is, Disney, has had a mixed start. Beyond the attempt Merlin project, there is also the question of The last duel bombing at the box office. The rights to adapt the non-fiction novel about which The last duel was based at Fox for a while, and once Disney acquired the rights alongside all of Fox’s other properties, it was open to question whether the mature subject of the project would fit with the company’s plans.

“If Disney doesn’t step up, I’m told every studio in town is waiting for this one backstage,” a report from Deadline 2019 said.

Ridley Scott stages a scene from The last duel
Photo: Jessica Forde / 20th Century Studios

Disney has indeed stepped up. But the question of how much he contributed to the promotion of the film is an open question. Scott, speaking to podcast host Marc Maron, said “Disney did a fantastic job of promoting” while saying how it “boils down to – what we have today [are] the audience that was raised on those fucking cell phones. Millennials never want to learn anything unless you tell you over the phone. ”

As might be expected, the theory prompted Twitter to push back. A particularly galactic brain theory suggests that Disney has placed The last duel, as good as Alley of nightmares and that of Steven Spielberg West Side Story, in bad positions when released in order to let current 20th century theatrical projects fade away to focus on the studio’s library as a source of streaming content. Of course, it should be noted that a multitude of non-Disney films, like Matrix resurrections, also sank like a stone at the box office during the pandemic.

Scott still works with the Mouse House. He is co-producer of Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming adaptation of Death on the Nile, together will finally hit theaters next month. But if he is wary of leading a project under the new leadership of the 20th century, he is not the only one. Another studio regular, James Mangold, raised concerns in 2017, shortly after news of the then potential merger broke.

Speaking after a screening of LoganMangold was concerned that Disney would change Fox’s “mandate” to release adult films, even in the superhero category. “If what they’re supposed to do changes, that would be sad for me because it just means fewer movies,” Mangold said, according to Deadline.

“The real thing that happens when you make an R-rated movie, behind the scenes, is that the studio has to adapt to the reality that there won’t be any Happy Meals. of action figures, ”said Mangold.

Of course, Mangold also recently finished production on Indiana Jones 5, a production of Lucasfilm Ltd. which will be distributed by Disney on June 30, 2023.

There have been some directors who are more enthusiastic about the merger. James gunn from guardians of the galaxy movies and The suicide squad, who is no stranger to R films, said he was “incredibly happy” with the deal in 2017.

There are still several 20th Century Studios theatrical releases slated for this year, including Death on the Nile and The Bob’s Burger movie. It also sends several movies to Hulu, where Disney has placed its more adult content, like the prequel Predator. Prey, a romantic comedy Romeo and Juliet called Rosaline, and the particularly intriguing “John wick meets Sleeping Beauty” movie Princess.

There’s also a potential box office giant at the end of the year: the highly anticipated James Cameron. Avatar 2, which will launch a list of four suites already available. If this explodes, the 20th century could be in real trouble.

Leave a Comment