As long as I've been writing about movies online, Ridley Scott has had the itch to make a big dystopian science-fiction movie again. For a while, he was developing a script called "Metropolis" that wasn't a remake of the Fritz Lang film. It was more of an original SF thing based around a future city. When "The Matrix" came out, "Metropolis" dropped dead because enough of the ideas in the films were similar that Scott's project became redundant.
Obviously, he just last week stated that he is serious about making an "Alien" prequel. I can't imagine he's going to want to do two big sci-fi films close together... although "Blade Runner" wasn't that long after "Alien," and "Kingdom of Heaven" and "Nottingham" practically overlap, historically speaking.
Now this week, he's announcing that he is working with Leonardo Di Caprio at Universal to bring Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" to the screen. This is another one of those projects that Ridley Scott has been circling for a while. It makes sense that they just hired Farhad Safinia to write the adaptation of the classic work of sci-fi and speculation. Safinia wrote "Apocalypto," which was so removed from our experience that it might as well be science-fiction. It's also the ultimate guy-on-the-run movie. Although "Brave New World" isn't an action film, it is about one man who finds himself persecuted by the system because his thinking gets out of line. There's a lot more to it, but that pretty much sums it up.
"Alien." "Blade Runner." Very bleak world views in those. But for this new film, Scott's going to have to take everything he's learned and turned it up. He's proven himself many times over...
[more after the jump]
... for example, of course, there's this famous commercial that aired only once, during the superbowl, in January of 1984:
Looking at it now, it's obvious that advertising has gotten far more expensive and slick, no doubt in part because of ads like this. At the time, it cost $700,000 to produce, a figure that seemed impossible to spend on just one advertisement.
I'm curious how you take something as fundamentally depressing as "Brave New World" and make a giant-budget adaptation of it. The sad truth is that you need a giant-scaled budget to build out these technical wonderlands, so you also need something that is going to play to a very broad audience. Short of ruining the original, I'm not sure that's going to work.
I am sure that if Ridley Scott and Leonardo Di Caprio actually get a script they like and make this film, I will be rabidly curious from the moment cameras roll. I can't imagine it will be anything less than fascinating. "Body Of Lies" sort of dropped the ball at the ending, but say what you will about the movie, it had a great energy. I'm curious to see something totally different from Scott and Di Caprio. Maybe this one will click all the way around.
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