GLADIATOR 2 WILL INCLUDE XENOMORPH

HOLLYWOOD – Ridley Scott announces Gladiator 2 will feature Xenomorph from the Alien series.

Everyone loved it when they heard that Ridley Scott is making Gladiator 2. He spoke with the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY about the new film:

Yeah, of course we’re going to bring Russell Crowe back from the dead. He’s going to play Maximus’ twin brother Randy. He’s a lot different from Maximus but he’ll train up because Rome is threatened and we must defend it.

Threatened? By what?

Aliens!

Fuck!

I know. You see one of the reasons I felt reluctant to go back to Ancient Rome is I had decided that I was only going to make  films with xenomorphs in them. Prometheus and Alien and all that. Then someone said well why can’t there be Xenomorphs in Rome and then Randy will fight them in the Colluseum? And I said, I like it! And I snapped my fingers. Which is something I only do when it’s a really good idea. Like White Squall. Or GI Jane or something.

What about Nick Cave’s script?

Yeah we wanted to use that but there was one problem.

What was it?

It was shit. The whole thing rhymed. And it would have bits saying Guitar solo and stuff like that.

Gladiator 2: Resurrection comes out in 2020.

Image courtesy of @ThePixelFactor.

JAMES FRANCO IN TALKS FOR ALIEN SEQUEL

HOLLYWOOD – Stand out Alien: Covenant star James Franco is in talks to return in a possible sequel.

Alien: Covenant has its problems. However, everyone believes that James Franco stood out as the best thing in it. Good news. It looks like he will be back for the sequel. James came round to the Studio Exec bungalow to discuss a possible follow up.

I was so happy to play a small role in Alien. I’ve loved the franchise my whole life so it was a dream come true to be there. Ridley Scott and I talked for hours about the role. Even though I don’t play a major part we worked out this back story and all these ideas. Now with the great reviews coming in, we got on the phone and started talking how to bring Captain Branson back.

So this will be a prequel?

No. Ridley talked me out of that idea. He’s done prequels already and he didn’t have a happy experience. No, this is going to follow on directly from Alien: Covenant.

But didn’t Captain Branson die?

What do you actually see though? Is it possible that was a hologram? Is it possible that Branson was actually a synthetic and another copy of him is lurking on board?

Wow. Is that the way this is going?

I don’t know. Just saying, these are all possibilities.

Alien: Branson’s Pickle will be released in 2018.

5 THINGS WRONG WITH ALIEN: COVENANT

HOLLYWOOD – Alien: Covenant is out and I tried to like it but in space no one can hear your eyes roll.

With Alien: Covenant, Ridley Scott has made a film that’s a bit better than the last bad film he made. Warning: there are SPOILERS.

Continue reading “5 THINGS WRONG WITH ALIEN: COVENANT”

HIDDEN GEMS: 23. ALIEN

Hidden Gems brings to light little known film gems which have somehow slipped through the collective cinematic consciousness. This week science fiction horror ‘Alien’. You’re welcome.

Science Fiction and Horror? Together? Crazy I know, but that’s the premise behind Ridley Scott’s little known science fiction horror film Alien. The story was simplicity itself. The crew of an intergalactic truck awake from hyper-sleep to investigate a distress signal on a remote planet. Here they encounter a new life-form which attaches itself to a crew member. On board the ship, the crew member (John Hurt) seems to recover, only to get the worst indigestion of his entire life. And before you know it an alien creature with acid for blood is running around the ship killing crew members one at a time.

It’s easy to see why it wasn’t a great success. Gory and dark and all the backstory was to do with company bonuses instead of the characters endlessly talking about what they want out of life. The Alien itself looked like a penis mouthed bone cage with a cycling helmet on.  And that tag line ‘In Space, no one can hear you scream’!? We can hear spaceships explode and what not. Why not a scream?

Still, Ridley Scott’s second film deserves a re-watch – if you can dig up a copy. The performances are amazing – Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Ian Holm, Tom Skerritt, Yaphet Koto and Harry Dean Stanton all deserved to be name-checked. Scott in collaboration with Swiss nutcase H.R. Giger gives the film a nightmarish strobed look. The blue collar industrial spaces of the space ship take on a dripping lost in the woods and down the rabbit hole feel.

Scott went on to a highly successful career. And yet I can’t help but wonder if he ever feels like returning to this early work, what marvellous possibilities there might be.

For more Hidden Gems CLICK HERE.

RIDLEY SCOTT TO DIGITALLY DE-AGE RIDLEY SCOTT

HOLLYWOOD – Blade Runner and Alien director Ridley Scott says he’s open to de-aging himself.

Thelma and Louise and White Squall director Ridley Scott could digitally de-age himself. Scott revealed in an EXCLUSIVE interview with the French magazine Chapeau that he would be willing to undergo digital de-aging.

Of course I would. Why not?

I thought it was a digital process that was only appropriate to actors.

So did I. Then I thought I want to have a go. Think about it. I’ve made so many good films, but the best ones were when I was a young man, or at least a younger man. I’d like to ahve that energy again and that originality. The last few years all I seem to do is try and remake my old successes. But if I could be young again, I’d break out into something really different.

Like what?

The Duellists 2. Harvey Kietel and David Carradine de-aged, me de-aged, we’ll even de-age Vangelis and get him to do the music.

The revolutionary process involves 3D printing the subject and then having the original killed to avoid legal wrangles. The only center that currently operates legally is in Zurich, Switzerland and is run by Christopher Nolan’s brother Jonathan.

The Duellists 2 will be released in 2018.

47 FILMS: 45. THE LONG RIDERS

In our continuing series of 47 films to see before you are murdered in your dreams we present Walter Hills The Long Riders.

Walter Hill has had a strange career as a director. He’s produced some stone cold classics – 48 Hours, Extreme Measures, Southern Comfort to name a few. He’s directed the first episodes of the TV show Deadwood and was a writer and producer on the Alien franchise. He made Brewster’s Millions for crying out loud. And yet he never seems to get the recognition he deserves. Perhaps this is because some of his best work feels like it’s been influenced by past masters. The Warriors is a New York Clockwork Orange. The Driver has Bullitt written all over it. And The Long Riders is the best Western Sam Peckinpah never made. It also doesn’t help that he’s made some dross like gender realignment thriller The Assignment.

The Long Riders is another telling of the Jesse gang which takes as its gimmick the casting of real life brothers Stacy Keach and James Keach in the leads. Along with Keith Carradine, David Carradine and Robert Carradine as the Younger brothers. Randy Quaid and Dennis Quaid are here. Christopher Guest and Nicholas Guest play the Ford brothers. The overwhelming impressions is people had a lot of brothers in those days.

The story is familiar enough, but Hill films the action brilliantly. A protracted shootout in a town produces a bloodbath worthy of Peckinpah. The sound of the bullets played backwards creates a nightmarish ambience. And unlike Peckinpah there actually seems to be pain in the violence. The performances are all top class though it’s fun to notice which brothers come off best. James Keach has a dead-woodenness that actually suits his role. Soundtrack by Ry Cooder is also fantastic.

For more of our 47 Films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams CLICK HERE.

PROMETHEUS SEQUEL ‘JUST A JOKE’ SAYS RIDLEY SCOTT.

LONDON – Ridley Scott has finally confessed that his upcoming sequel to Prometheus is an elaborate hoax.

“I’m just making it for shits and giggles”, said Scott.

I had great fun making the original, I got a bunch of rich people to give me a lot of money to piss all over the Alien franchise. I remember having a drink with Paul W.S. Anderson after he screened Alien vs. Predator and we were sipping champagne and laughing about how terrible it was. He bet me that I couldn’t make something worse and I got really close with the first film, but let me tell you, the sequel is going to be so bad the fans are going to lynch me. Well, they won’t actually lynch me they’ll just bitch and moan on twitter and convince themselves that somebody gives a tuppenny f*ck about their pathetic whining.

Scott went on to say that he’s trying out a new directing technique during the production:

I’m turning up drunk every day and just sitting in my chair and pointing. Sometimes I point left , sometimes I point right and sometimes I point left and right at the same time and nobody knows where the f*ck they should stand. It’s hysterical. Last week I made Michael Fassbender fight a Walrus. It was never going to be in the finished movie but I just wanted to see him fight one.

Scott said he’s having such a good time he’s already working on a third movie tentatively titled Prometheus 3: Back in the Habit.

It’s about a Xenomorph that goes undercover at a convent disguised as a Nun. Every time I think about making it, a little bit of wee comes out.

Prometheus 2 AKA Alien: Covenant is due in 2017

RIDLEY SCOTT PROMISES TO RUIN ALIEN COMPLETELY

LONDON – Today Ridley Scott vowed that he would ruin his breakthrough science fiction/horror hit  Alien completely, promising a further two Prometheus prequels.

Many had hoped that Prometheus had been greeted with such critical lukewarmth if not hatred that cinema-goers would nary be met with a follow up, but it appears today that Ridley Scott is determined to ruin his original Alien film in a fit of nihilistic loathing of the world. He popped into the Pinewood Studio Exec Bungalow yesterday to talk about it:

People always say to me, “oh Ridley Alien was great” or “Gee Ridley I really enjoyed Blade Runner”. Nobody mentions White Squall, Somebody to Watch Over Me, Black Rain or GI Jane. I made 1492 with not a single shot of CGI and Gerard Depardieu for Christ’s sake. What is the matter with these people? Why can’t they appreciate my whole Oeuvre?

Your what?

My Oeuvre Goddamn it! It’s what French directors have. For breakfast I think.

Oh.

So my plan is Blade Runner 2. There you go, you can stop going on about Blade Runner and Prometheus 2 and 3 and boom, Alien will start looking like something that isn’t that special. P. T. Anderson, God Bless him, tried to ruin two franchises in one go with his Alien V Predator films, but you need real skill to properly ruin films. And I’m your man.

Why do you hate the world so much? 

Because people are weird flesh bags and they open their mouths and massive word trains come out. No one appreciates me for the genius I am except me. Yesterday I got a Kinder Surprise. I opened it and the little plastic toy inside, well… it wasn’t a surprise anymore. I was totally expecting it.

Prometheus 2 and Prometheus 3 will be released in 2017 and 2019.

THE MAKING OF ALIEN

HOLLYWOOD – In the latest in our celebrated Making of… series, we look at the behind the scenes drama that went into the making of Ridley Scott’s Science Fiction Horror film “Alien”.

The Idea

Dan O’Bannon had been writing Science Fiction scripts for some time. He had scripted and had a small part in John Carpenter’s debut movie “Dark Star”, but O’Bannon wanted to branch out and make a realistic drama about truckers driving across America with a cargo of coal. He wrote to his agent John Stutter:

Dear John,

Please find enclosed the treatment for the new screenplay “Alan”. The story is simple. A trucker called Alan is taking a cargo of coal across America. I see this as very much “Convoy”, but with coal and not as escapist as that film. Let me know what you think.

However, Sutter had not properly read the treatment and his note to O’Bannon was apologetic.

Dan,

Sorry to tell you this but I just glanced at the title of your treatment and got straight onto the phone with Fox. I thought the title was “Alien”. I think it was an ink smudge. Bad news, when I read the treatment I thought it deadly dull. Good news, Fox are sold on having a script from Dark Star writer Dan O’Bannon entitled “Alien”!

A disgruntled O’Bannon got to work and he re-used several characters from his coal convoy story along with the grungy feel he had been aspiring to but he resolutely refused to add an Alien which saw the script taken out of his hands and given to Ronald Shusett who added the Alien. Walter Hill’s production company got involved and a British commercials director who had just made an atmospheric Napoleonic drama called “The Duellists” was also interested.

Pre-Production

The key to the film was thought to be the creature of the title and Jim Henson, the puppet master who created the Muppets, was called in. Following Ridley Scott’s instructions to ‘go dark’, Henson produced the face-hugger, the fetus and the final creature in one 48 hour bout of creativity. However, fearing for his child friendly reputation he hired Swiss artist H.R. Giger to present the work as his own, a decision Henson would bitterly regret for the rest of his life.

Production

Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright,Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto were all cast after Ridley Scott got stuck in a lift with them in a Casino in Las Vegas and was impressed by the way they reacted diversely to the claustrophobic emergency. In keeping with the sense of immediacy Scott attempted to maintain a sense of spontaneity throughout the fourteen week shoot which took place between July 5 and October 21, 1978. Scott gave the actors only selective pages of script and would frequently spring surprises on them. The chest-burster scene was so disturbing that Yaphey Kotto pissed himself with fear. Harry Dean Stanton recalls:

The urine was everywhere and we were skidding around on it and almost falling on our asses, but Ian and John came from the British theater tradition and so they carried right on. And that was the take that Ridley used. Some of the looks of disgust on Veronica’s face for example, are because of the urine on the floor as much as the special effects.

Later filming the final sequence, Sigourney Weaver would shit her pants, though this was later revealed to be a prank she played on the rest of the cast and crew.

Reception

The advertising campaign for Alien was widely seen as one of the most successful of the late 70s although there is some controversy about who came up with the final tag line. Salman Rushdie claimed that he was the author and Gabriel Garcia Marquez said the line was his own. Scott settled the argument when it was revealed that Julian Lennon, son of Beatle John Lennon used to say to his father every night before he went to bed, ‘Remember dad, in space no one can hear you scream’ which would cause some of John Lennon’s most violent ‘bad trips’. The film was deemed a success and in 1987 the library of congress hired a video cassette of it and forgot to take it back the next day, which is considered by some to be the highest mark of honor.

Alien was released in 1979.

For more of The Making of… CLICK HERE.

47 FILMS: 2. OUTLAND

47 Films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams continues with Sean Connery Sci-Fi Outland.

A lone space Marshal, O’Neill (Sean Connery) on a moon of Jupiter – although set on Io the film was actually filmed on Ganymede for budgetary reasons – has to contend with a corrupt mining company which would rather see its workers die one by one raving in the depths of drug induced psychosis than see its quotas suffer. When O’Neill won’t let go of the investigation and his family desert him, mining boss Wizard (Peter Boyle) calls in some hired guns to off the plucky law man.

Having made the wonderful Capricorn One, Peter Hyams garned a reputation for himself as having balls of 100% brass in 1984 when he made a sequel to 2001: a Space Odyssey. Outland is a work of fantastic gritty and chunky science fiction and carries on from Alien the idea of a proletarian space age, when those in the suits will be the miners and the Parkers of the world and not the preppy military types. Connery’s glum O’Neill – heaven forfend he should ever play Scottish – is a guardian of an unappreciative working man. The violence is brutal; the setting is perfect with a real world of drab clunkiness and the sense of dread as the killers approach palpable. In a swipe at Alien (the balls on this man), the poster line for the film was ‘Even in Space Man’s worst enemy is Man’.

Outland was so successful it was later remade in black and white as a Western and renamed High Noon and a new Outland remake is currently in production.  

For more of our 47 Films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams Click HERE.

5 FILMS WITH EGGS IN THEM

HOLLYWOOD – I know what you are thinking. It’s Easter but what egg themed film am I going to watch?

Well, the Studio Exec FACT squad has been out on the prowl and has carefully selected five EGG themed films for your viewing pleasure. ENJOY.

1. Cool Hand Luke. During this prison drama Paul Newman’s eponymous inmate eats 50 eggs in one hour for a bet. However, because they needed to film from different angles and use different lenses and in addition because the light was failing, in actual fact Paul Newman had to eat 176 eggs in little over twenty minutes causing an explosive flatulence and lifelong bad breath. As a way of compensating for the bad breath, Newman invented salad dressing!

2. Alien. Possibly the film which gave eggs a bad name to such an extent that the International Egg Consortium called for a boycott of Ridley Scott’s film using the slogan, ‘In Space No one Can Hear You Defame a Genuinely Delicious Source of Protein.’ It was not a success. When asked about the famous egg sequence, actor John Hurt who played Kane, the unfortunate astronaut answered simply that he had never enjoyed Easter since.

3. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The word bad egg has a long history dating back to the Chinese emperor Boi Eg who was so tyrannical that the entire food stuff – eggs – were made illegal for three entire generations. But Veruca Salt in the original and only adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a bad egg and gets her comeuppance and is appropriately murdered off screen.

4. Sleeper. Perhaps the most erotic use of an egg ever committed to celluloid, Woody Allen’s 1973 futuristic comedy was the first film to use the egg as a substitute for scenes of oral sex, soon to be joined by Rocky and Ghostbusters. By the nineties it was such a common practice that the MPAA began to consider egg use as a rate-able offence.

5. Airplane. Nothing is funnier than an egg coming out of someone’s mouth and this 1980 comedy spoof delivered the classic egg/mouth joke first invented by Fatty Arbuckle with zany aplomb.

For more FACTS click HERE.

NEW ALIEN FILM WILL ALSO STAR SPIDER-MAN

HOLLYWOOD – District 9 and Elysium director Neill Blomkamp confirms that his new Alien film will also feature Spider-Man.

How the ubiquitous web-slinger will be joining the Xenomorph has not yet been made clear, but Blomkamp tweeted an image which shows clearly some concept art featuring Spidey’s mask pasted over a hunter xenoform’s body, apparently from Aliens. Alien watcher Emily Zapatta said:

This is a very exciting prospect.  Neil Blomkamp is someone who obviously loves mixing up genres. The documentary style with the alien film in District 9. The good film at the beginning of Elysium with the awful one that just goes on and on with the rest of the film. So Spider-Man fighting Aliens or even being an Alien… Why Not?

 Neill Blomkamp spokes with Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:

I didn’t really want to put Spider-Man in my film but the fact of the matter is we’re going to be releasing it in 2017 and there is a rule that any film post 2016 has to have a Marvel character in it or it won’t be distributed. I hear Star Wars are going with The Guardians of the Galaxy.

But how is that going to make sense with the original series?

Sense? Ha! That’s not considered that important any more. Look we’re trying to get Sigourney in but apparently she’s going to have to dress as a Ghostbuster.

But how does that…?

Don’t ask! I mean, it makes me want to go and do something less morally dubious. Design and sell chemical weapons to Third World dictators.

The Amazing Alien will be released in 2017.

ALIEN VS PREDATOR VS PROMETHEUS IS GO

HOLLYWOOD – Paul W.S. Anderson (who recently was revealed to be the same person as Paul Thomas Anderson, CLICK HERE) has confirmed that his next film will be Alien Vs. Predator Vs. Prometheus:

Speaking with the Studio Exec, Anderson said the follow up to Prometheus will be ‘like one big xenomorph tag team.’

Anderson is obviously enthused at the prospect of AVP(VP) and says the script is already finished and filming is ready to begin. 

I basically knocked it out in an afternoon. Funny thing is I rang Damon Lindeloff to boast and he told me Prometheus has taken less time to write than it took to watch. Like I’m sitting at the feet of the master. Hey, Master, The Master, get it?


The film will take place in the same universe as the Alien and Predator franchises and will also involve ‘Engineers’ and a really stupid bunch of humans.

That was the brilliance of Prometheus. Usually if you’re writing characters who I supposed to be really brainy it’s really difficult, but Damon made the scientists dumb asses, that was almost like the “autobiographical” element.

Alien Vs. Predator Vs. Prometheus will be released in October 2016 and will star various wives.

RIDLEY SCOTT RULES OUT THELMA AND LOUISE 2

HOLLYWOOD – He might be gumming up the Alien universe with his Prometheus films and he might be up for Blade Runner 2, but Ridley Scott is absolutely adamant there will not be a sequel to his 1991 girls on the run movie Thelma and Louise.

The White Squall director seemed surprised at the question. ‘No, I don’t have any plans to revisit that story,’ he told the Danish bacon monthly, Swine. ‘I think the ending that we shot was pretty … well … conclusive.’
However Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon both have expressed a wish to return to the characters. Sarandon told the New York Frisbee:

I don’t see why not. We’ve had prequels before and I think knowing what happens to there characters would add a tragic luster to the film and also. Obviously I would be more than happy to Louise once more.

Davis however seemed to be suggesting a slightly different approach. 

Okay what we see at the end seems fairly clear. The car… okay? But we never see it actually land and so there are a number of possible options. I’m thinking it could have got caught in a bush, or it could reach the other side. Or maybe they had parachutes. Shucks! With digital technology you can do anything these days.

Callie Khouri – the original screenwriter – has already written several drafts for a possible sequel and brushes off Scott’s apparent reluctance: ‘When Ridley reads what I’ve done – sending Thelma off to space as a kind of Jesus alien figure – I’m sure he’ll come round.’

However, the project, if it ever happens, will certainly have to wait as Ridley Scott already has a full dance card, what with the new Prometheus film, Blade Runner 2 as well Somebody to Watch Over Me 2 and 1493 all slated for production in the next two years. 

Thelma and Louise 2 might still be released in 2015.