While there have been superheroes on the big screen dating back to the 1940s, with black-and-white serial films based on Batman, Captain America, Green Hornet and other popular comic book heroes, there has been a resounding resurgence of superhero movies over the past 20 years. The genre is only getting bigger, with Marvel already deep into Phase 3 of their superhero stories, while Warner Bros. is getting their DC Extended Universe off the ground with this year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. While these movies always attract top flight talent both in front of and behind the camera, there is one legendary filmmaker who has never made a superhero movie, and still doesn’t plan on doing so, Ridley Scott.
The 79-year-old director doesn’t necessarily need to make superhero movies, since he’s been busier than ever these days. After directing his smash-hit adaptation The Martian last year, which achieved both critical and commercial success, the filmmaker is returning to his Alien franchise by directing Alien: Covenant, which is shaping up to be one of next year’s most highly-anticipated films, hitting theaters May 19. During a recent interview with Digital Spy, the filmmaker revealed that he has been offered several superhero movies, but he has turned them all down. Here’s what he had to say, while seemingly throwing some shade at Warner Bros.’ divisive Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
“Superhero movies are not my kind of thing – that’s why I’ve never really done one. [I’ve been asked] several times, but I can’t believe in the thin, gossamer tight-rope of the non-reality of the situation of the superhero. I’ve done that kind of movie – Blade Runner really is a comic strip when you think about it, it’s a dark story told in an unreal world. You could almost put Batman or Superman in that world, that atmosphere, except I’d have a f**king good story, as opposed to no story!”
This statement echoes similar comments he made back in 2014, when he said that comic books are harder to translate to the big screen. The filmmaker also took some shots at the state of cinema in general, not just the Marvel and DC slate of superhero films. The director added that, “cinema mainly is pretty bad” while adding that he’s “concerned” for the future of the industry. Here’s what he had to say, revealing that he hopes the downward trend of cinema doesn’t affect his work.
“I want to keep doing cinema and I hope it doesn’t affect those of us who still keep making smart films. I’m hoping it doesn’t affect me.”
Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant will kick off a new trilogy that will eventually connect to his original 1979 classic Alien. While it hasn’t been confirmed yet if he will direct the subsequent follow-ups, it certainly seems likely, and even if he doesn’t, he’ll surely be involved as a producer, at least. He is also producing Blade Runner 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve, and Neill Blomkamp’s untitled Alien sequel, along with a slew of other projects. Perhaps one of these days Ridley Scott will have a change of heart and direct a superhero movie, but it doesn’t seem that day will arrive anytime soon.