Most movie directors don’t pay attention to the critics or to the fans’ reaction. Instead, they like to trust their own instincts, listen to the advice of their friends and family, and avoid having their egos either inflated or deflated by positive or negative reviews. But Sir Ridley Scott clearly isn’t one of those filmmakers, because the legendary director has admitted that he decided to alter Alien: Covenant after the poor response to Prometheus.
Sir Ridley Scott made this admission while out promoting the upcoming sixth installment to the Alien franchise, admitting that he decided to bring back the original alien that was created by H.R. Giger because of the reaction to his 2012 sci-fi prequel.
“What changed was the reaction to Prometheus, which was a pretty good ground zero reaction. It went straight up there, and we discovered from it that [the fans] were really frustrated. They wanted to see more of the original [monster] and I thought he was definitely cooked, with an orange in his mouth. So I thought: ‘Wow, OK, I’m wrong.'”
During the same discussion with Yahoo Movies UK, Sir Ridley Scott, who has previously overseen the likes of Alien, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, and The Martian, admitted that, while he doesn’t adhere to everything the fans desire, they do help to clear up some decisions. This was clearly the case with Alien: Covenant, as he added that he thinks filmmakers that don’t listen to the fans are “not sensible.”
“The fans, in a funny kind of way – they’re not the final word – but they are the reflection of your doubts about something. And then you realise ‘I was wrong’ or ‘I was right’. I think that’s where it comes in. I think you’re not sensible if you don’t actually take [the fans’ reaction] into account.”
Sir Ridley Scott’s remarks to Yahoo Movies UK come three years after he confirmed to the same publication that he had absolutely no plans to bring back the original beast, which proved to be so popular in Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien: Resurrection between 1979 and 1997. Sir Ridley Scott was quizzed about the future for the aliens during the promotional tour for Exodus: Gods And Kings, which is when he seemed rather convinced that they wouldn’t make a return.
“The beast is done. Cooked. I got lucky meeting [HR] Giger all those years ago. It’s very hard to repeat that… But after four [films], I think it wears out a little bit. There’s only so much snarling you can do.”
Obviously, those plans changed rather quickly. But while it is commendable that Sir Ridley Scott was able to change his stance in lieu of the fans, it’s rather surprising considering that Prometheus still received pretty impressive reviews. Sure its score of 72 percent on Rotten Tomatoes isn’t a resounding success, and is way below the 97 percent of Alien and 98 percent of Aliens, but it was much more impressive than the 44 percent of Alien 3 and 5 percent of Alien: Resurrection. Even with the change, Alien: Covenant hasn’t managed to climb too far ahead of Prometheus, too, as the blockbuster currently has a score of 76 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Fans will get to judge Alien: Covenant for themselves when it’s finally released into cinemas on May 19. While the film introduces the likes of Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, and Danny McBridge, it also sees the return of Michael Fassbender to the franchise, not just as David, the android he played in Prometheus, but as the upgraded Walter. Sir Ridley Scott still has big plans for the Alien franchise after Covenant, though, as he wants to oversee at least two more sequels that will then link the prequels to the 1979 original.
[Featured Image by 20th Century Fox]