Ridley Scott Talks 'Prometheus 2' Plot; Defends White-Washing of 'Exodus'

Ridley Scott is always busy, so busy that half the projects he takes on end up going to other filmmakers. But lately he's been more hands on as he wades further into the realm of sci-fi. Next month brings his adaptation of Andy Weir's book, The Martian, which is already starting to generate some strong buzz. He's producing an eventual sequel to his classic film, Blade Runner, with Denis Villeneuve directing. Scott also famously bumped Neill Blomkamp's Alien movie in order to make room for Prometheus 2, which is next on his list and expected to open in 2017.

Prometheus ended with Noomi Rapace's Elizabeth Shaw and the decapitated head of the android David (Michael Fassbender) going off in search of the Engineers who created life. Rapace is on board to return, and now Scott reveals to Deadline that Fassbender who also worked with him on The Counselor, is coming back, as well...

"....Fassbender will do this one with me, and it’s meant to start production in February. I’m in prep, now. I’ll either shoot in Aussie, or here."

As for the plot, it looks as if Scott is expanding the already grandiose ideas of the first film, focusing more on the Engineers themselves...

"You can either say, leave the first film alone and jump ahead, but you can’t because it ends on too specific a plot sentence as she says, I want to go where they came from, I don’t want to go back to where I came from. I thought the subtext of that film was a bit florid and grandiose, but it asks a good question: who created us? I don’t think we are here by accident. I find it otherwise hard to believe you and I are sitting here at this table, because the molecular miracles that would have had to occur were in the trillions, since the first sign of human life that crawled out of the mud with four fingers, would bloody well be impossible, unless there was some guidance system. Also, you have the sun approximately the same distance from earth as it is from maybe millions of planets and planetoids that are almost identical distance and therefore enjoy the value of sunlight on their soil. Are you telling me there are no other planets with human life? I simply don’t believe it."

"That raises the question to me, same as was depicted in 2001 when that object comes hurtling through space, and lands in Ethiopia. And an ape that had been grubbing around in the water hole with all of them bickering at each other, goes up and touches it. He has a bigger thought injected into his brain than Newton got sitting under a tree and seeing an apple fall. Stanley then picks something metaphorically poetic in its violence, as the ape picks up a hip bone and brains the anteater so they can eat him. That is one gigantic, magnificent leap of a thousand years of evolution; that is where the world begins. It is pretty grand thinking, and that’s what I want to explore. You’ve got to go back and find those engineers and see what they are thinking. If engineers are the forerunners of us, and therefore were creators of life forms in places that were possible for biology to function, who created that? Where’s the big boy? You think this was all an accident? I don’t know. Even Stephen Hawking now says, I am not sure. He no longer believes in the big bang."

It sounds as if Scott is going to be pulling even further away from the Alien franchise with this next Prometheus, which may be a smart move since Blomkamp's is tied in directly. 

Scott also addressed the heat he took over the casting of his Biblical epic, Exodus: Gods and Kings, which had a bunch of white people when it should have been more ethnically diverse. He's always defended his actions by saying the film wouldn't have gotten made on that scale if the roles were cast differently, and that's the stance he continues to take...

"Some have said, isn’t Christ black? He could have been. It depends on what part of North Africa he comes from, but how do we know? The short sharp crude answer is, I couldn’t get a film like that mounted for that kind of budget—we were $145 million, not $260 million, so that wasn’t bad– but to make Moses black and his wife Ethiopian? They never would have made the movie."

Of course, he could have made it with a smaller budget, but whatever.

Scott's The Martian opens October 2nd.