Ridley Scott Disses Lucasfilm’s ‘Star Wars’ Director Approach: ‘It’s F—in’ Stupid’

Scott says indie directors shouldn’t be handed keys to billion-dollar franchises

Last Updated: December 27, 2017 @ 8:06 PM

Since Lucasfilm started making “Star Wars” films again, the production company has been taking a page from other major franchises like Marvel and selecting indie directors to direct the series’ latest installments. But “Alien” and “Blade Runner” creator Ridley Scott doesn’t think that’s such a good idea.

In a candid (and profane) interview with Vulture to promote his latest film “All The Money In The World,” Scott was asked if he would be willing to direct a “Star Wars” film. With a laugh, Scott said he’s too “dangerous” to do a “Star Wars” film and suggested that Lucasfilm only wants directors who will do the bidding of execs there.

“I think they like to be in control, and I like to be in control myself, ” said Scott. “When you get a guy who’s done a low-budget movie and you suddenly give him $180 million, it makes no sense whatsoever. It’s f—in’ stupid. You know what the reshoots cost?”

Scott is likely alluding to directors like Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were selected to direct the upcoming Han Solo origin film “Solo” after directing the $60 million animated film “The Lego Movie,” but left the project after creative differences arose, leading to Ron Howard being called in to finish the project. “Rogue One,” meanwhile, was directed by Gareth Edwards, who only had one blockbuster under his belt prior to making the film — 2014’s “Godzilla” — but required additional reshoots overseen by the film’s screenwriter and “The Bourne Legacy” director Tony Gilroy. Even Rian Johnson, director of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” has never worked on a film of this scale, his most expensive film being the $30 million “Looper.” Prior to that 2012 sci-fi film featuring Bruce Willis, Johnson only had two microbudget indies to his name: “The Brother’s Bloom” and “Brick.”

Scott also said that his fee for doing a franchise film like “Star Wars” would be very high, but that he would do it under budget because of his experience working on high-budget films. He said he believes that experience is necessary before a director is ready to be given the keys to a major franchise.

“It can make you dull as dishwater, but if you’re really experienced and you know what you’re doing, it’s f—ing essential,” he said. “Grow into it, little by little. Start low-budget, get a little bit bigger, maybe after $20 million, you can go to $80. But don’t suddenly go to $160.”

While taking a risk on indie directors has led to messy headlines for Lucasfilm, it has paid off well for Marvel, which has given its filmmakers more free rein to put their personal touch on the superheroes they bring to life. Taika Waititi, for example, went from directing the $2.5 million “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” to the $180 million “Thor: Ragnarok,” which has earned rave reception and nearly $850 million at the global box office. Similarly, James Gunn, director of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, worked mostly on low-budget genre fare like the $15 million gross-out horror film “Slither” prior to being picked up by Marvel Studios.

Check out Scott’s full interview with Vulture here.