Ridley Scott is gobsmacked that Doctor Who is a woman (exclusive)

Sam Ashurst
Contributor

When we sat down to discuss Ridley Scott’s excellent new film All The Money In The World with the genius director, we couldn’t let him go without asking about Doctor Who’s recent change.

After all, this is a man who, in the 1960s, took one look at the original design for the Daleks and said: “It looks like a dustbin.”

As it turns out, Scott has strong opinions about the Doctor’s recent regeneration, too.

You pioneered strong female science-fiction leads with Ripley, how do you feel that the Doctor’s just regenerated into a woman?

“You know, I didn’t know that – has it now gone to a woman? Wow! That is earth-shattering, good heavens. That’s very politically correct, isn’t it? God bless them. Who’s the woman going to be?”

Jodie Whittaker.

“That makes sense. Anything to keep it going. I think that’s amazing. It’s like Star Trek, I’ll always remember watching this black and white TV show, Star Trek, watching this guy Captain Kirk, and thinking ‘Who the hell’s this guy? He’s really interesting.’ I didn’t realise it would go on for the next  50 f**king years.”

She’s Northern, so that’s good news.

“That’s good news, yeah.”

Speaking of stuff that could go on for fifty years, following Disney’s deal to buy 20th Century Fox’s movie properties, there’s been lots of chatter about what that means for the likes of the X-Men, but not as much about what it means for the Xenomorph.

Disney now officially owns Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise – a movie series created by a man who recently described himself as being too edgy for the company.

Disney now has the Alien franchise, you’ve said you’re too dangerous for Star Wars, will Disney think you’re too dangerous for Alien?

“Disney has the most successful formation of demographics in terms of projects related to audience, they know exactly what they’re doing. They probably feel frustrated from time to time, when they want to move into a less Disney-esque universe and I’m sure this might be part of the plan. It’s darker.”

Disney’s approach is to create shared universes for everything, does Alien have that potential?

“Of course. [Fox] pretty much wiped Alien out with Alien Vs Predator, I watched this occur and thought ‘Jesus, they just killed it.’ Then I went back a couple of years later and said we can resurrect this thing with Prometheus. Prometheus turned out to be really rather successful, so we went again on Alien: Covenant. Alien: Covenant focuses on a new world in which an AI probably will reign – that’ll be the next version.”

But before we get that Alien: Covenant follow-up, we have the brilliant All The Money In The World to enjoy, which opened in UK cinemas today.

The film tells the true-life story of what happened when the richest man in the world, Jean Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer), refused to pay the ransom required to bring his kidnapped grandson, Paul Getty (Charlie Plummer) home.

All The Money In The World‘s had lots of press thanks to the last-minute switching of Kevin Spacey for Christopher Plummer, but there’s plenty of other reasons to be interested in the project – including the fact the opening sequence is inspired by one of the greatest films ever made.

The opening to All The Money In The World reminded me of Fellini, La Dolce Vita specifically…

“Definitely, good.”

What’s that intentional?

“That was totally planned. I found a square and literally tried to construct La Dolce Vita. It was useful to show that Paul was not entirely innocent. He smoked, he visited hookers and I felt he’d been there before. I think he was a bit of a boy at 17. He was a man. He was very close to his mother, but he did have a girlfriend, and he frequently lived with his girlfriend.”

You could have told a whole other Fellini-esque story where Paul goes off and has adventures…

“Oh yeah.”

All The Money In The World is in UK cinemas now. Watch the trailer below.


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