This year, writer, director, and producer Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Hannibal) will see two of his most famous films back on big screens nationwide in the form of the new sequels Alien: Covenant and Blade Runner 2049. The original films Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982) are two of Scott’s most renowned films, and this year, movie-goers will get the chance to see modernized takes on both films, which have developed huge followings over the years.
Scott personally got back behind the camera to direct Alien: Covenant. Serving as both a sequel to Prometheus (2012) and a prequel to the original Alien, Alien: Covenant follows the crew of the colony ship Covenant as they discover a seemingly unknown paradise in deep space. As they begin to explore, however, they quickly uncover a dark and dangerous world, inhabited only by David, the synthetic survivor from the Prometheus expedition, who forces the crew to attempt a fast, and daring escape. Reprising the role of David is Oscar-nom Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Apocalypse, The Light Between Oceans), who is supported by an all-star cast that includes Naomi Rapace (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, The Drop), Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice, Steve Jobs), James Franco (127 Hours, The Interview), Billy Crudup (Almost Famous, Watchmen), and Guy Pierce (LA Confidential, Lawless). Alien has seen three sequels (four if you include Prometheus) since it was released in 1979. Directors including James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar) and David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network) have helmed sequels for the film, but Prometheus and Alien: Covenant have been the first that Scott has been involved with since the original film. Needless to say with Scott calling the shots, we should be in for another excellent installment in the series.
Although Scott is only serving as producer for Blade Runner 2049, fans of the original are giddy with anticipation for the upcoming 2049, which will be in theaters this May. Starring Ryan Gosling (The Big Short, La La Land) and Harrison Ford (Witness, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens), who is reprising his original role as blade runner Rick Deckard, the new film is directed by Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Arrival) and takes place 30 years after the events of the original. If you’re not aware, Blade Runner is set in a grim 2019 Los Angeles, where blade runners are tasked with destroying replicants, or androids that look like human beings. Rick Deckard is assigned to find and destroy four replicants that are responsible for a mutiny on the Off-World colony. Now 30 years later, a new blade runner (Gosling) begins searching for the long-missing Deckard when he discovers a lost secret that could send what remains of society into self destruction. Actors Robin Wright (Forrest Gump, The Princess Bride) and Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club, Suicide Squad) will also appear in the supporting cast. Also returning from the original film is screenwriter Hampton Fancher, who penned both films from characters appearing in the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by author Philip K. Dick. Both films look pretty promising, backed by experienced actors, screenwriters, and obviously directors.
Personally I think it will be most interesting to compare the cinematography in 2049 with that of the original, which was very dark and ominous, but again, I’d definitely recommend seeing both. Enjoy the trailers, and check back for more updates!