Published On: Thu, May 11th, 2017

Ridley Scott Quotes

Religious themes in “Alien: Covenant”: “Prometheus raised the question eventually of how we were made. Was it God? I don’t think so. Was it random? No, I think it was planned”

“I’m an absolutely very, very practical person,” he said in an interview with the Religion News Service. “Any liberties I may have taken in terms of how I show [miracles in Exodus] was, I think, pretty safe ground because I’m always going always from what is the basis of reality, never fantasy… So the film had to be as real as I could make it.” — on depicting the miracles during “Exodus” through the lens of science

Ridley Scott on portraying God as a “figure of” child: Not figure of God. “Malak” means messenger. So “Malak,” to begin with, is the messenger of God. If you’re going to represent God in many shapes and forms, which He will appear, the biggest form of all is probably nature. That’s his power, that’s his base, that’s his beauty, that’s his threat. And occasionally when you want to communicate with someone, it’s very easy with His power to chose a messenger. Or some more popular word might be “angel.” But I didn’t like the idea of an angel associated with wings. I wanted everything to be reality based…. — 2014 interview

“If you’re watching very closely you notice that whenever [Moses and Malak] are witnessed from a distance–Joshua does a lot of sneaking up over rocks and looking to see what’s going on–he can’t see anything. [Joshua] just thinks his leader has lost his mind ’cause he can’t see anything. When you’re in close you can see who Moses is talking to. Of course, when you think of it horizontally or vertically, whichever is the best way, [Moses] also could be talking to his conscience. So Malak could also be his conscience.”

Later in the same interview:

Ridley, you have something in common with many film makers, which is that you yourself don’t identify as a believer…I wonder if you’d be willing to speak to the challenges and the interest of engaging in this subject matter from the perspective of standing outside of it.

Scott: The writer I chose to finally polish it said, “You couldn’t have asked a worse person to do this because I am a dyed in the wool atheist. I simply don’t believe in this stuff.” I said, “Well, on the contrary, it’s a bit like being in science fiction. ‘Cause I never believed in it, I had to convince myself every step of the way as to what did make sense and what didn’t make sense and where I could reject and accept. And therefore I had to come to my own decisions and internal debates.”

The film will be really tough, really nasty. It’s the dark side of the moon. We are talking about gods and engineers. Engineers of space. And were the aliens designed as a form of biological warfare? Or biology that would go in and clean up a planet? – discussing “Alien” prequels during Independent interview September 2010


Alien is a landmark.  One of the really good science-fiction films. Then Blade Runner’s pretty good, too! That I thought was [a landmark] but I jumped the gun and simply started doing fantasy 25 years too soon. But it’s a pretty good movie. – discussing movie milestones from early career, ending with “Legend”, during Independent interview September 2010

There have been 80 [Robin Hood films] made over the years. It’s the kind of thing I used to enjoy as a kid, but when I revisit them, they’re not very good. I’m trying to think of the last good one. (He pauses before selecting a surprising choice) Mel Brooks’s Men in Tights! I thought that was the best one. – discussing the history of Robin Hood films during Independent interview September 2010

“Everyone sniggered because they thought I was going to do a sandals and toga movie. – discussing “Gladiator” during Independent interview September 2010

Photo/20th Century FOX

Ridley Scott directing Michael Fassbender in “Prometheus” Photo/20th Century FOX

Photo/20th Century FOX

Ridley, some of the recent polls of religious audiences say they are concerned when they see Biblical films about how closely they stay to the text. We saw with “Noah” that religious audiences were a bit uncomfortable with some of the artistic license. How do you think religious audiences will respond to some of your braver decisions in terms of interpretation and deviations from the text?

Scott: I think “Noah” has a more trickier story to tell. When you take into account the reality and feasibility of those “rock men,” which really should be part of the hobbits. I’m serious. Listen, I think [“Noah” director Darren Aronofsky] is a great director, but rock men? Come on. I could never get past that. The film immediately kicked off as a fantasy…that was a problem. If you begin that way, it’s hard to get past that without saying, “I’m going to build a boat and on it’s going to go creatures two by two, and make that credible.”

But that’s what we do for a living. So I have to part the Dead Sea and I’m not going to part the Dead Sea because I don’t believe it. I don’t believe I can part the Dead Sea and keep shimmering water on each side. I’m an absolutely very, very practical person. So I was immediately thinking that all science-based elements placed come from natural order or disorder–or could come from the hand of God, however you want to play that.

Any liberties I may have taken in terms of how I show this stuff was, I think, pretty safe ground because I’m always going always from what is the basis of reality, never fantasy….So the film had to be as real as I could make it.

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- Stories transferred over from The Desk of Brian where the original author was not determined and the content is still of interest of Dispatch readers.

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