Getting old has one advantage. It is perfectly acceptable to get more grumpy as the years advance. Filmmaker Ridley Scott was already notoriously blunt when talking about things. In an industry where nobody tells each other the truth, and egos are so unfeasibly fragile, we love that about him. As he is now into his 80s, he gets a double pass to advanced grumpiness. His mood did not improve while he was trying to make Blade Runner.
In an interview with Total Film, he laid bare the challenges he faced in making the sci-fi noir classic:
“[The shoot] was a very bad experience for me. I had horrendous partners. Financial guys, who were killing me every day. I’d been very successful in the running of a company, and I knew I was making something very, very special.
So I would never take no for an answer. But they didn’t understand what they had. You shoot it, and you edit it, and you mix it. And by the time you’re halfway through, everyone’s saying it’s too slow.
You’ve got to learn, as a director, you can’t listen to anybody. I knew I was making something very, very special. And now it’s one of the most important science-fiction films ever made which everybody feeds off. Every bloody film.”
So what of those who dismissed the movie, and who labeled it as a flop at the time? He is classic Ridley here:
“I hadn’t seen ‘Blade Runner’ for 20 years. Really. But I just watched it. And it’s not slow. The information coming at you is so original and interesting, talking about biological creations, and mining off-world, which, in those days, they said was silly. I say, ‘Go f— yourself.’”
Napoleon is coming. Gladiator 2 is coming. Ridley Scott is showing no signs of slowing down.