Ridley Scott's Return to Sci-Fi is Huxley's Brave New World
After the news broke yesterday that Ridley Scott would be returning to sci-fi in the coming years, speculation quickly began surrounding exactly which book Scott might be adapting. Our friends over at Rope of Silicon did some snooping and discovered that Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is most likely the tome he will tackle next. The 1932 masterpiece has been adapted five times previously, as a radio broadcast, multiple films, and multiple stage performances, including a 1998 made-for-TV film directed by Leslie Libman and Larry Williams. The classic sci-fi novel presents a strikingly realistic warning about our present society and seems like an immense work of fiction perfect for Ridley Scott to bring to life.
The original confirmation actually came from an article a couple of months back in the LA Times that specifically stated that "a movie of 'Brave New World' is in the works, produced by George DiCaprio and starring his son, Leonardo, directed by Ridley Scott with a screenplay by Andrew Nicholls." I'm not sure how this got passed over, but alas, it's been discovered and it confirms that Scott will be directing an adaptation of that book presumably with DiCaprio starring. As far as we can tell, Andrew Nicholls is a TV writer who hasn't actually written a feature film until now.
The book itself is a vast novel that tells of a futuristic dystopia. "Community, Identity, Stability" is the motto of Aldous Huxley's utopian World State. Here everyone consumes daily grams of soma, to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a "Feelie," a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for, Bernard Marx feels something is missing and senses his relationship with a young women has the potential to be much more than the confines of their existence allow.
As I originally stated in the first article, I'm looking forward to Scott's return to sci-fi. However, I'm concerned about the quality of his last few films (except American Gangster) and whether he might still be able to go back to his Blade Runner roots with Brave New World. Considering he once said that "there's nothing original" and "we've seen it all before" in regards to sci-fi, he must believe that Brave New World is the last great sci-fi epic that still has the potential to be original and unique in a world humdrum Hollywood blockbusters. Does it have that potential?