A The Martian reunion is in the making, and it’s mighty promising. Per Deadline, director Ridley Scott is set to reteam with 20th Century Fox and his The Martian scribe Drew Goddard for an adaptation of the S. Craig Zahler novel Wraiths of the Broken Land, which will put Scott firmly in Western territory for the first time in his career. The story revolves around the attempt to rescue two kidnapped sisters forced into prostitution, although the book isn’t a Western in the classic sense, as it’s described as a piece of fiction that combines elements of “horror, noir, and Asian ultra-violence.” With Scott and Goddard onboard to boot? Sign me up.
The Martian producer Simon Kinberg is also involved in the project, producing alongside Aditya Sood and Michael Schaefer, although this is shaping up to be a decidedly darker tale than their optimistic sci-fi of Best Picture nominee. Scott is currently in production on his promised Prometheus sequel Alien: Covenant, and he maintains his intention to round out the franchise with a further sequel(s) that will connect the series back around to Alien, so it’s unclear where Wraiths of the Broken Land fits on his schedule. He has separately been eyeing an adaptation of the British sci-fi series The Prisoner, but that project has yet to firm up into anything concrete.
As for Goddard, he was originally set to direct The Martian before he stepped away to serve as showrunner on Marvel’s Netflix series Daredevil, which he subsequently left to write and direct Sony’s planned Spider-Man spinoff Sinister Six. That project was eventually scuttled and we’re still awaiting Goddard’s directorial follow-up to his stellar debut The Cabin in the Woods, but he’s a terrific writer so his involvement here with Wraiths of the Broken Land is certainly promising.
Scott moves quickly, so it’s possible he could get to this by early 2017, and it’s hard not to be excited about the pairing of hard-edged, violent Western with the directing sensibilities of Ridley Scott. Here’s hoping we see this sooner rather than later.