Ridley Scott continues to prove he may be the hardest working filmmaker in showbusiness by lining up his next, next project. The director is currently in the midst of an Oscar campaign for The Martian while simultaneously prepping to start production on the Prometheus sequel Alien: Covenant this spring, but now he’s already lining up his post-Alien project in the form of a TV series adaptation. Per Deadline, Scott is in early talks to direct a feature film iteration of the 1968 British TV series The Prisoner for Universal, which has been percolating for some time.
The 17-episode TV show was created by, written by, directed by, and starred Patrick McGoohan as a former British secret agent who is abducted and held captive in a mysterious village resort, with his captors aiming to find out why he abruptly quit his job. The show combined the inherent thriller aspect of the premise with 60s counterculture psychedelia and touches of sci-fi, making it a fascinating piece of material prime for a feature film update.
AMC remade the show as a miniseries in 2009, and Christopher Nolan was at one time rumored to direct the film adaptation following The Dark Knight. Universal has drafts of the script by Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation helmer Christopher McQuarrie, among others, but it is The Departed screenwriter William Monahan who penned the most recent draft. Universal and Scott are now looking at various other screenwriters to choose someone to come in and hone the script to Scott’s liking, and if it results in a script that tickles Scott’s fancy, it’s possible this could be his next film after Alien: Covenant.
The director’s attachment is tenuous right now—script dependent, as per usual—but he hasn’t firmed up any other projects beyond plans to make either one or two more Prometheus sequels, depending on which day Scott is speaking. The filmmaker recently said he wants to handle all of the Prometheus sequels as the director himself, so it’s possible he either makes two Alien films back-to-back or uses The Prisoner as a bit of a palette cleanser in between. Either way, it’s great to see Scott so interested in the sci-fi genre after leaving it behind post-Blade Runner, and within a month and a half he could even have a Best Director Oscar to his name. At 78 years young, the filmmaker shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.