James Cameron's Avatar Influences Ridley Scott's Forever WarS

Ridley Scott's movie of Joe Haldeman's Forever War will be a 3-D epic, in the wake of James Cameron's groundbreaking work on Avatar, Scott told a London convention. And it'll have less KY-jelly than Alien.

Addressing a BFI forum as part of Blade Runner Day, Ridley Scott reminisced about how film-making has changed since his earliest works in the 1970s. Before digital cameras and CG effects, it was a lot more down and dirty. Especially when he was filming the iconic monster moments of 1979's Alien:

Ridley said: "From all those years of commercials, I knew I was going to use blood, KY Jelly and back light and all the segments were going to work out.

"I kept the monster away from all the actors. There was so much blood on the set that you had to do a take, wrap and come back in a week when it had all been cleaned up with alcohol.

"Roger [Christian - production designer] came in with the little demon in a shopping bag. We had an artificial chest screwed to the table. John [Hurt] was underneath, so it was an illusion that his neck was attached to that body.

"I had to cut through the chest with a razor blade as it wouldn't burst. And when it happened there was total silence. I think Yaphet [Kotto, who played Parker] started to shriek with laughter. We never went back. It was one take.

"People were saying the footage was gross and I didn't know whether that was a compliment or not. One of the studio guys had his daughter in watching the rushes and she was nine. He said it was over the top, and I said, 'You pay me for this. We're doing a film that's completely over the top'."

Scott's still getting his hands dirty, mucking around in the desert making his epic Robin Hood. But it sounds like he's going ultra-high-tech for Forever War, and he's largely influenced by James Cameron's motion-capture extravaganza Avatar, even though we still haven't seen any of it:

He said: "I'm filming a book by Joe Haldeman called Forever War. I've got a good writer doing it. I've seen some of James Cameron's work, and I've got to go 3D. It's going to be phenomenal."

Scott is one of the few classic directors who's still blowing me away - American Gangster, though flawed, was still one of the most memorable films I saw in 2007. So let's hope his desire to imitate Cameron doesn't get in the way of his drive to get down and dirty. [Wharf via Slashfilm]