The director Ridley Scott is one of a very rare species: a director of influential films that have also been commercially successful. His movies have covered a huge range of settings and genres, from “Thelma and Louise” to “Gladiator” and “Black Hawk Down.” But some of his most beloved movies are science fiction. His breakout film, “Alien,” is still scary now, nearly four decades after it came out. Scott went on to make another science fiction classic, “Blade Runner,” in 1982.
But after that, he mostly stayed away from sci-fi — until "Prometheus," a prequel to "Alien," came out in 2012. Now Scott is embracing the genre again. In his latest movie, "The Martian," Matt Damon plays a marooned astronaut who has to figure out how to survive on Mars. Scott has two more "Alien" prequels in the works, along with a "Blade Runner" sequel.
In a special podcast-only edition of Studio 360, Kurt sat down with Scott to talk about sticking to his directorial vision — and how seeing Stanley Kubrick's "2001" in an empty movie theater convinced him to change careers.