subscribe: Posts | Comments

Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian to Produce Disaster Flick

ridley scott

Ridley Scott courtesy of – Wikipedia

As the much-hyped and equally disappointing sci fi extravaganza Prometheus is fading from movie theaters, the director Ridley Scott is already poised to give us another epic. Teaming up with screenwriter Steve Zaillian (Moneyball and The Girl With Dragon Tattoo), Sir Ridley will direct a disaster thriller called The Day Britain Stopped, which was originally made as a 2003 BBC pseudo-documentary. Unlike the original, however, Scott’s version is likely to be a big-budget spectacle, filled with A-list actors and explosive special effects. (

First things first, who is Steve Zaillian? He may not be as well-known as Ridley Scott, but he is one of the most successful screenwriters in Hollywood. He’s been nominated for Oscars three different times — for Awakenings, Gangs of New York, and last year’s Moneyball — and he won in 1994 for his screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. Since Scott and Zaillian are both some of the most influential people in Hollywood, it is no surprise they’ve worked together before — specifically, on 2001’s Hannibal and 2007’s American Gangster. In fact, in his 2001 interview with Total Film, Scott called Zaillian one of the best screenwriters in the business.

Scott’s and Zaillian’s take of The Day Britain Stopped will be much bigger in scope than the original, which was about how a train strike led to a “meltdown of the country’s transport system.” In the remake the man-made disaster will develop into a major global catastrophe — with the narrative spanning across several countries.

Zaillian will be involved on the project only as a producer, having announced that the production team is searching for a writer. Scott’s Scott Free and Zallian’s Film Rites banners will be involved in the production along with Twentieth Century Fox. However, Fox has refused to comment on their plans for the project. (

The Day Britain Stopped definitely holds promise. Scott seems to have a knack for picking up projects that touch upon “serious” topics, yet stay within the constraints of the Hollywood formula, saying virtually nothing on those topics. Prometheus was a spectacular sci fi horror epic, but it barely even delved into the subject of human origins — which it seemingly tried to tackle. 2007’s American Gangster and 2008’s Body of Lies didn’t say much about the issues of racism, crime, and terrorism either, even though it seemed like they would. The Day Britain Stopped looks exactly like the type of movie Scott would direct — it would have an important issue at its centre and would likely be a big-budget spectacle, but it would be hollow on the inside.

Even so, The Day Britain Stopped has enough potential to be a film worth seeing.


By: Taras Trofimov

Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved – THE SCENE

Next Entries »