Ridley Scott knows he’s a film legend, so he’s not taking the blame for his latest endeavor’s modest success. Instead, the English director has found a different explanation for why his historical drama The Last Duel flopped at the box office: millennials — or as he calls them, “The millenian.”
Scott joined Marc Maron for a recent episode of the comedian’s WTF podcast to discuss his long-spanning career, and he took the time to reflect on the low sales of his latest picture, which drew only $4.8 million domestically from a $100 million budget in its October 15th opening weekend. Scott said he feared the Disney-owned 20th Century Studios would undersell the film — which sees Matt Damon and Adam Driver fight to the death in a medieval France duel — since Disney’s target audience tends to be younger viewers more interested in superhero flicks than period pieces. But the 83-year-old director said Disney ultimately did a fine job with promotion — millennials just failed to see its pull.
“I think what it boils down to — what we’ve got today [are] the audiences who were brought up on these fucking cell phones,” Scott said. “The millennian, [who] do not ever want to be taught anything unless you told it on the cell phone.”
He continued, “This is a broad stroke, but I think we’re dealing with it right now with Facebook. This is a misdirection that has happened where it’s given the wrong kind of confidence to this latest generation, I think.”
What Scott failed to realize is that the youngest members of “this latest generation” will turn 30 this year and are not, in fact, the latest generation. But he’s not bothered by his decision to make the film. “That’s the call you make,” he said. “That’s the call Fox made. We all thought it was a terrific script. And we made it. You can’t win all the time. I’ve never had one regret on any movie I’ve ever made. Nothing. I learned very early on to be your own critic. The only thing you should really have an opinion on is what you just did. Walk away. Make sure you’re happy. And don’t look back. That’s me.”
Things Scott doesn’t think have terrific scripts: superhero movies. The Blade Runner director recently deemed the modern blockbusters “fucking boring as shit,” arguing that special effects make up for the genre’s plot line deficit. Perhaps millennians will like his next project, the Lady Gaga-starring House of Gucci, better. If not, there’s always that Blade Runner TV series, which he recently announced had reached the stage where a pilot script had been written.