Ridley Scott doesn’t want to compare himself with Martin Scorsese, but he is pointing out the difference in their respective recent filmographies.
The “Napoleon” director addressed how Scorsese has helmed only one film, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” since 2019’s “The Irishman.” Meanwhile, Scott has directed four movies in four years.
“Since he started ‘Killers of the Flower Moon,’ I’ve made four films,” Scott told The Times UK. “No, I don’t think about it. I get up in the morning and say, ‘Ah great! Another day of stress.’”
Scott directed “The Last Duel,” “House of Gucci,” “Napoleon,” and short film “Behold.” He currently is in production on “Gladiator 2” with Paul Mescal and Denzel Washington.
And runtime can’t be the deciding factor between Scorsese and Scott’s respective outputs: Scott’s most recent period piece epic “Napoleon” clocks in at two hours and 38 minutes with its theatrical, but will have a four-hour director’s cut available on Apple TV+. In contrast, Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” is three hours and 26 minutes. The auteur has since defended its length and encouraged critics to “give cinema some respect.”
Scorsese said earlier this year, “People say it’s three hours, but come on, you can sit in front of the TV and watch something for five hours. Also, there are many people who watch theater for 3.5 hours. There are real actors on stage, you can’t get up and walk around. You give it that respect. Give cinema some respect.” Scorsese’s longtime collaborator, editor Thelma Schoonmaker, additionally called out theaters that were imposing an intermission on the film.
But Scott told BBC that he is instead especially conscious of the “bum ache factor” when editing his films.
“When you start to go ‘oh my God’ and then you say ‘Christ, we can’t eat for another hour,’ it’s too long,” Scott said. Scott also shrugged off the importance of historical accuracies in the period piece starring Joaquin Phoenix.
Critics have since championed Scott versus Scorsese (as well as “Oppenheimer” helmer Christopher Nolan) among the Best Director Oscars race. Scott, who has never won a Best Director Academy Award, admitted his first reaction would be “about feckin’ time!”