Ridley Scott blamed millennials for The Last Duel flop: Justified or out of touch?

    Looking back at Ridley Scott's candid take on the box office dip of The Last Duel, pointing fingers at millennials, and his bold stance on handling criticism.

    Ridley Scott (Source: Boston Global)

    Ridley Scott (Source: Boston Global)

    In 2021, celebrated director Ridley Scott found himself in the midst of swirling controversies, not for the content of his film The Last Duel, but for his brash take on its underwhelming box office performance. While many had expected the film, boasting a star-studded cast and a solid screenplay, to perform exceptionally well, it didn't exactly set the box office on fire. Scott, however, was quick to pinpoint the culprit – the new generation and their cellphones. “The millennian do not ever want to be taught anything unless you are told it on the cellphone,” Scott asserted. In an era dominated by digital screens and short attention spans, did the maestro have a point, or was he merely out of touch?

    Maron's maverick podcast

    The revelations surfaced when Scott appeared on comedian Marc Maron’s popular podcast WTF. The conversation inevitably drifted towards the lackluster performance of The Last Duel. Despite the film's $100 million budget, it only raked in $27 million worldwide. Scott didn't mince words when expressing his views, “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.”

    Ridley’s run-ins with critics

    The Last Duel wasn't Scott's first tryst with challenges. Delving into the past, he recounted his experiences post the release of the now-iconic Blade Runner in 1982. While the film has achieved a cult status today, its initial journey wasn't smooth. Scott faced a barrage of criticism, especially from film critic Pauline Kael. “I never read criticism. I never read critique ever again,” he mentioned, underscoring his approach to handling critiques.

    Gazing at the past with today’s lens

    Today, as we look back, it's intriguing to see the parallels and differences in Ridley Scott's experiences from Blade Runner to The Last Duel. His unwavering confidence in his work and his propensity to shun critiques have been constants. Yet, the ever-evolving dynamics of the film industry, especially the role of technology and audience preferences, continue to shape cinematic narratives.

    While the debate on whether millennials and their cellphones can be blamed for a film's failure is still open-ended, one thing is clear - Ridley Scott, with his decades-long illustrious career, remains an indomitable force in the realm of cinema.

    (Several parts of the text in this article, including the title, were generated with the help of an AI tool.)