Exclusive: Scott Talks Blood Meridian

Sir Ridley on his dark Western project

We talked to Sir Ridley Scott recently about his new Middle East-set spy thriller Body of Lies and he told us a little bit about his long-mooted adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's blistering Western, Blood Meridian, and the difficulties of adapting a book that is steeped in violence and which deals with seriously un-PC topics.

"It's written. I think it's a really tricky one, and maybe it's something that should be left as a novel. If you're going to do Blood Meridian you've got to go the whole nine yards into the blood bath, and there's no answer to the blood bath, that's part of the story, just the way it is and the way it was. When you start to scalp Mexican wedding parties that'll draw the line. One scalp of coarse black hair is pretty well either Mexican or Indian, and there was no difference to the scalp hunters in Arizona at that time, who didn't draw the line."

He also passed on a few tidbits about the background and setting for another proposed film, Tripoli, a William "Kingdom of Heaven" Monaghan-scripted tale of high adventure in 19th century North Africa, as a US diplomat teamed up with the dispossessed heir to the throne of Tripoli to challenge the heir's usurper brother.

Check out the full Ridley Scott interview here for more.