Earlier this year, there were two big movies on Ridley Scott’s schedule. Blade Runner 2 and Prometheus 2. In February, Scott decided to only produce Blade Runner 2, and made way for Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve. Everyone now obviously expected him to start production on Prometheus 2 once he finishes The Martian, as Prometheus 2 had already had a finished script and a 2016 release date. Also, locations had been scouted, and both Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace had voiced their confirmations that they’ll gladly return.

Today, Sir Ridley surprised the industry by announcing The Cartel instead, an adaptation of Don Winslow’s novel. Fox outbid both Leonardo DiCaprio and True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto, and Ridley Scott himself committed to directing the movie. They’re already in negotations to have DiCaprio come on board as co-producer, and of course, for the starring role of a DEA agent who embarks on a ten-year crusade against a drug lord. DiCaprio and Scott had already worked together on Body of Lies. Strangely, neither Body of Lies nor Scott’s latest drug trade movie The Counselor (remember Cameron Diaz on the car?) managed to be big hits.

Prometheus 2 is not mentioned in any way, and while The Cartel may easily become Scott’s next project after Prometheus 2, Salerno still has about half a year until The Martian gets released. If he’s quick, pre-production on the Winslow adaptation could easily start in early 2016.

Is Fox currently only betting on Neill Blomkamp’s Alien 5? Or are we going to another replacement? I’ve heard rumors that Maze Runner director Wes Ball is being considered, but I’m not really believing that.