Ridley Scott. Truly a gifted filmmaker, with a wonderful visual style. He started off with a sequence of great flicks: The Duellists, Alien, Bladerunner, and Legend. Then he made several inconsequential, unmemorable movies, with a couple of flops such as 1492 and a couple of good ones such as Thelma and Louise. However, with his recent hits like Gladiator and Black Hawk Down, he's once again in the first tier in Hollywood. His next couple projects: Tripoli: Ridley Scott has committed to make his next film the historical drama Tripoli. The 20th Century Fox project revolves around the true story of William Eaton (played by Russell Crowe), an American who helped the rightful heir to the throne of Tripoli (now Libya) lead an overthrow of a corrupt ruler who was oppressing the population in the early 1800s. Tripoli had a remarkably brief gestation period, as William Monahan's script was purchased by Fox and producer Mark Gordon just three months ago. The studio is eyeing a late summer or early fall start date for the project, which is being compared in scope to Lawrence of Arabia. "It is the story of a young man's growth from a diplomat to a soldier to a statesman, and it has all those things that Ridley does so well," said Fox co-chairman Tom Rothman. The Tripoli commitment comes just days after Scott's Fox-based Scott Free banner, which he runs with brother Tony, hired Massachusetts-based Monahan to draft an epic adventure set during the 11th-century Crusades; Scott hopes to direct that picture after he completes Tripoli.