Ridley Scott, the acclaimed director behind Blade Runner and Alien, is partnering with top YouTube channel Machinima to produce a series of science fiction short films.

The future is here. Not the dark, gritty one that Scott himself has envisioned, but rather one where the film industry takes seriously the potential of YouTube channels and other online video platforms. As the top YouTube channel, Machinima is leading the way with this significant partnership for original content from one of Hollywood’s most noteworthy directors.

The collaboration is centered around the cretion of 12 original short films for distribution on the Machinima Network, which reaches beyond YouTube to Facebook, Twitter and mobile platforms.

Ridley Scott’s production company (RSA) will work with Machinima to choose directors from among its group. Scott will act as executive producer, alongside RSA president Jules Daly. RSA’s list of directors includes Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty, Hurt Locker), Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas, The Departed), Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall), Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces, The A-Team) and Neill Blomkamp (District 9).

bladerunnerposter Ridley Scott teams up with top YouTube channel Machinima to produce 12 original sci fi short films

“Partnering with Ridley Scott to work with his talented directors shows Machinima’s dedication to going above and beyond in delivering quality original content for our audience to embrace,” Machinima CEO Allen DeBevoise said in a statement. “By combining this unique incubation model together with our powerful partnership of established creative talent and scaled distribution to millions on Machinima, we believe new Sci-Fi franchises will be born.”

It’s not much of a surprise that Machinima has attracted top Hollywood talent. The company is massive, boasting 262 million monthly viewers and 2.6 billion video views per month. It’s also highly successful at targeting the young male population, the perfect demographic for new science fiction franchises.

Machinima has been one of the YouTube channels tipped for inclusion in a rumored paid subscription model for the video website’s top channel partners. Market research group Nielsen estimated last May that Machinima brought in over 17 million unique viewers and almost 430 million total streams on YouTube, making it the site’s third-biggest partner channel at the time.

Scott’s involvement with Machinima might have a mixed reception though. While he has earned respect for Alien and Blade Runner, last year’s Prometheus upset many fans with its inconsistent plot and confusing mythology.

Image credits: ABDELHAK SENNA / AFP / Getty Images, IMPAwards