This never happens.
Ridley Scott had been working on the Alien prequel, working happily and playing with ideas. He was talking to actors and he had a script from Damon Lindelof. Except that what he had wasn’t the Alien prequel, but something that had morphed from that into a completely new concept.
Ridley Scott says in a press release: “While Alien was indeed the jumping off point for this project, out of the creative process evolved a new, grand mythology and universe in which this original story takes place. The keen fan will recognize strands of Alien’s DNA, so to speak, but the ideas tackled in this film are unique, large and provocative. I couldn’t be more pleased to have found the singular tale I’d been searching for, and finally return to this genre that’s so close to my heart.”
The film is Prometheus, and Noomi Rapace, the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is the first lead signed on.
We don’t know much else. Fox is promoting the film as a science fiction epic, and it has a March 2012 release date (man, the old release calendar is just out the window, huh? I love it).
An original movie! Not a prequel! Possibly having some nerdlinger connection to the Alien films but a new thing! We don’t get that in Hollywood much anymore. First Avatar, then Inception, now Prometheus - things are looking up for original blockbuster scifi films.
Big props to Fox for rolling with this. Instead of getting the obvious prequel property they started with they’re getting something new. They’re taking a chance. I think it’s really important we all solemnly nod in the direction of the Fox lot and let those guys know we approve of this sort of stuff.
The question remains, though - will there ever be an Alien prequel? Is that a project that has moved to other hands, or has Prometheus essentially finished it for now?
Here’s the full release for those interested in such things:
Los Angeles (January 14, 2011) __ Twentieth Century Fox announced today that Ridley Scott
will direct PROMETHEUS, an original science fiction epic, for worldwide release on March 9,
2012. The initial draft of the script was written by Jon Spaihts (The Darkest Hour) from Scott’s
idea. Damon Lindelof (Lost, Star Trek) and Scott have since been working together on the
current version which has expanded the story into new directions.
Story details are being closely guarded so as not to spoil surprises for moviegoers, but Scott
explained the outlines of the film and its genesis as follows: “While Alien was indeed the
jumping off point for this project, out of the creative process evolved a new, grand mythology
and universe in which this original story takes place. The keen fan will recognize strands of
Alien’s DNA, so to speak, but the ideas tackled in this film are unique, large and provocative. I
couldn’t be more pleased to have found the singular tale I’d been searching for, and finally return
to this genre that’s so close to my heart.”
“In a world flooded with prequels, sequels and reboots,” said Lindelof. “I was incredibly struck
by just how original Ridley’s vision was for this movie. It’s daring, visceral and hopefully, the
last thing anyone expects. When I sat in a movie theater as a kid, feet raised off the floor for fear
that something might grab my ankles, I never dreamed in my wildest imagination I would one
day get to collaborate with the man responsible for it. Working alongside him has been nothing
short of a dream come true.”
Of the five major roles to be cast, Noomi Rapace is the first actor signed to star in the film. The
young Swedish actress landed the role of scientist Elizabeth Shaw after Scott saw her portrayal
of fictional Lisbeth Salander in the film The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, for which she was
lauded by Time magazine as a 2010 Performance of the Year. Rapace starred in all three entries
of the breakout global franchise based on Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy of books (The Girl
Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest are the other two entries),
which have collectively grossed more than $212 million worldwide.