Director Ridley Scott is returning to the franchise he launched in 1979, Alien. The new film will be a prequel, which will presumedly look at how at relentless alien killing machines wound up on the crashed spaceship discovered by Sigourney Weaver and her crewmates in the first film.
Previously, Scott was only attached to produce an Alien prequel for studio 20th Century Fox, with commercials director Carl Erik Rinsch set to make his feature film debut with the project. However, Fox wasn’t happy with that arrangement and pressed for a personnel change.
While the news that Scott will be revisiting the Alien universe, I have to admit to some trepidation over the idea that the trip is for a prequel. A major portion of the terror generated in Scott’s original film was that there was virtually nothing known about the alien creature that leaps from the shadows, mercilessly decimating the unfortunates who got in its way. As we became more familiar with the aliens over subsequent films, some of their ability to scare us as an audience has diminished. Also, since the two Alien V Predator franchise crossover films take place in the present day, they could technically be considered to be prequels in their own right. There are even a few hints in them that point towards things since in the main Alien franchise. Since both Alien V Predator films are pretty much disliked by fans, they can be pretty much ignored by Scott though. (I call this the Highlander II option.)
On the plus side, the script is to be written by Jon Spaihts, after he successfully pitched both Scott’s production company, Scott Free Productions, and 20th Century Fox. While Spaihts has no produced credits on his resume, he has also written Shadow 19, which Keanu Reeves will star in for Warner Brothers, and Passengers, which has been purchased by Morgan Creek, also for Keanu Reeves. Both scripts are pretty good reads with some interesting ideas in them. Presumably, he has an equally interesting story in mind for this new Alien installment. It should be noted that Spaihts dance card is pretty full already – he is also rewriting The Darkest Hour for Fox, rewriting St. George And The Dragon for Sony and writing Children Of Mars for Disney – so what priority this receives remains to be seen.