- 27 April 2010
- By John Howell
Excellent news if you're a fan of Ridley Scott's original 1979 film Alien, with more details and quotes about his Alien prequel plans, and a report that a second Alien prequel will follow the first. Returning to the iconic science fiction horror universe of Alien with a director of Scott's calibre has the potential to be a frightening and exhilarating mix. What more could a horror / science fiction fan ask for?
Asked why he was returning to the Alien universe after all this time, Ridley told MTV that:
"I've always avoided sequels, unless I felt there was something fresh."
Scott now believes he can offer a fresh approach to the original Alien story. While he will not reuse the original alien creature shape as it "is worn out", he may still consult the original Alien designer, H.R. Giger, as the film development progresses.
He appeared openly critical of some of the Alien spin off films. When asked about Alien VS Predators, he said:
"Yeah, the thing about Alien vs. Predator is, I know it's commerce, but what a pity."
So what will his new Alien prequel be about?
"It's set in 2085, about 30 years before Sigourney," said Scott. "It's fundamentally about going out to find out 'Who the hell was that Space Jockey?' The guy who was sitting in the chair in the alien vehicle — there was a giant fellow sitting in a seat on what looked to be either a piece of technology or an astronomer's chair. Remember that? And our man climbs up and says 'There's been an explosion in his chest from the inside out — what was that?' I'm basically explaining who that Space Jockey — we call him the Space Jockey — I'm explaining who the space jockeys were."
While Sigourney Weaver will not be involved this time round (as the new film is set 30 years before her character was born) the main lead may be a woman just like in Alien.
In a more recent report in Empire Online, Scott also revealed that two prequels are in development.
"It'll be two," says Ridley. "Prequel one and two, then Alien 1."
When asked if he would be filming the two prequels back to back, he said, "At the moment I'm just trying to get the first one out."
He's now polishing the fourth draft of the first prequel's screenplay he told MTV and is "hoping to have it in theatres in late 2011, or maybe the best date in 2012."
Speaking to Screen Daily, he said the first prequel will be "really nasty" and that James Cameron (the director of the amazingly successful 3D science fiction epic Avatar) had "raised the bar and I've got to jump to it. He's not going to get away with it."
Sounds like there's a bit of healthy 3D science fiction film making rivalry going on.
There have been six Alien films so far, Alien in 1979, James Cameron's Aliens in 1986, Alien 3 in 1992, Alien Resurrection in 1997, and two prequels that cross pollinated with Swartzenager's Predator film: Alien vs. Predator in 2004 and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem in 2007.
I recently watched the first three Alien films on DVD, and Scott's original stands out a mile. Even with the excellent special effects employed by Cameron in his highly acclaimed follow up, it can't compete with the dark tension and mystery of the first. I guess you can't keep having baby Aliens burst out of peoples' chests and expect the audience to be surprised over and over again now can you? Or can you?
Scott is right to focus on that early scene where the crew discover the giant broken spacecraft and the the giant alien with a hole in its chest in a chair in the ship's centre. This is one of the most striking and powerful moments from the original movie. It should give him plenty of room to craft an epic alien horror story. Perhaps two alien species (our familliar foes and this new giant race) will battle it out while a human expedition is caught in the crossfire?
Most of this new information comes from interviews Scott is giving to promote his new film Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett. Robin Hood will open the Cannes Film Festival on 12 May.
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