The State Of Play With Ridley Scott’s Alien Prequels

In order to promote both the home entertainment release of Robin Hood and the UK cinema run of Cyrus, which was produced by his Scott Free company, Sir Lord Ridley Scott Esq. has given an interview to The Independent. The last few paragraphs relate to Scott’s plans for prequelising Alien, and mix direct quotes with straight statements that could either come from something Scott said, or supposed common knowledge about the project.

Let’s assume it’s all kosher info for now, because it makes a nice state of play roundup. Here’s a break down of where Scott seems to be:

  • The project is described as “a two-part prequel to Alien, shot in 3D”. This suggests two films that tell one story and are closely interlinked.
  • The Indie say Damon Lindoff is “polishing the first prequel’s script”. Don’t they mean Lindelof? And why not the second too?
  • Scott sees himself as in competition with Avatar, saying “Jim’s raised the bar and I’ve got to jump to it. He’s not going to get away with it.”
  • The films are set 30 years before Alien.
  • Scott describes the mood and underlying premise like this: “The film will be really tough, really nasty. It’s the dark side of the moon. We are talking about gods and engineers. Engineers of space. And were the aliens designed as a form of biological warfare? Or biology that would go in and clean up a planet?”

A great deal of this is well-repeated, but the new article seems to suggest that none of it has changed. Scott has worked with multiple writers to hone the prequel screenplays and, as far as I can tell, a lot has been adapted and twisted as they go along. What details we have laid out here, it would seem, form the unchanging core.

There’s a lot more I think I know, but have not been able to 100% confirm (a same sex relationship at the heart of the story, a strange criss-crossing narrative that takes a long time to connect its halves, some unusual new forms for the Alien to take) but rest assured, I’ve got my ear to the ground…

I’ve spent a lot of time this week with Blu-rays from the Alien Anthology set. I’m not sure how much I can say yet, but whatever I would say, if I could, would be very squealy and excited. Buy them.

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