Fox Excited About Lindelof's 'Alien' Script, Wants Portman Too
I don't know about everyone else, but I really want Ridley Scott to do nothing more than finally direct the long-discussed Alien prequel next, no more period action movies or political thrillers or anything. Its been in development for a while and we learned back in July that "Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof had been hired to write the latest draft of the script. While we don't usually report on scripts getting turned in because it's very mundane news, Vulture received an update from a industry spy with lots of exciting details about Lindelof's latest draft that was turned into Fox last weekend that they "flipped" over because it's so good.
So we know that it's going to be a prequel (or two) that will somehow address the "space jockey" guy from the first Alien, but as for exact details, things are still a bit vague. The story will, however, focus on a female Colonial Marine General (we'll get into casting later) and is set roughly 35 years before the first movie. Apparently Lindelof's script is "creatively engaging", but doesn't have too many overly expensive action set pieces that would blow up the budget. Scott wants upwards of a $150 to $160 million budget at the moment, but Fox still wants to bring that down, which I'm sure they'll do before this actually gets greenlit.
Continuing on, Vulture learned that the script is PG-13, as recently rumored, but don't freak out about this news yet. Apparently it's not that bad, as they explain: "If the original Alien were released today, minus the F-bombs, you could still get a PG-13. Alien is a very Jaws-ian movie: There's no sex, and while there's lots of violence, most of it is off-camera. Maybe you'd have to cut away from certain scenes two seconds earlier, but it could be done." Well okay, but I just hope it's not too toned down. The MPAA has become worse over the years and they're likely to cut even more violence to make it PG-13, but I don't think there's anything we can say or do to convince them to go R with this. Although, Robert Rodriguez and Nimrod Antal's Predators was R-rated and that brought in a solid $125 million from the worldwide box office this summer. So who knows?
Moving on to casting, Vulture says Natalie Portman is "at the top of the list" of candidates in the running for the lead marine role. Then again, everyone in town wants her, no thanks to her phenomenal performance in Black Swan. They say that Portman and Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, who's been mentioned before, are the only two actresses that Fox and Scott both like. But, of course, anything can happen, and we all know that Portman makes decisions last minute. I'd be happy with either, they're both strong actresses that can carry a film on their own and would definitely be viable modern counterparts to Sigourney Weaver's Ripley.
So there you go. This is a lot of information to process, especially when we don't even know the exact plot, but it sounds like things are going well. Even though most may not like hearing about that PG-13 part, the rest of it sounds as if Fox might actually be moving forward with this soon, aiming for summer 2012, which is what I hope happens. We'll keep you updated as we hear more. Still seem like this is in good hands?