Ridley Scott talks Alien Prequel
It's a go, of that there's no doubt. Not only has Ridley Scott said it's happening, but now he's saying they are working on the script and it will be filmed, in fact he says there's no question of it not happening.
More than that he's revealed the plot of the film and told us what to expect. With that we know where, when and a little bit of who, and the great news is it really is a prequel to the Alien story.
Way back I remember talking about the idea of a prequel and wondering if they were going to examine where the Alien spaceship we see in the first film came from, you remember, the one with the eggs in it that infected John Hurt's character, and the one with the huge seat and massive alien in it that Captain Dallas, Tom Skerritt, climbed up and marvelled at the huge hole in it's chest?
"It's set in 2085, about 30 years before Sigourney [Weaver's character Ellen Ripley]. 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 [Tom Skerritt as Captain Dallas] 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."
That's the one, and more than that, the MTV interview through Latino Review tells us that he's well ahead with the script, the fourth draft no less and they are working on building up the characters and improving the acts.
Obviously there's no Ripley in the film, since it's thirty years before she was involved, so lord only knows why MTV asked him if she was. However he does answer and reveal that the lead in this film is a woman. Mind you Ripley was written as a man and changed later, so it might yet swing back.
He talks further about the plot and what it's going to feature, and I'm getting shades of Avatar (Filmstalker review) mixed with the aroma of Alien here as he talks about the huge corporation behind the move in Alien to visit the planet, Weyland-Yutani:
"It's Weyland. Weyland hasn't joined Yutani yet, so they go and see Weyland. [The film] is about the discussion of terraforming - taking planets and planetoids and balls of earth and trying to terraform, seed them with the possibilities of future life."
So it sounds interesting enough, however the big question still remains, why? I mean we're already talking about a story that will go nowhere, like the prequel to The Thing, we know everyone's going to die, and isn't that the idea here? After all the Alien crew arrive and everything is dead, apart from the eggs.
Even when asked what changed his mind about returning to the franchise Ridley Scott admits it, it's done.
"They've squeezed the franchise dry. The first one will always be the most frightening, because the beast we put together with Giger and all its parts - the face-hugger, the chest-burster, the egg - they were all totally original, and that's hard to follow. ... I've always avoided sequels, unless I felt there was something fresh."
He's even revealed that they are going to totally rework the Alien design.
"I have to design - or redesign - earlier versions of what these elements are that led to the thing you finally see in "Alien," which is the thing that catapults out of the egg, the face-hugger...I don't want to repeat it. The alien in a sense, as a shape, is worn out."
I don't get it then. Why bother doing an Alien prequel, why not just leave it alone and let the original Alien stand there as the classic it is? After all his name is against that film, and if he delivers something sub-standard in comparison to the original then it's going to stick with him and the memory of the franchise.
I don't see a reason for this prequel, can someone convince me otherwise?