Alien prequels with Ripley replacement?
There's news today of a British actress who is set to meet Ridley Scott and discuss the possibility of appearing in the Alien prequels. Now while that is exciting in itself, and the actress is a great choice, it brings to mind something else.
Are we just going to see a replacement for Ripley in the prequel series? Won't this just feel too much like a restart of the original idea?
There's not exactly a great deal we know about the prequel story, but so far we've heard that it will concentrate on the ship and the creatures that we saw in the original Alien film when the humans first encountered them aboard that mammoth derelict ship with that huge dead creature known as the space jockey.
Now I did wonder where they were going to fit the humans into this story, but the more I think about it and remember the original idea the more I remember that the ship that Ripley was on was seemingly diverted deliberately, most likely by the Corporation, to try and get one of these aliens. There was a clear intention there and it's compounded by the sequel. They knew the ship was there with something on board, so that probably explains the human contact.
However do they really need to bring in a strong female lead to replace the Ripley character from the first? That seems like a move reminiscent of a Hollywood prequel or franchise reboot, not a cleverly written film that should be the prequel to something as strong as Alien.
However that's what they seem to be doing as Gemma Arterton has revealed in The Sunday Times through Digital Spy and ShockTillYouDrop (apologies, STYD don't give any site links to the other sources) that she will be meeting with Ridley Scott to discuss the possibility of appearing in the prequel films.
The reason is that he was apparently really impressed with her performance in The Disappearance of Alice Creed, a film where she plays her character under great duress and stress, coping with hugely emotional situations, and also being quite the heroine. Now that sounds a lot like a Ripley-esque character.
Not that I'm saying they're writing that character into the film, but if that's what drew Scott to the actress then there's perhaps something more than just marvelling at her acting. It does suggest that he has his eye on a strong female lead, and to me that has a strong indication that they're looking at replacing Ripley, trying to emulate the successful formula of that strong female lead battling the Aliens, and that doesn't sound like a well thought through prequel idea, rather more the rebooting of a Hollywood franchise move.