After months and months of speculation and rumors, we're finally learning some solid information about Ridley Scott's Alien prequel-- including that it may no longer be an Alien prequel after all. First the hard facts via the 20th Century Fox Twitter feed:
Ridley Scott's next film is the science fiction epic "Prometheus." Noomi Rapace is first to sign on to star. For release on March 9, 2012.
That's the basic information that Deadline is working off in their more expansive piece, which has quotes from writer Dmaon LIndelof and Scott himself. Remember when Lindelof was hired to write a script for Scott that could either become the Alien prequel or something more unique? It seems that they went with the "original film" angle, based on what Scott told Deadline:
“While Alien was indeed the jumping off point for this project, out of the creative process evolved a new, grand mythology and universe in which this original story takes place. The keen fan will recognize strands of Alien’s DNA, so to speak, but the ideas tackled in this film are unique, large and provocative. I couldn't be more pleased to have found the singular tale I'd been searching for, and finally return to this genre that's so close to my heart.”
Scott will direct the project with Rapace in the lead as "Elizabeth Shaw," who is apparently a scientist. Deadline is floating the rumor that Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie are in the running to play the other big female lead "Vickers," but all Fox is promising is that the other roles will be filled out soon-- there are five major parts total. Lindelof didn't reveal much more in his statement to Deadline, other than saying the film is "hopefully the last thing anyone expects."
So those of you fearful about what an Alien prequel might over-explain about a world we felt pretty good about already, it seems the worst has been avoided, and Scott will be focusing on a more original outer-space story instead. This is almost definitely the best possible scenario, avoiding the pitfalls of ruining the Alien legacy while allowing Scott to return to science-fiction after far, far too long away. And Star Trek nerds, think of this-- now that Lindelof is done writing this script, maybe now he has time to finally get that sequel script off the ground after all?