Natalie Portman has been incredibly in demand as of late. Earning Oscar-worthy buzz for her performance in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, the actress has been getting looked at for Gravity, Superman and The Brothers Grimm: Snow White to name a few. Now Fox wants her to be the next Ellen Ripley.

Vulture reports that Fox has received the newest draft of Ridley Scott's Alien prequel by Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof and has not only flipped for it, but now wants Portman for the lead role. As previously reported, Scott and the producers have been meeting with actresses including The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo's Noomi Rapace and Carey Mulligan, but now the studio is high on Portman for the lead female role.

In addition to the casting interest, however, the article also mentions a few nice little tidbits about the project:
  • While "creatively engaging," the script doesn't have any wildly over-the-top, effect-heavy action sequences (much like Scott's first Alien film)

  • Despite claims to the contrary, Scott is targeting a budget somewhere between $150-160 million, though Fox would still like to see that number shrink.

  • The way that Lindelof's script is written, the film may not get an R-rating. An insider explains this by saying that, "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."

  • There is still no official title, though some names have been bouncing around.

  • There will be no Predators invading the world of Ridley Scott's Alien prequel.

  • We will finally get an answer about what happened to the "space jockey."

While I think that the MPAA's rules about language are laugh-out-loud stupid, there's a point to be made about the original Alien. All of the film's scares come from the incredible amount of tension building and there is very little on-screen violence. The only problem with this is that when people are scared, they tend to say "Fuck" a lot. As for Natalie Portman possibly filling Sigourney Weaver's shoes, I say, "Why the hell not?"

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