So the word on the street has been that Ridley Scott's ALIEN prequel is sporting a budget upwards of $150-160 million (perhaps more). This has had the suits over at Fox a bit nervous and supposedly reticent to move full steam ahead. Enter "Lost" scribe Damon Lindelof. He was hired back in the summer to do a re-write for the prequel of the sci-fi/horror classic... and now that the stupid cat's out of the bag thanks to the guys over at Vulture, it appears Fox is loving it...
"One reason Fox execs are so thrilled with Lindelof's Alien draft is that, not only is it creatively engaging, but it adds no expensive 'set pieces' — production-speak for elaborate, effects-heavy action sequences that add millions to the cost of a film — to the movie."
It's also been assumed that the ALIEN prequel would be a hard R-rated affair, especially in light of recent comments by Scott that the film would be "really tough, really nasty". But Vulture's saying otherwise:
"We're told another reason Fox execs are pleased with Lindelof’s re-write of original screenwriter Jon Spaihts' script is that it's still aimed at a more accessible PG-13 rating. 'The thinking,' explains one insider, 'is 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.'"
And then there's Natalie Portman (BLACK SWAN). She's practically been up for every single female lead in Hollywood of late, so why not this one too? Vulture is claiming that Portman is Fox's current top choice for the role of a "a female Colonial Marine general". Now, I love Portman... but I'm having a hard time picturing her as a Marine general. The next name on the studio's list is the recently-reported Noomi Rapace, someone who to me just feels like a better fit for the part.
So... Natalie Portman, PG-13, Marines with no giant action set pieces, and PG-13(!!)... AFTER Ridley himself stated he wanted to vault over the bar set by Cameron with Aliens, and that he was planning a "brutal" film. Glad to see they're both on the same page...
Give it up Ridley, move along to The Forever War and give it the same TLC you showed Blade Runner. If these are the twilight years of your career... go out on top!