Twentieth Century Fox announced today that Ridley Scott will direct Prometheus, an original science fiction epic, for worldwide release on March 9, 2012. The initial draft of the script was written by Jon Spaihts (The Darkest Hour) from Scott's idea. Damon Lindelof ("Lost," Star Trek) and Scott have since been working together on the current version which has expanded the story into new directions.
Story details are being closely guarded so as not to spoil surprises for moviegoers, but Scott explained the outlines of the film and its genesis as follows: "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."
"In a world flooded with prequels, sequels and reboots," said Lindelof. "I was incredibly struck by just how original Ridley's vision was for this movie. It's daring, visceral and hopefully, the last thing anyone expects. When I sat in a movie theater as a kid, feet raised off the floor for fear that something might grab my ankles, I never dreamed in my wildest imagination I would one day get to collaborate with the man responsible for it. Working alongside him has been nothing short of a dream come true."
Of the five major roles to be cast, Noomi Rapace is the first actor signed to star in the film. The young Swedish actress landed the role of scientist Elizabeth Shaw after Scott saw her portrayal of fictional Lisbeth Salander in the film The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, for which she was lauded by Time magazine as a 2010 Performance of the Year. Rapace starred in all three entries of the breakout global franchise based on Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy of books (The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest are the other two entries), which have collectively grossed more than $212 million worldwide.
The other major roles will be cast shortly.
So in a nutshell: The Alien "prequel" is more or less toast (praise be to Christ!). And the original impetus of that project has blossomed into an entirely new and original beast. Either way, the words "epic, Science fiction, and Ridley Scott" are being pressed together into a single sentence, with a film that isn't vapour, and with a release date that's in the very tangible future. I'm goddamn excited!