Bloody Disgusting is exclusively reporting that actors James Franco and Anne Hathaway are the latest names to be added to the list of potentials cast members in Ridley Scott’s upcoming two-part Alien Prequel.

Franco and Hathaway now join the rumor mill alongside Carey Mulligan, Gemma Arterton, Natalie Portman and Noomi Rapace. Could one of these actors really end up as the lead in these Alien prequels? Or (gasp) could we possibly get more than one of them filling out the roles?

What we know so far is that the Alien prequels are being directed by Scott, while the script is being written by Lost scriber Damon Lindelof. We also know that the story will jump back to events that were referenced in Scott’s original Alien film, specifically the story of how “The Space Jockey” – that huge alien corpse Ripley’s team found when they first discovered the Alien’s eggs – came to be crashed-landed on LV-426, sending out the warning transmission that ultimately led Ripley and her team to encounter the Aliens some 30 years later.

The Space Jockey from ‘Alien’.

We also know that the human element of the Alien universe will be a feature of the prequels. We’ll allegedly learn such things as how human beings achieved deep-space travel, learned to terraform other worlds (a process which leads LV-426 to become the site of much chaos in James Cameron’s Aliens), and other questions that were not addressed in later installments of the series.

Looking at that premise it’s easy to imagine that there is room for many human characters, and truthfully speaking, despite Ripley’s obvious status as the franchise heroine, these Alien films have always been an ensemble affair. I say all that to say: having a cast comprised of names like Franco, Hathaway, Mulligan, Arterton, Rapace and Portman would only raise people’s expectations for these prequels. Of course, it would most certainly raise the price tag on the films as well, having to pay the salaries of such accomplished actors.

But I can dream, can’t I? I really do want great things for these Alien prequels, and while others feel confident about the fact that Ridley Scott is back directing them, that only makes me more nervous. After all, if they don’t turn out well Scott has only himself to blame for further smearing the legacy of the franchise; having a great cast of actors playing off of one another could go a long way toward avoiding that tragedy.

For now Franco, Hathaway, Mulligan, Arterton, Rapace and Portman are all just RUMORED names being attached to this project. We’ll keep you abreast about what develops and who gets what parts.

The first Alien Prequel is aiming to be in theaters sometime in 2011.

Source Bloody Disgusting