Fox Wants Portman For ‘Alien’ Prequels & Are Pleased With Lindelof’s Script

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 11:41 pm,

Fans of the long-running Alien franchise may have initially had some reservations about the idea of any sort of prequel to the story. However, worries were at least diminished (if not erased altogether) when Alien director Ridley Scott signed on to direct. At least we know the story is in tried and tested hands.

An important aspect of the Alien prequels (we’re getting two instead of just one) is the female hero who would, in a sense, become the new version of Ripley (or rather the old version, considering the prequels take place decades before the first film). Last week we reported that the search was on for the lead female role, with the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Noomi Rapace, circling the role after she met with and impressed Scott.

However, skip forward almost a week and Vulture has an update to this Alien prequel business saying that 20th Century Fox has Natalie Portman as its top choice, with Rapace a close second.

Portman recently opted out of the film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, her supposed reasoning being that she felt she was too old to play the part (she’s 29 years old when the character is only 20). But could the real reason she passed on Prejudice - as well as Alfonso Cuarón’s sci-fi epic Gravity - be because of her potential casting in the Alien prequels? It’s entirely possible. Both Portman and Rapace are great choices, as they both have the screen presence and acting chops to pull off such a significant role.

Alien Prequel Script

In other Alien prequel news, 20th Century Fox is reportedly very pleased with the script written by Damon Lindelof (Lost). He handed in his re-write draft of the script this past weekend and the studio is happy about it for several reasons.

Aside from the script being “creatively engaging” (that’s pretty much a given for anyone who’s seen Lost episodes that Lindelof had a hand in writing), Fox is happy with the fact that the script doesn’t contain any huge set-pieces, which always add millions to a film’s budget.

Recent reports stated that there was trouble between Scott and the studio because Scott wanted a big-budget R-rated movie while the studio (understandably) wants a smaller budget and a PG-13 movie. That appears to still be the case (sort of) with Fox hoping to shrink Scott’s reported $150-$160 million budget. Lindelof’s script lacking any big set-pieces will certainly help Fox to do exactly that.

Alien fans looking for another R-rated hardcore story may be disappointed to learn that another reason Fox is more than content with Lindelof’s rewrite of the script is that it’s geared towards being PG-13 instead of R-rated. Now before you get up in arms too much, remember that Lindelof is a talented writer who I’m sure wouldn’t let quality suffer just because the content isn’t as hardcore as it could be. And at the end of the day, we still have Scott at the helm, one of the great directors working today.

ridley scott alien prequels in 3d Fox Wants Portman For Alien Prequels & Are Pleased With Lindelofs Script

Some parts of this news you might find very encouraging (Portman being thrown in the mix) while other aspects might have left a bad taste in your mouth (the prequels being more PG-13 than R-rated). I’m just happy we’re not getting another  Alien vs. Predator movie. Robert Rodriguez and Co. cut themselves off from those “versus” movies with a very enjoyable Predators reboot this past summer and here’s hoping Scott’s Alien prequels can top that success.

Source: Vulture

TAGS: Alien
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  1. “Lindelof is a talented writer who I’m sure wouldn’t let quality suffer just because the content isn’t as hardcore as it could be. ”

    Your tongue was planted firmly in your cheek when you wrote that right? ;)

    • Honestly, no. Are you referring to the Lost factor there? :P

      • Yes I am. He may be a talented writer in some aspects but I find it hard to believe he wouldn’t let quality suffer based on the Lost factor.

        • And as I look at his credits (IMDB) he hasn’t really “written” anything. Most of his writing credits fall under LOST and Crossing Jordan.

          As I dig deeper into those credits they show he had “help”.

          I will honestly tell you I have no idea how the title “writer” works. Do they write it then someone rewrites it? How much credit does the rewrieter get over the writer. What does co-writer indicate etc.

          I use a simple formula… you either wrote it alone, with someone or not at all. :D

  2. I loved the FIRST AvP.

  3. whenever franchise sequels go from R to PG-13, they always suffer…. next they’ll want to make a PG-13 version of Saw XI ;)

    • Oh I’d LOVE to see a PG-13 Saw movie :P I can just see it now – Jigsaw just beats them up a little bit with minimal blood shown :P

  4. A PG-13 Alien movie would be crap

  5. Yeah, I think there will be quite a bit of the “scare” taken out of the Alien franchise if it drops a rating level.

    Hmmm… Noomi or Natalie… tough choice…

  6. I am still excited by this .
    Bring it on!
    Is The lead female supposed to be relative of Ripleys?

  7. hmm HIGHLY Disappointed in this news. PG-13? You get a “Come on man!!” The best Aliens movie there was was Aliens. And if I recall (with-out looking) wasn’t that an R rating? You can NOT effectivly do a horror movie with a PG-13 rating!!!

    Small sets? Aliens should have the largest sets possiable. Again not knowing the Script doesn’t help any but again go back to Aliens a PERFECT movie in my eyes. Ok so lets say the do the Prequal on LV ??? Can’t remember the numbers. There should be crash landing and total annilation of the planet with infestation of humans all over the place. Blood and swearing should be around every corner mixed with Human and Alien blood.

    If I was Scott.. I would walk and not be apart of a trainwreck this movie is going to end up being. If anything…. Fox should take note from there AvP series. First one was junk the second one rocked!!

    • It’s not small SETS it’s small SET PIECES. It’s industry speak for big, complicated action showcase scenes.

  8. I’m still excited about this even though they wanna go the pg-13 route (rolls eyes). Seriously screw those teenagers they can sneak in or wait till dvd/blu ray!

  9. Even though the first installment carried an R rating, I honestly believe that if Scott incorporates the same sense of dredding “what you DONT see” as he did in ALIEN, then he is talented enough to make the movie compelling even if a PG-13 rating is attached to it. With all due respect to ALIENS, the first film will always be the one by which all the others are judged, IMO. I’m very optimistic about another Scott/Alien film, as opposed to more AVP drek…

  10. I have only this to say about “any” ALREADY ESTABLISHED movie series that drops to PG-13 from R. A million people turn 17 every day. Give them something to look forward to.

    For every new person that watches it because it’s only rated PG-13, there will be a bitter fan who refuses to watch it because it is not rated R.
    *AHEM* “Terminator Salvation”

    Thankfully we have the original director coming back (as of right now at least)

    PG-13 or R, Whatever the case may be…To quote James Cameron:

    “The soup has been pissed in”

    • I thought Terminator Salvation was an improvement over T3. Even with PG-13. I’m not saying every horror movie has to be R; I’m just saying for the Alien franchise, they should stick with how they have been.

      I mean didn’t they come out with an Alien movie that was PG-13…? (AVP)
      Oscar worthy

      • I agree foopher. I even wish the avp films served somewhat of a connection of continunity between the franchises knowing they’re crossover films. and the way Predators was made, it felt like it took place after AVP-R due to it’s ending. I too liked T4 despite being Pg-13, & even Cameron mentioned he liked it more than he thought he would aswell as Arnold.

      • @”I mean didn’t they come out with an Alien movie that was PG-13…? (AVP)
        Oscar worthy”

        The sequel brought back the R rating, and the majority panned that film. Seriously, people seem to think that giving a rilm a R-rating automatically makes it good, but it doesn’t. Guess what, even the original wasn’t oscar worthy.

  11. First of all, in tv there is a team of writers. To give credit to one man is ignorant. Second of all his Ultimate Hulk vs Wolverine comic sucked big donkey d!ck. And lastly, going from tv to film is not a direct easy translation. They’re different formats.

    I for one remain skeptical. I have a room lined with plastic waiting…

  12. Fox wants to keep the budget small? Didn’t they just f’n make oh I don’t know 2 BILLION F’N DOLLARS with Avatar?! Way to go Fox execs. Douches!

    • Lol hitgirl, They probly wanna save up the return profits for the sequel to Avatar.

  13. It’s Ridley Scott! Seriously, just let him do his thing and don’t censor him to a PG-13 rating! Besides this, why do all the studios WANT Portman for roles?? Ugh… Please cast a virtually unknown actress instead!! I’m okay with Noomi for the record.

  14. Terminator Salvation bankrupted it’s studio. Rambo led to a bigger budget version of the same film with the best cast in history.

    I hate the PG-13 rating. It only exists to censor filmmakers. Would the off screen kills in Alien be as scary if the first kill wasn’t one of the most horrific scenes commited to film?

    • @dude…blame Spielberg and Lucas for the PG-13 rating, it was Temple of Doom that instigated it my friend.

    • Sometimes what you don’t see has more impact on something you do. That’s the problem with most moviegoers today. They have no sense of imagination.

      • why do you think Tarantino cut away from the infamous Ear torture scene in Reservoir Dogs. he shot it both ways infact. one with the camera showing Madsen cutting the ear off and the scene that was shown in the film itself, Tarantino preferred the camera cutting away. leave it to the imagination.

  15. That Cameron quote?
    He wasnt dissing the rating of Terminator :Salvation.
    It doesnt realy apply to this situation.

  16. IMO alot of you guys in here look down your nose at anything Lost related and never even watched the show and if you did, did not watch from the pilot, and the hateDamon Lindelof is getting is just crazy his episodes of Lost are some of the best and let’s not 4get it was him and JJ who put that to work and yes his credits may not stretch across Hollywood just yet but you can bet whatever he brings to this Franchise will be something we will be talking about when both prequels come out.

  17. This is a classic example of producing Kitsch. You take something that was originally powerful, challenging to the mind and heart, (yes heart haven’t you ever noticed that a heartbeat sound effect is in “Alien?”) transforming it into something disposable. You simplify it, take out all the mystery, explain everything down to mind numbing mediocrity and transform it into something of mass consumption. In this case slapping limitations on the story to fit a PG-13 format as well. We’ll make the threat kid friendly so we can make a mint on Alien toys. It just makes me sick that commercialization has so overtaken the art of storytelling and the industry as a whole…

  18. OHH yeah and lets not forget that Natalie Portman had some of the most wooden dialog delivery in all of movie history in the three “Star Wars” prequels! The only character in SciFi I think she’s qualified to play is the next titular Vulcan in some “Star Trek” sequel, her ears are even the right shape…

    • That’s not fair b/c all the acting (and everything else) was horrible in the Star Wars prequels. However, I think Noomi Rapace fits the role more than Portman. Portman doesn’t give me the impression she’s a Colonial Marine General.