Whether you were a fan or not of the way Lost ended (for the record, I’m in the “loved it” camp), you can’t deny the sheer scope and depth that the show had throughout its six-year run. One of those people who was right there from the inception to “The End” was Lost writer and executive producer, Damon Lindelof.
Lindelof has already made the jump from TV to movies with the Jon Favreau-directed Cowboys & Aliens and he’s currently writing the sequel to the Star Trek reboot alongside Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (they also co-wrote Cowboys & Aliens with him). However, Lindelof may be adding another Alien film to his credits.
According to unnamed sources that Deadline has, Lindelof has closed a deal to rewrite the script for the upcoming Alien prequel(s). Director Ridley Scott recently spoke about the prequels, saying that they would take place long before the first Alien (reportedly 30 years before), focusing specifically on “The Space Jockey” scene (shown below) that made a brief appearance in Scott’s original 1979 film.
That suggests that although it’s tied to the Alien story we know, the prequel can very much exist as its own entity. And if reports are to be believed, that’s what will happen with Lindelof on board. However, those hoping for the story to tie-in very closely with the Alien mythology we already know, might end up being disappointed as meetings between Lindelof, Scott and the studio apparently sparked a “[interpretation] that could well turn out to be a free-standing science fiction film.”
Does that mean they’ve now found a totally new direction and are trying to distance themselves from the original Alien to play to a wider audience? If so I think that would be a flat-out mistake. They already have a loyal and loving fan base, particularly for the original film (and its arguably superior sequel, Aliens) so they need to play into that. I know this isn’t a reboot, it’s a prequel, but they can’t just ignore what’s been established already.
Having said that, they also can’t afford to pander to fans of the original as they still need to make this prequel appealing and understandable to an audience who may not have seen the original. In the same way as J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot, as well as the recent Predators reboot/sequel, they need to simultaneously stay true to the original but still kick open new doors.
The script for the Alien prequel was originally written by Jon Spaihts (Passengers), a script that convinced Scott to return as director instead of just producing the film. Lindelof rewriting doesn’t necessarily mean Spaihts’ script was bad but it may simply mean that they just want it refined by a more experienced (not to mention enthusiastic) writer. Lindelof is said to have jumped at the chance to rewrite the prequel because the original Alien was such a big influence on him.
Just as a reminder: For now treat this is a RUMOR until it gets proven true or false from an official source (read: the studio).
Would Lindelof be a good fit? I personally think so – and I’m not biased because of how much of a Lost fan I am (although I can’t deny that adds to my approval). Remember, Lindelof is co-handling the script for two major blockbusters, Cowboys & Aliens and Star Trek 2. I really don’t think he would have been trusted with such projects if he weren’t any good at the (sci-fi) genre.
Although nothing’s official, it’s been speculated that the first Alien prequel will be released in 3D and regular theaters in late 2011, with the second prequel following in 2012.