Ridley Scott is preparing for what’s shaping up to be a rather ambitious return to the sci-fi genre with Prometheus – a film that is a quasi-prequel to his 1979 classic Alien. While Scott has been decidedly vague regarding the film’s plot, one thing is certain – the prolific filmmaker has surrounded himself with an extremely talented group of actors.

In addition to Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, and Michael Fassbender, Prometheus recently added Idris Elba, Sean Harris, and Kate Dickie to its roster. Now, the Daily Mail is reporting that English actor Rafe Spall has joined the cast as well.

Spall is the son of character actor Timothy Spall and is probably best known for his appearances in Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. He also appeared in Wright’s Grindhouse trailer, Don’t. There’s no word yet on what specifically his role in the film will be.

Meanwhile, Rapace recently sat down with MTV on the set of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and opened up about her character in Prometheus. She explains that she’ll have very little time between projects and that Prometheus‘ shooting schedule will be quite extensive:

“I’m jumping into that straight off of [‘Sherlock Holmes 2′]. My character’s name is Elizabeth Shaw, and I’ll step into her shoes in March and be her for six months or something. It’s quite a long shoot. It’s unbelievable.”

Rapace also praised Scott and revealed that he’s been a true collaborator as they continue the process of fleshing out her character:

“It’s a great honor and I’m really excited … I’ve met him maybe seven or eight times and he’s so passionate. He really loves movies. He watches movies every night. He’s seen everything. We had a long chat on the phone — he’s in LA now — about my character. I have many ideas and he has many ideas, and now we’re starting to search and try to find her.”

Starring as the strong female lead in a movie that’s tied to the Alien franchise will no doubt invite comparisons to Sigourney Weaver’s iconic performance as Ripley – but it doesn’t sound like Rapace is too worried.

Although Shaw may have certain similarities to Ripley, Rapace insists that the character will be able to stand on her own:

“She’s definitely her own [character] … She’s a scientist and is very bright … She’s a believer. I think there are some similarities, but she’s very much her own. I don’t think people will compare her so much to Ripley once they actually see the movie.”

Rapace also confirms what her co-star Michael Fassbender has already told us twicePrometheus is definitely connected to the Alien universe. When coupled with reports that the Space Jockeys and xenomorphs will be making an appearance in the film, it seems strange to me that Scott continues to be so coy about that fact.

However strong or loose that connection ultimately turns out to be, Prometheus has already become one of my most highly-anticipated upcoming movies. Scott has assembled a first-rate cast and I can’t wait until we learn more about what he has in store for us.

Prometheus is scheduled to hit theaters on June 8, 2012.

Source: MTV and Daily Mail.