Ridley Scott Talks ‘Alien’ Prequel Details

Published 5 years ago by

Ridley Scott Alien Ridley Scott Talks Alien Prequel Details

Esteemed filmmaker Ridley Scott spoke to attendees at this year’s Hero Complex Film Festival in Los Angeles about a variety of subjects – most importantly, his upcoming 3D Alien prequels.

We previously reported that there would be two 3D prequels to Alien and that the focus of the films would be on “The Space Jockey” seen briefly in the 1979 sci-fi/horror classic.  Scott confirmed this early report and expressed astonishment that the character’s backstory had not yet been explored on film before now, since its appearance was so memorable.

Scott went on to reveal that Jon Spaihts (The Darkest Hour) had written a screenplay for the first film and that pre-production had begun on both projects.  He added that both prequels would take place LONG before the events of Alien (he previously stated that it was set 30 years earlier, which may still be the case), so that they could encompass a good deal of history about “The Space Jockey” and its deadly encounter with the Aliens.

Will the history of “The Space Jockey” be similar to Mark Verheiden’s comics in the ’90s – which portrayed them as deadly warriors who were prepped to destroy humanity once they had defeated the Aliens? Or will the film treat them as something else entirely?  Scott was mum on the matter but did mention that once moviegoers learned about the creature’s encounter with the iconic acid-bleeding monsters, they would be intrigued to learn just why it (he?) was on the Alien planet in the first place.

alien movie still Ridley Scott Talks Alien Prequel Details

The Space Jockey scene in Alien

Scott also dove into some more general details, mentioning how he had already done a good deal of underwater research for the films.  He rounded out the Alien prequels talk with the news that the films would indeed address some of the practicalities of outer space colonization, including the issues of terra forming, the nature of light speed, and humanity’s ability to actually leave Earth.

For more on Scott’s career-enlightening Q&A session at the HCFF, you should check out the full report over at Collider.

What do you think of these new Alien prequels so far?  Let us know in the comments section below.

The first Alien prequel will likely arrive in regular and 3D theaters in the U.S. by late 2011, with the second film following in 2012.

Source: Collider, Empire

TAGS: Alien
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  1. I can’t wait for these movies, they will be great !!

  2. I think I would enjoy the part where he states: “address some of the practicalities of outer space colonization, including the issues of terra forming, the nature of light speed, and humanity’s ability to actually leave Earth.”
    Keep us posted!

  3. As I read this post I wished Ridley Scott kept his mouth zipped.
    I don’t NEED to know where the Space Jockey came from (film wise), nor do you. I don’t NEED to know where the Aliens came from.

    Some things are best left to mystery.

    As for space exploring, I wished he kept mum about that too- for the other reason. It’s such a good idea, why spoil it?

    The only good thing is that these films will abolish the AvP abominations, after this summer’s Predators helps out in that department.

  4. I am So excited about these movies. The Alien movies (primarily 1-3) are my all time favorite scifi/horror movies. I have often wondered if anyone would do anything regarding The Space Jockey. Thank you Ridley. Awesome.

  5. Looking forward to seeing if Scott still has his Alien “mojo.”


  6. Ridley Scott is truly a brilliant director, and I’m excited to see what he does with these prequels.

  7. It was some time ago when I watched the first Alien movie, I dont remember anything about a Space Jockey.

    But, this is the first time in a long time my interest is truly peaked about a sci-fi movie that’s in the works. (last truly good one I watched was District 9)
    With Scott at the helm it will be a quality experience. Cant wait!

  8. Ijust hope he doesn’t touch on the Alien’s origins and completely ruin the creature.

  9. It gives me chills imagining what the Space Jockey might have looked like while it was still alive… these prequels may ruin the mystery, but if they’re amazing, it won’t matter. Looking forward to them!

  10. It seems strange and unsettling when he talks about the Jockey wearing an exosuit sitting in the chair and not in a good way. I get the impression he intends to pare down the scale of the dead pilot and I’m not a fan of that idea. I have to admit I’ve been struck as much as any about the perfection of the story element of the alien pilot that remains an eternal mystery. Having said that I wasn’t so taken with the idea that I couldn’t entertain a revealing direction from the creator of the story. However the original “Alien” scene of the Jockey looks much, much older than 30 years, how long does it take for things to normally fossilize? As much as some felt Scott missed the target with “Robin Hood” despite it being a good movie his vision as a film maker might have just made a “Left Turn at Albuquerque” on its way to the second decade of the 21st century.

    • OOPS I mean a wrong “Turn at Albuquerque.” Darn it’s hard to do without an edit button…

  11. I’m cautiously optimistic. The thing that worries me is that these are going to be the first “Alien” films without Ellen Ripley. The “Alien” franchise was basically the story of Ripley overcoming the challenge of the Xenomorphs. Every film was Ripley vs. the world, Ripley vs. Corrupt Corporate Executives, and Ripley vs. the Xenomorphs. “AvP” sucked in part because it lacked this protagonist. So, I am slightly wary of Ripley’s absence, but knowing Ridley Scott and his skills, I still remain optimistic. (Yes, I liked the third and fourth “Alien” films, for the record. One of the problems with their public perception, I think, is the fact that they’re all different genres [“Alien” is sci-fi/horror, “Aliens” was an action/semi-war flick, “Alien³” was a drama, and “Alien: Resurrection” was a Euro art house style piece], and the latter two get judged with the same mindset in place as the first two.)

  12. I just want to see Xenomorphs without Predators. I enjoyed the first AvP but the second one was a travesty. I have very high hopes that Mr. Scott can reinvigorate the franchise. He did give birth to it after all. Now HURRY UP! LOL

  13. In my opinion, the space jockey will not be harmful to humanity in the prequels. In Alien, the space jockey was trying to save humanity from coming in contact with his ship filled with the deadly cargo. In the deleted scenes of the original movie, the crew unofficially concluded the distress signal that they were tracking wasn’t a distress signal after all, but it was a warning. The space jockey tried to ward off space travelers from the barren planet.

    Looking forward to this fantastic space nightmare.

  14. You know Scott has probably been thinking about this story for a longtime but every time I think about it I’m always brought up short how any further story on the space Jockey would enhance the myth or expand the impact of his appearance in the original. I can only see it taking away rather than adding anything to it.

    I would almost rather see a story that set down an earlier crew of elite humans that investigate alien discoveries and that they discover the fossilized remains as the Nostromo crew did, but bypass the egg chamber and have a look around the other parts of the ship where they meet a situation that is as scary as the original Alien. Of course since the alien ship is so big the Nostromo crew never discover the incursion of this elite crew…

    • I think that the fact that there was an old alien body in that ship adds to that sense of mystery and danger of the original movie. You can build stories in your head about who was that being and why he was transporting those eggs. But in the end I think is better to imagine it than to see it on a big screen. The main problem with CGI is that besides James Cameron’s avatar everything else looks fake. I hope R. Scott do something serious about it, but I doubt it.

  15. I always felt that the space jockey was hundreds of thousands or maybe a million years old and the eggs were still alive due to super advance hibernation technology. It is even stated in the film that the Jokey looks like a fossil. He was dead long before the Nostromo arrived. So if R. Scott place the timeframe of the prequels to only 30 years before the original movie, then I don’t know what to think about that. I hope Ridley is working with a great script and will capture the darkness and soul of the original movie.

    • That’s a good point dude, however time being relative and with suspended animation technology I’m not certain what Scott was talking about when he said 30 years prior to the Nostromo incident. What reference frame is he using. Certainly not the space jockeys, because of the at least seeming discontinuity between the comments of the Nostromo crew and the obvious look that they went for at the time they made “Alien.” I guess he’ll have an explanation in the new movie, if and when it gets to the screen. But you know I’m with you on that. I have often wondered if it’s possible to get around the speed of light limitations that in a Science fiction story that you need a limited type of time travel as a normalizing phenomenon. Time dilates the closer you get to the speed of light so travel say in a “Star Trek” like universe would easily put a person way out of sync with the time they lived in on Earth or whatever planet they originally came from. However if you getting around the limitations of light speed travel then perhaps you’re also getting around the time dilation problem as well. Short jumps back and forth in time at least in the context of the story seem necessary and would be a further limitation on practical space travel in telling certain types of stories.

  16. It has been my impression that the “Space Jockey”, and the space craft are serving one function of transporting the xenos eggs. Hence the huge cargo bay, and technology that stands against the ages of time. Perhaps Mr Scott will portray the xenos as a parasitic entity hitching a ride on the cosmic wagon; or go back to the original story of the xenos being from the planet; having a complex reproductive cycle and being discovered by the Space Jockeys. Sending a beacon to warn other astronauts of the danger would mean that the space jockey would of known about its fate before it died. IS that signal out of compassion or a threat to protect its interests? Before or After the ship landed on the planet? The ship was intact so I assume it didn’t crash there and that there is a symbiosis between the Space Jockey and the xenos. Perhaps the Space Jockey is some how sacrificed for a purpose. The Nostromos crew never comes into contact with the chestburster. Is it the same as the others? and where did it go? I find it interesting that Ridley Scott would do research on deep sea life and how that could be applied to the “Alien” universe. I like the idea of the use of technology by other intelligent life in the hostile universe and how that compares to the evolution of life to the human race. It makes sense to make a Prequel that exemplifies the questions left from the original.