Today comes a surprising but quite welcome piece of news: Ridley Scott is looking at going back to the Alien franchise, possibly doing some sort of prequel or a reboot.

Oh, please let it be prequel, I beg of you, Mr. Scott!

Now, this wasn’t Scott himself who came out and said this, but rather Fox Co-chairman Tom Rothman during an interview at the red carpet of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I’m happy to see that this seems like a legit piece of information, even if it was announced by a surprisingly casual Rothman.

He’s what Rothman had to say:

“There’s been some talk. Ridley Scott, Ridley is right now working on Robin Hood, but I think he’s toying with the idea and that would be great for us. I mean, it’s always been a matter of, really, if you can get the originator to do it that would be the greatest thing, so I’ve got my fingers crossed, all of them.”

The interview, which was conducted by IESB, was done on video – it’s worth taking a look at as Rothman also talks about future projects including X-Men: First Class, Daredevil, Avatar and Predators (check the bottom of the post for the link).

As I hinted at above, I really, really hope that what Scott has in mind is a prequel and not a reboot. If it was a reboot, although it would be encouraging that the original director would be directing it again, it still kind of undermines what he did with the original, does it not? It would kind of feel like a “do-over,” if you will, that would essentially see him try to top the original.

A virtual impossibility, I’d imagine…

No, I sincerely hope that if he’s going to go back to it, that it’s a prequel. If it was some random director who’d never had anything to do with the franchise before who was stepping in to do a prequel, then I’d be upset. But since it’d be Scott who’d be involved, I see not only nothing wrong with a prequel, but I actually am very excited about the possibility.

Alien is one of those all-time classic movies that is as effective today as it was 30 years ago, and that’s the mark of a truly great piece of filmmaking. It has everything you could want in a movie of its type – shuddering suspense, genuinely effective horror, an iconic hero, a fantastic “bad guy,” – I really hope Scott keeps all that consistent if this prequel goes ahead.

Scott is undoubtedly one hell of a talented director; one of the best around when he’s on top form. He’s done his share of crap (Kingdom of Heaven and Hannibal, anyone?), no doubt, but so has just about every filmmaker. Besides, this was first “big” movie (no I’m not forgetting about The Duellists, so take that that as you will…) so it might bring out another A-game film from him.

At least I hope so…

I just wonder what direction Scott may go with it: Will he treat it as a sort of origin story explaining and showing just exactly how and where the aliens came about? Or will it be another simple case of humans happening across some pesky aliens and them trying to survive repeated attacks? I’d be fine either way, although an origin story would probably be the more interesting of the two.

You can check out IESB‘s full video interview with Tom Rothman by going here.

What do you think of the notion of an Alien prequel or reboot? Do you think it’s a good idea, and which direction would you like to see Ridley Scott go with it?