Ridley Scott is doing what David Fincher did in his search for the new Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and really taking his time when choosing a star for his upcoming Alien prequel(s).
Deadline is reporting on continued meetings that have taken place between Scott and actresses who could possibly take the lead role in the Alien prequel. The original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Noomi Rapace, has been the strongest candidate thus far and it appears she is now Scott's favorite contender.
However, this is one coveted lead role and other actresses being named as candidates are Carey Mulligan, Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch), Olivia Wilde and Natalie Portman. Portman was reportedly Fox's top choice for the role (Rapace was noted as being a close second) - could we be looking at a case where the studio wants one actress while Scott wants another? Who do you think will win out between the pair?
Decisions like this more often than not depend upon the studio because, after all, the studio is the one putting up the biggest chunk of change to make the movie. Deadline states that Fox will have heavy involvement in choosing the female lead, so my guess is if they desperately want a big name like Portman then they'll ultimately cast her instead of Rapace.
Supposedly the studio is going to take into consideration Rapace's English (she originally hails from Sweden) - does that mean they're concerned that she can't speak English clearly enough to lead a big American movie? In the interviews I've seen, she speaks English just fine - check out an interview she did with Empire to judge for yourself.
Portman currently has the buzz of Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan to ride on - however, Rapace has also made quite an impression on Hollywood, with a major role in Sherlock Holmes 2 already in the bag; and she isn't exactly struggling for new offers. If she ended up landing the Alien gig, it, along with the Holmes role, could really put her on the Hollywood map and pave the way for much bigger paychecks.
It's not quite clear yet if these names being thrown around for the Alien prequel are all contenders for one role, or whether several actresses will end up in the movie as part of an ensemble. In support of the latter scenario, James Franco and Anne Hathaway recently became linked to the movie. Each chapter of the original Alien quadrilogy - despite having Ripley as the heroine - always had a strong ensemble as well, so perhaps Scott will continue that trend with his prequels.
Stay tuned to find out who ultimately snags the lead role.
The first Alien prequel is slated to be in theaters sometime in 2011.