Things change fast in the world of movie news - just ask Charlize Theron. One day she's reportedly all but set to play Leonardo DiCaprio's lifelong secretary in J. Edgar; the next brings words that the blonde bombshell could be duking it out with slimy extraterrestrial killing machines in the Alien prequel instead.
The only official news for the time being is that Theron won't take on the role of J. Edgar Hoover's devoted assistant, Helen Gandy, in Clint Eastwood's biopic about the FBI founder. What her next project will be, however, is not clear.
Theron is definitely out of the running to join J. Edgar, which recently added Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick to its cast as Agent Smith (no Matrix jokes, please). Deadline claims that Eastwood is now considering actresses Naomi Watts (Fair Game) and Amy Adams (The Fighter) as possibilities to play Miss Gandy, instead. Theron, meanwhile, is reportedly in the process of signing on for Universal's new version of Snow White, in which she would appear as the evil queen.
Here's where it gets tricky; Vulture is now reporting that 20th Century Fox had the role of Elizabeth Shaw (the female protagonist of Ridley Scott's Alien prequel) rewritten and expanded to accommodate someone of Theron's stature. The rumor is that a new version of the script will be sent to Theron later this week and only after that will the actress decide for certain what her next role will be.
Noomi Rapace of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo fame reportedly remains Scott's top choice to play the attractive but hard-edged lead of his sci-fi prequel - and given Rapace's fierce portrayal of Lisbeth Salander, she seems like a perfect fit for the part. If Scott has his way, the costly CGI project will apparently revolve around a multi-cultural space crew that could feature name actors like Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and/or Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class) - however, Fox is reportedly concerned about production costs and wants a better-known name than Rapace to headline the film.
[caption id="attachment_81992" align="aligncenter" width="570" caption="Scott reportedly still wants Rapace for his 'Alien' prequel."][/caption]
To reiterate: the only concrete bit of news at the time being is that Theron won't be starring in the Hoover biopic - everything else is essentially RUMOR and should be taken as so. There have been rumblings in the past about Fox delaying the Alien prequels (back when it was believed there would be two movies) and the studio having concerns about the budget for the entire project. Remember also that Scott is a highly respected, Oscar-nominated filmmaker with a healthy number of blockbusters under his belt - so he does have a fair amount of influence with respect to the casting of his Alien prequel.
Both Theron and Rapace are excellent actresses and either could make for an engaging lead in Scott's latest (and presumably 3D) sci-fi venture, which will feature new work by Oscar-winning sculptor/set designer H.R. Giger as well. Production on the Alien prequel looks to get underway later this year, so expect an official statement about the film's cast in the relatively near future. J. Edgar, meanwhile, will begin shooting next month and should reach theaters by late 2011.