'Alien' prequel morphs into 'Prometheus.' We can't help but be a little disappointed.

Ridley-ScottImage Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images If you’re like me — and I know I am — you’ve been waiting impatiently for Ridley Scott’s long-planned prequel to his first, 1979 Alien movie. There are tons of questions I’m sure we’d all love to have answered. For instance, who was that dead, mummified extraterrestrial that the crew of the Nostromo discover on the bridge of that giant derelict space craft at the beginning of the movie? How did that first killer alien find its way onto that marooned ship? And how long had those eggs been waiting to get hatched?

Well, PopWatchers, looks like we’ll be waiting a while longer. Fox announced today that the project once known as “The Alien Prequel” has morphed into something else entirely — a film called Prometheus, slated for release March 9, 2012. The script, written by Scott and Damon Lindelof, will tell a completely different science fiction tale. “While Alien was indeed the jumping off point for this project, out of the creative process evolved a new, grand mythology and universe in which this original story takes place,” Scott explains in the press release. “The keen fan will recognize strands of Alien’s DNA, so to speak, but the ideas tackled in this film are unique, large and provocative.” Swedish actress Noomi Rapace (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) is already attached to star in one of the film’s five major roles, a “scientist” named Elizabeth Shaw.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a little disappointed. Sure, I’ll go see Prometheus, just as I’ve bought tickets to every movie this director has made (even that terrible Russell Crowe romantic comedy, A Good Year). And the movie will undoubtably be just great. But I’m still convinced there’s an edge-of-your-seat story to be told about the origin of the original face-sucking alien. It’s a film Ridley Scott should still make. But what do you think, Pop Watchers? Are you keen to see Prometheus, given that its premise somehow convinced Fox to be cool with Scott not doing an Alien prequel? Or do you just wanna know what the deal is already with that giant mummified extraterrestrial thing from the first Alien movie?


Comments (124 total) Add your comment
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  • Steve

    This is devastating news. :(

    • rabbit

      I THINK THIS IS STILL GOOD NEWS. WE WILL PROBABLY STILL GET A BACKGROUND STORY RELATED TO ALIENS, BUT A MOVIE WITHOUT ALL THE BAD ALIEN STIGMA CAUSED BY THE RECENT ALIENS(ALIENS VS PREDATORS). THIS SHOULD BE GOOD.

  • Jake

    Patton Oswald said it best about the Star Wars prequels: “I want the stuff I love. I don’t care about where the stuff I love came from.”

    • dammmm

      I will take an original sci fi movie from a master over a blatant cash grab prequel any day.

      • KC

        Exactly.

      • Kitty

        Me2 dammm! Sounds thrilling. Plus, it’s got Noomi. Can’t wait.

      • David

        yep same here. Prequel’s / sequel’s are 9/10 times done totally wrong, the predator sequels are proof of that. An original scifi movie with some relevance is much better IMO.

      • Dee

        Amen. “Large and provocative ideas” are way better than another stupid prequel.

      • Tarc

        Agreed wholeheartedly!

    • Jane

      Completely disagree (and not for the firs time) with EW.

      An original blockbuster is like gold-dust, and if it’s Ridley Scott directing sci-fi, I’m in.

      • Mike in Moncton

        Are you guys on crack?? This prequel to “Alien” was slated to be done by RIDLEY SCOTT, not Paul W.S. Anderson or McG or some other friggin’ hack. It would’ve been AWESOME. I don’t think anyone else CAN do it.

  • Rick G

    I’m pissed. This sucks.

    The whole thing was planned to be an Alien sequel, and now, well into the process, they’re somehow changing it to an “exciting, new, original vision,” or whatever B.S. that is, and saying it’s NOT an Alien film?

    Play along all you want, but this sounds like a load to me. Sounds like whatever they’d come up with didn’t seem like it was working within the Alien universe, or perhaps they want to protect the franchise for some different take down the line.

    I like Lindelof a lot, but sorry, I’m not impressed at all by this news. Remember, the last movie Scott made was “Robin Hood,” which took an original take on that legend (“Nottingham”) and turned it into tiresome bore.

    Scott’s made some great films, but he’s made some pretty bad ones, too. I was extremely stoked for the notion of him returning to the world of Alien. The idea of him making an unrelated sci-fi film is far less interesting.

    • Niix Starkyller

      Breath, Rick. Breath.

      • loop

        you spelled breathe wrong

    • seattlejohn

      actually this sounds like it IS an ALIEN film…just not the exact prequel discussed in earlier planning stages but a creative leap forward for the whole franchise…remember the 1st ALIEN film was an all-original film to begin with that succeeded on the strength of director Scott’s artistic vision…I’m totally excited and intrigued!

      • TheRealEverton

        I love Alien but it was not all original, it was just presented I’n a very original way.

    • Mike in Moncton

      Remember too though that Fox demanded Scott make a PG13 Alien movie, not R rated as Alien was. That probably is what made this prequel morph into something different. There should be no PG13 Alien movie.

  • stu

    Ridley Scott’s return to atmospheric sci-fi is the compelling part for me and I say this even as Alien remains one of my all-time favorite films. Personally, I’m cool with it.

    • Sarah C

      Could not have said it better myself.

      • A-K87

        ditto

    • teekay

      Agreed. Plus, I was hoping to see Noomi Rapace in the Alien prequel anyway but now there’s the potential for her to star in her own unique franchise which is pretty darn cool.

  • Jon

    This magazine writes articles about wanting original work! Prequels are not original work! It just indulges this generations need for over explanation and the laziness of movie studios. When has any prequel ever been warranted? When have they ever been even OK? No one asked for or needed answers to the questions of the original classic Alien film. I for one am very excited that all these talented artists have moved on from just catering to the almighty dollar and milking a well worn franchise to death and are actually using their talents to create something hopefully new and original and exciting. Even if it isn’t great and earth shattering I for one greatly appreciate the effort and am hoping for the best. This announcement has me way more excited than any Alien vs Superman vs Freddy 15: The Beginning fanboy nonsense ever could. Bring it on!

    • A-K87

      Totally agree. This is why I think European and Asian cinema isn’t big with you guys over the pond. A lot of non Hollywood films have ambiguous endings and leave the audience to come to their own conclusions. All you have to do is google’ Inception Ending’ to read thousands of posts attempting to explain the ending. Some people really don’t understand that the whole point in the ending is that you make your own decision and both neither and all conclusions are correct.

    • TheRealEverton

      Prequels are original work, just as sequels are. Writers as celebrated as Homer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Isaac Asimov and Sir Arthur C Clarke wrote many a sequel, many quality sequels at that.

      All that should ever matter is that the work is good, the source is irrelevant. Oh and the main reason a lot of “foreign” cinema doesn’t do so well in

      • TheRealEverton

        America is the same reason a lot of those films don’t do so well elsewhere, people can’t be bothered with subtitles. It’s sad, and those people
        miss out on some great films, popcorn great and smart great, but it’s true. That’s why I don’t get it when people moan about Hollywood versions of books already filmed (see Millennium trilogy) and say why do we need them.

      • Tarc

        People don’t like subtitles because they are stupid and lazy, not due to a stylistic choice. welcome to the new American World of Stupidity, brought to you by the Republican party!

  • Knugen

    This is a new ORIGINAL SCI-FI from Scott! His record in scif-fi is flawless and original – and you bitch about a PREQUEL?!

    You sir, are a troglodyte.

  • Mac

    I agree: Scott should make an outerspace horror/thriller in the same vein as Alien. Why not mine the same territory? In any event, I hope it’s a thriller of some sort.

    • Aaron

      How about a sequel to Inner Space but with an alien?

  • Tom Strong

    Great! I want something original. Not just another part of a crippled franchise. Why do we need to know where Ripley’s cat came from????

  • Jay

    I was against an Alien prequel. Would have killed the mystery surrounding the aliens’s origins (not to mention the space jockey), and therefore would have neutered them. Origin stories in horror are usually a bad idea.

    • Tommy

      Exactly. It’s waaay more creepy not knowing where these things came from.

  • Flip

    Thank God! I would much rather see Ridley Scott re-team with Sigourney for a fifth Alien movie—one that erases the horrid third and fourth films from our memory (and continuity?!).

  • Josh

    I could so easily make a Lost joke about them starting to write one thing and it morphing into something totally different because they just didn’t have a plan BUT I WON’T!

    • Billiam

      Yep, you didn’t do that at all.

  • TR

    Hey, I’m content just to see Noomi Rapace in anything . . .

    . . . as for the dissicated alien, who cares? I want to know what happened to Ripley Clone and the Android . . .

    . . . though, it would be cool, to see a “prequal where there are no human characters . . .

  • TR

    Hey, I’m content just to see Noomi Rapace in anything . . .

    . . . as for the dissicated alien, who cares? I want to know what happened to Ripley Clone and the Android . . .

    . . . though, it would be cool, to see a “prequel where there are no human characters . . .

    • A-K87

      ditto. I also wouldn’t mind to see Cornish in this. She’s proven herself in indies and now for the major blockbuster.

  • Ford

    Damon Lindelof helped write this? Does that mean the first 2 acts will be great, but the ending will completely suck?

    • Jacob

      Wow. Just can’t let go, can we.

      • Munz

        No, Jacob. We can’t. Probably because we still have no idea who you are and why you can do what you do, on the island and off.

    • Tarc

      In other worlds, Lindelof writes endings for people that are smarter then the average bowling ball… honestly, I’m all for that.

  • Nick

    I’m torn. I’m really, really torn. There’s a big part of me that would love to see Scott go back to where it all began and in the process wash out the bad taste the third, fourth, and AvP films left in a lot of people’s mouths. With that said, we’ve gotta ask ourselves, is Scott the same filmmaker he was thirty-something years ago? Of course not. Does the alien mythology really need a prequel, reboot, or another sequel? That’s difficult to say. It’s way too early to say, but maybe this original idea of his will inject some much needed new blood into the Hollywood machine and inspire filmmakers and other bigwigs to start taking some chances, you guys know what I’m saying? What do you think?

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