Friday, April 23, 2010

Ridley Scott Talks Alien Prequel

Ridley Scott is definitely one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. The Robin Hood director has many movies under his belt, amongst them are the sci-fi classics Blade Runner and Alien. The first one. The scary horror thriller one.

Although I've always preferred Aliens to Alien, I can remember Alien being the first movie that truly scared me to death as a child. I mean, the tension, the suspense, the mostly unseen Alien hiding in the Nostromo, picking each crew member one by one, making minced meat of each and everyone of them.

I remember all the crewmembers dying, except for Ripley, who was carrying Jones the cat in his little cat carrying box while the ship was on self-destruct mode. In my child's mind it was: she came back for the cat! yay! And who can forget the famous scene where the Alien bursts out of that poor John Hurt's chest, spraying his colleagues with blood?

James Cameron made a very successful sequel with Aliens, but after that movie the whole Alien franchise went downhill from there. Who wasn't disappointed in Alien3 that the beloved characters Hicks, Newt and Bishop were all killed for the sake of isolating Ripley on that desolate, godforsaken prison planet? Oh and that haircut! It was a terrible mess of a movie. Alien 4 fared a bit better, better than 3 in any case, but then came the disappointing Alien Vs Predator movies with the last one being the worst.

Months ago the internet was abuzz with the confirmation that the grand master of the first Alien movie was preparing a prequel to his classic horror film. Hooray! and a big sigh of relief that the franchise was back into capable hands.

Ridley Scott has recently given an interview to MTV in which he discusses the Alien prequel and at which stage the movie is now at.

As we speak, I've got a pile of pages next to me; it's like the fourth draft. It's a work in progress, but we're not dreaming it up anymore. We know what the story is. We're now actually trying to improve the three acts and make the characters better, build it up to something [we can shoot]. It's a work in progress, but we're actually making the film. There's no question about it, we're going to make the film.

Great news. Scott also tells us that we'll get to know what happened to the spaceship found by the Nostromo on that forbidden planet early in the first movie.

It's set in 2085, about 30 years before Sigourney [Weaver's character Ellen Ripley]. It's fundamentally about going out to find out 'Who the hell was that Space Jockey?' The guy who was sitting in the chair in the alien vehicle — there was a giant fellow sitting in a seat on what looked to be either a piece of technology or an astronomer's chair. Remember that?

And our man [Tom Skerritt as Captain Dallas] climbs up and says "There's been an explosion in his chest from the inside out — what was that?" I'm basically explaining who that Space Jockey — we call him the Space Jockey — I'm explaining who the space jockeys were.

Scott also confirms that Ripley won't be part of the new film because, of course, it takes place before she was even born. But the filmmaker confirmed that the main character will again be a woman, that the Weyland company will figure in the story and that he will also consult H R Giger about the Alien designs.

In the meanwhile, the filmmaker hopes to have the movie ready by late 2011 or most likely 2012.

Please go here to read the full interview.

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