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Ridley Scott returns home to "Alien"

Alien_movie_poster Variety reports Ridley Scott is set to direct a prequel to Alien that will presumably take place on the aliens' home planet. The prospect of an Alien prequel had been kicking around Hollywood for a while now, with Scott attached only as a producer.

But Scott and studio executives at 20th Century Fox all loved the story pitch by Jon Spaihts, who has been hired to write the screenplay. Alien was Scott's second film as a director, and it instantly catapulted him onto Hollywood's A-list. Alien is also one of the most influential films of all time: The number of movies that have cribbed Scott's depiction of a grimy, corridor-filled space station is incalculable.

It'll be interesting to see if Scott can frighten audiences as well as he did with the 1979 original. I have distinct memories of being seriously scared when I saw Alien projected in 70mm in the big auditorium of the old Dadeland Twin, which had a huge screen and fantastic sound. I miss that theater. Here's hoping those horrible Alien vs. Predator films haven't ruined the franchise.


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STFU! This simply has to happen. I watched 'Alien' a hundred times on late-night cable growing up, but seeing it on the big screen was revelatory, even in a college film class with crappy sound.

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Scott's box office disappointment with The Duellists was compounded by the success being enjoyed by Alan Parker with American-backed films — Scott admitted he was "ill for a week" with envy. Scott had originally planned to next adapt a version of, Tristan and Iseult, but after seeing Star Wars, he became convinced of the potential of large scale, effects-driven films. He therefore accepted the job of directing Alien, the ground-breaking 1979 horror/science-fiction film that would give him international recognition. The film was mostly shot in 1978, but Scott's production design and atmospheric visuals, and the film's emphasis on realism over movie heroics have given Alien almost ageless appeal.

While Scott would not direct the three Alien sequels, the female action hero Ellen Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver), introduced in the first film, would become a cinematic icon. Scott was involved in the 2003 restoration and re-release of the film including media interviews for its promotion. At this time Scott indicated that he had been in discussions to make the fifth and final film in the Alien franchise. However, in a 2006 interview, the director remarked that he had been unhappy about Alien: The Director's Cut, feeling that the original was "pretty flawless" and that the additions were merely a marketing tool.

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