Damon Lindelof Makes Fox Go Back to the ‘Alien’ Prequel

Executives at Fox (and for that matter, Natalie Portman) are in love with a recently completed Alien prequel script by Damon Lindelof. That’s the word on the street.

It’s word that should come with some cautionary optimism for Alien fans. The good news is that the tension between director Ridley Scott and the moneybags at Fox may be over thanks to said script. A few weeks ago there were rumblings of a major rift, much of which was driven by the director and studio not seeing eye to eye on issues like budget and rating. Scott wanted to deliver a bigger, harder R version of Alien ‐ it had fans drooling and Fox slamming on the brakes. But according to the latest reports, team Lost Lindelof swooped in at the last minute with a script that makes it all better.

How exactly does Lindelof’s script save the day? Here’s your answer from Vulture:

One reason Fox execs are so thrilled with Lindelof’s Alien draft is that, not only is it creatively engaging, but it adds no expensive ‘set pieces’ ‐ production-speak for elaborate, effects-heavy action sequences that add millions to the cost of a film ‐ to the movie.”

If only it also includes a built-in role for Terry O’Quinn. That said, it does bring the rating much closer to PG-13, though Vulture is decidedly cautious in stating that it’s closer to PG-13, not exactly PG-13. According to one of their sources, here’s how this will be accomplished:

“[If] the original Alien were released today, minus the F-bombs, you could still get a PG-13. Alien is a very Jaws-ian movie: There’s no sex, and while there’s lots of violence, most of it is off-camera. Maybe you’d have to cut away from certain scenes two seconds earlier, but it could be done.’”

Off-camera violence is one thing, but if memory serves me ‐ and it might not in this case, as I haven’t seen Alien in quite a while ‐ there is some pretty gruesome stuff happening in the original. In this current state of touchiness that the MPAA is going through, just cutting down on the F-bombs might not be enough. Then again, as long as the Alien prequel doesn’t feature the “female Colonial Marine general” character (Portman’s rumored role) touching the inner thigh of another female character, we should be alright.

I may regret asking, but does anyone out there have thoughts on whether or not the Alien prequel should be R or PG-13? How about Natalie Portman leading the way?