Ridley Scott Will Direct ‘Alien’ Prequel, The Question Is Why

By  · Published on July 31st, 2009

It’s been rumored for a little while, but now it’s official… Ridley Scott is attached to direct a prequel to his classic franchise-starter, Alien. Am I the only one who doesn’t see the upside here?

Per Variety, the prequel will be written by Jon Spaihts who got the gig after wowing Scott and his Scott Free production company with a stellar pitch. Spaihts has four other screenplays in various stages of development including two for Keanu Reeves. None of them have have gone into production yet, so it’s impossible to gauge his storytelling talent at this point.

So what is there to be excited about here exactly? I understand the Alien sequels have run out of steam, and I’m glad 20th Century Fox hasn’t decided to do an Alien remake… but where’s the appeal of a prequel? By definition it will take place before Sigourney Weaver and the rest of the Nostromo’s crew unwittingly brought interstellar crabs on-board. Since the crew (and mankind) had no previous knowledge of the aliens we can presume that either the two species had never before crossed paths, or if they did there were no human survivors from the encounter. So doesn’t that mean the prequel would either not feature humans (unlikely) or feature humans that all end up dead (boring)?

I’m curious why Scott would sign on, and while it may be due mostly to Spaihts’ pitch I wonder if maybe his desire for a box office hit isn’t the bigger influence. His last real financial success was 2001’s Hannibal which grossed twice it’s budget (American Gangster and Black Hawk Down both grossed over $100 million but they also cost about that much to produce) and he may be craving a more predictable blockbuster.

Is Scott in the director’s chair enough to interest you in an Alien prequel?

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.