Director Ridley Scott has given up some more details on his return to the Alien franchise recently stating to the British media that his '3D Alien Prequel' will be 'really nasty' & will respond to the standard set by James Cameron's Avatar. "Jim's raised the bar & I've got to jump to it," stated the 72-year-old. "He's not going to get away with it. It is essentially about "gods & engineers... engineers of space". Hit the jump for the details.
Ridley Scott: "..& were the aliens designed as a form of biological warfare? Or biology that would actually go in & clean up a planet? It will take place in the years before that, when they first come across this thing on a planet called Zeta Reticuli & it will ask who was that guy in the first film lying in a chair with his chest blown outwards when they first go into the giant spacecraft.”
Zeta Reticuli is a binary star system located about 39 light years away from Earth. This system consists of a pair of stars that are both similar in physical characteristics to our Sun. A faint pair of stars 220 trillion miles away, has been tentatively identified as a possible home of intelligent extraterrestrials. Scott said the movie, set in 2085, would be "the dark side of the moon".
Ridley Scott: "Well, the main character [In the Prequel] will be a woman, yeah. We’re thinking it could go down that route, yeah. When I started the original Alien, Ripley wasn’t a woman, it was a guy. During casting, we thought, Why don’t we make it a woman?”
The prequel it seems will definitely lean toward a number of tested motifs that have been established across the life of the franchise, this is 20th century fox after all. In particular having a strong female lead. From sources close to the development table we may be seeing a relative of Ripley. Scott also had the following to say about the current script direction...
Ridley Scott: "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 & 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.”
Ridley Scott: "It's Weyland. Weyland hasn't joined Yutani yet, so they go & see Weyland. [The film] is about the discussion of terraforming taking planets & planetoids & balls of earth & trying to terraform, seed them with the possibilities of future life. The initiative will be led by the Weyland Corporation, an early iteration of the Weyland-Yutani Corp. Weyland hasn’t joined Yutani yet, so they go & see Weyland."
On the state of the franchise...
Ridley Scott: "They've squeezed the franchise dry. The first one will always be the most frightening, because the beast we put together with Giger & all its parts, the face-hugger, the chest-burster, the egg - they were all totally original, & that's hard to follow. ... I've always avoided sequels, unless I felt there was something fresh. The thing about Alien vs. Predator is, I know it's commerce, but what a pity. I think, therefore, I have to design or redesign earlier versions of what these elements are that led to the thing you finally see in Alien, which is the thing that catapults out of the egg, the face-hugger...I don't want to repeat it. The alien in a sense, as a shape, is worn out.”
Scott has also revealed that he will consult original Alien designer H.R Giger on Prequel concept designs.
Ridley Scott: "Yeah, he's still around. Once I get more serious & get going & the big wheels start turning, we'll certainly talk & maybe we'll come up with something completely different.”
Scott was also questioned; if he thought modern audiences would accept a film that was paced like his first Alien movie these days & he seemed surprised by the question.
Ridley Scott: "I think it'll work. Don't you? Would things move faster today? Yeah. I had no technology at all. I had no digital technology at all. The movies that followed us in the series, they all had tech. But I had no computers at all. 'Alien' was all physical. Even the spaceship, which was about the size of this table. You'd just hang it from a wire & the camera would push in underneath... I was the operator on it myself. You'd try to keep it steady with this fan & all this dry ice blowing to give some sense of movement. That was it, & it worked pretty good, actually.”
Scott has stated in the past...
Ridley Scott: "I always wanted to go back & make an 'Alien 5' or '6', where we would find out where they came from, & go there & answer the question; who are they? Mars is too close, so they can't be gods of war. But the theory was, in my head, this was an aircraft carrier, a battle wagon of a civilisation, & the eggs were cargo, which were essentially weapons. Like a large form of bacteriological stroke. Bio-mechanoid warfare.”
The director continued..
Ridley Scott: "It's a tough one, particularly with the success of '4'. I think if you close the lid, it should be the end of the first chapter. I think, what no one's done is simply gone back to revisit what was it? No one's ever said 'Who's the Space Jockey?' He wasn't an alien. What was the battleship? Is it a battleship? An aircraft carrier? Is it a biomechanoid weapon carrier, as opposed to an aircraft carrier? Why did it land? Did it crash-land, or did it settle there 'cos is had engine trouble? If those things have engines & how long ago? 'Cos those eggs would sit there."