Even with all the speculation and behind-the-scenes gossip that has been making headlines since last year, it’s still heartbreaking to learn that Ridley Scott’s Alien Prequel is officially dead. Whether it was Scott’s ego, casting issues, the budget spiraling out of control, or something completely different, Fox has given the franchise prequel the axe… well, sort of. In the wake of its ashes rises Prometheus, which seems to be the same premise, slightly retooled, and devoid of the Alien universe.
This move seems to have relieved a source of supposed tension between the studio and Scott, as Noomi Rapace, the director’s choice for the lead, is sticking with the film during the transition, presumably in the same capacity. I think in the coming months, it’ll be interesting to see if the actors rumored to be circling the project show up in its reincarnated state – including Michelle Yeoh, James Franco, and Michael Fassbender.
According to Scott, the project shifted gears because it took on a life of its own, growing far beyond the constraints of the already established universe. “While Alien was indeed the jumping off point for this project, out of the creative process evolved a new, grand mythology and universe in which this original story takes place. The keen fan will recognize strands of Alien’s DNA, so to speak, but the ideas tackled in this film are unique, large and provocative.” Only time will tell if it was because of Damon Lindelof’s (Lost) involvement, since it was previously reported that when brought in for a rewrite job “the exchange of ideas between [Lindelof, Scott, and Fox] sparked a take that could well turn out to be a free-standing science fiction film.”
The studio has so much faith in it that they’ve already given it a release date: March 9, 2012. With all the conflicting reports over the past few months, one can only hope that Prometheus‘ DVD special features will include a massive documentary explaining the transition and what exactly Scott had to say or do for Fox to change courses in reviving one of their most popular franchises.