Children of the Sun > Movies & Entertainment

The Alien Franchise

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Well, we have an AvP thread, but no Aliens thread?

If I'm wrong, merge this RC.  Or whatever.  But here's a thread for all the Alien movies, as well as the forthcoming prequel (details below).

Scott's long talked about doing a prequel about the "Space Jockey," so at least there's some sense that this isn't a weird ass throwaway.  He was talking about this in the 80's...and the comics, et. al. have dutifully filled in the backstory since then.

--- Quote ---An Alien prequel that unspools the back story of the mysterious Space Jockey — the giant, fossilized creature with the burst-open chest from the first movie — is definitely going to happen, according to Ridley Scott.

“It’s fundamentally about going out to find out ‘Who the hell was that Space Jockey?’” the director told MTV News. “The guy who was sitting in the chair in the alien vehicle — there was a giant fellow sitting in a seat on what looked to be either a piece of technology or an astronomer’s chair.”

Scott, who’s polishing the script, drops even more details about the Alien prequel, which he calls a done deal in the enlightening interview: The movie will be set in 2085, will delve into the concept of terraforming and might even feature new concept artwork by the amazing H.R. Giger, Scott said.

And why is Scott, who has forsworn making sequels to his films, tackling the Alien prequel? “They’ve squeezed the franchise dry,” he told MTV. “The first one will always be the most frightening, because the beast we put together with Giger and all its parts — the face-hugger, the chest-burster, the egg — they were all totally original, and that’s hard to follow.”
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We just have the AvP thread.

My inner geek wants to get excited by this, and maybe with Scott at the helm, they can get back to that weird surreal horror of the original. I have my doubts though.

My trouble is that the Space Jockeys have been so abused by the comics and books, and even the novelization of the first movie.  The problem is that there is no backstory.  It was just a fancy set.  Scott and the writers had nothing in mind.  So the "expanded" Alien franchise has gone everywhere from benevolent elephant-men to obsessive zoologists to inter-galactic assholes bent on enslaving Mankind.

And, in the end, no matter the direction, it just seems boring.  Either they crashed on LV-426 and got fucked up like everyone else in the Alien movies, or they were purposely carrying the Alien cargo somewhere and something went wrong.  Stuff that's all been covered one way or another in the first four movies.

Sounds like a debacle, but who knows . . . What was Ridley Scott's last good movie?

--- Quote ---Fox Flips for Damon Lindelof’s Alien Prequel Script, Wants Natalie Portman to Star

Vulture just got word: Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof turned in his new draft of the screenplay for Ridley Scott's Alien  prequel on Saturday, and 20th Century Fox execs are very pleased with it indeed! We’re told all involved parties have been made to sign nondisclosure agreements about the plot, but our spies have been able to glean several interesting nuggets about the project, which is set roughly 35 years before Scott’s dystopic classic. Here's what we know ...

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. 20th Century Fox and Scott have been wrangling over the director’s proposed budget. One insider familiar with the situation puts Scott’s suggested budget at between $150 million and $160 million; Fox obviously, would like that number to shrink. Still, this is some good news for Fox, which has almost nothing resembling a blockbuster in the hopper for the summer of 2012, and could certainly stand to reinvigorate a wildly popular multi-part sci-fi franchise.

A parade of actresses have met with Scott (who's being represented in these negotiations by his longtime WME agent George Freeman) to discuss the lead role — that of a female Colonial Marine general — but only two have engendered substantial enthusiasm from both Fox brass and Scott Free, the director’s Fox-based production company: Vulture can report exclusively that at the top of the list is Natalie Portman. (She recently detached herself from the adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies at Lionsgate Films out of concern that she was now too old to play the part of Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet. Portman turns 30 next June; Bennet is only 20 in both Austen and Grahame-Smith’s versions of Pride.) Right behind Portman is the already-reported Noomi Rapace, star of the Swedish The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Don’t take Scott’s recent interview with The Independent — in which he claims that the Alien prequel would be “really tough, really nasty” — to mean this is automatically going to be an R picture: We’re told another reason Fox execs are pleased with Lindelof’s re-write of original screenwriter Jon Spaihts’ script is that it's still aimed at a more accessible PG-13 rating. "The thinking," explains one insider, "is that 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."

The prequel still lacks a proper name. Untitled Alien Prequel hardly comes trippingly off the tongue, but while several titles are being bandied about, none have unanimous support of Fox and Scott.

It’s not in any way a reboot of Alien or the Aliens franchise; it’s really meant to be viewed as Scott’s second Alien movie. What's more, no Predator creatures appear anywhere within the film. Despite Fox’s efforts to mate the two sci-fi icons (sci-ficons?), Scott’s camp sees the two franchises as hailing from distinct genres that will not co-mingle, synergy be damned. “The later Aliens movies were action movies, but the original Alien was a horror-suspense film," explains one spy, "This returns the franchise to its roots."
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If it's not a reboot, and it is a prequel, then how are they going to explain contact with the aliens prior to the Nostramo? It's shit like that that worries me.


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