Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’ Prequel Follows the Story of a Familiar Fossil

A scene from Alien (1979)
Photo: Fox Home Entertainment

Details of Ridley Scott’s as yet Untitled Alien Prequel leaked online at the end of the week last week as MTV spoke to Scott during the press junket for Robin Hood.

Scott said they are working on the fourth draft of the script and discussed the details of the story for the first time, which not only confirm the timeline Scott discussed with Empire last October, but also adds new details and gives you an idea as to why I included the image above. Here’s what he had to say:

It’s set in 2085, about 30 years before Sigourney [Weaver’s character Ellen Ripley]. It’s fundamentally about going out to find out ‘Who the hell was that Space Jockey?’ 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. Remember that?

And our man [Tom Skerritt as Captain Dallas] climbs up and says “There’s been an explosion in his chest from the inside out – what was that?” I’m basically explaining who that Space Jockey – we call him the Space Jockey – I’m explaining who the space jockeys were.

[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?”

Scott adds he will need to design “or redesign” the appearance of the alien creatures saying, “I don’t want to repeat it. The alien in a sense, as a shape, is worn out.” He also says he will again consult with original Alien designer H.R. Giger.

Scott was also quoted by Collider saying he’s looking to make two new Alien prequel films referring to them as “prequel one and two,” but right now the focus is on the first film only. He’s also confirmed an earlier report from Shadowlocked in which art-director Roger Christian told the site, “Ridley’s doing the next Alien in 3D.

Now, as for that earlier comment on the Space Jockey (pictured above and in greater detail to the right), I went back and watched the scene from Scott’s Alien in which Skerritt as Dallas refers to the alien saying, “Looks like it’s been dead a long time. Fossilized.” Listening to Scott’s commentary over the scene this is what he had to say:

I think the “space jockey” is somehow the pilot and he’s part of a military operation – if that’s the word you want to apply to his world – and therefore this is probably some kind of carrier, a weapon carrier, a biological or biomechanoid carrier of lethal eggs; inside of which are these small creatures that will actually, fundamentally integrate in a very aggressive way into any society or any place it’s dropped.

So that should give you something of a starting point as to what to expect as Scott also told MTV he’s “hoping to have [the prequel] in theaters in late 2011, or maybe the best date in 2012.”