Ridley Scott wants to make two ‘Alien’ prequels

June 15, 2010 | 2:58 a.m.


Hero Complex Film Festival Geoff Boucher and Ridley Scott


Ridley Scott is going back to the future — and back to the horror.

Speaking at the Hero Complex Film Festival, the director got a rousing ovation when he told the crowd that the script is ready for a prequel to his 1979 deep-space masterpiece Alien.” “It’s written. I’m prepping it now.”

Earlier, in a quiet corner of the theater’s upstairs VIP room, Scott hinted that he might start filming in January and that this return to “Alien” might be a 3D affair. He also said that the setting would be about 30 years before the events depicted in the original film. That gives him, he said, the leeway to make a second prequel if the first goes well.

Alien space jockey

The film will key off a memorable but mysterious visual from the original “Alien” — the spooky scene where the crew of the Nostromo find a massive, long-dead being who fans of the film call the “space jockey.” Scott said he will delve into the history of that being, whose visage has not yet been seen — the slumped form seen in the original film was wearing a suit or exoskeleton of sorts, the filmmaker said.

“No one ever asked that question: What’s the story there? I was always surprised that people didn’t ask that one. Now we’re going to answer that question. To me, a prequel is interesting, much more interesting than a sequel. They never asked me to do the sequels.”

Later, on stage, Scott echoed some of those comments. “I sat thinking about the franchise which died on the road way back and lying in the dust and I thought, ‘What I should do is go back. . .’ “

“There was a massive giant lying in a chair and the chair was either a form of engine or some piece of technology . . . and we’re going to go back [and ask]: ‘Who the hell is the space jockey?’ “

Scott added: “What we’re going to try to do is squeeze in two prequels. . . if you explain who he was and where did he come from. . . then you may want to find out where they came from, you might want to go to him and go to the place where his people come from.”

— Geoff Boucher



Ridley Scott: “Blade Runner” echoes in “a very special way”

Flashback: “Alien” toy commercial, circa 1979

Ridley Scott on ‘Robin Hood’: ‘There’s a very strong destiny story’

“Alien” writer Dan O’Bannon remembered

Sigourney Weaver, back in space with “Avatar”

The original trailer for “Alien”

The greatest heroine in sci-fi? Ripley, believe it or not

“Alien” and the politics of horror

Ridley Scott rolls dice on ‘Monopoly’

Photo: Geoff Boucher and a revealing Ridley Scott chat.  Credit: Jay West.

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9 Responses to Ridley Scott wants to make two ‘Alien’ prequels

  1. Horace Austin says:

    What an honor it was to see and hear the great Ridley Scott speak in between his groundbreaking films ALIEN and BLADE RUNNER. And, I got to shake hands with Geoff Boucher as well.
    So glad I flew down from San Francisco for this event.

  2. wayne beamer says:

    The squeezy, prequel route — applying the Hamburger Helper concept to stretch one decent idea into 3 movies — didn't work with Star Wars 1-3. So I'm skeptical that anyone could turn the Space Jockey — a story that's better left untold — into possibly two Alien prequels. It's more fun not knowing where the Space Jockey and the Aliens came from. Besides, given the response to the Robin Hood prequel that really wasn't…
    Love reading your work in the LAT! Thanks,

  3. Geoff Boucher says:

    Wayne, good points, to be sure, and thanks for the kind words! And Horace, I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed it and we'll see you again next year!

  4. Peter Lange says:

    Quote from Tom Stoppard's Play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead:
    "A man breaking his journey between one place and another at a third place of no name, character, population or significance, sees a unicorn cross his path and disappear. That in itself is startling, but there are precedents for mystical encounters of various kinds, or to be less extreme, a choice of persuasions to put it down to fancy; until – "My God," says a second man, "I must be dreaming, I though I saw a unicorn." At which point, a dimension is added that makes the experience as alarming as it will ever be. A third witness, you understand, adds no further dimension but only spreads it thinner, and a fourth thinner still, and the more witnesses there are the thinner it gets and the more reasonable it becomes until it is as thin as reality, the name we give to the common experience…"Look, look!" recites the crowd. "A horse with an arrow in its forehead! It must have been mistaken for a deer."
    There really is an unanswered question with the Space Jockey, even if no one else has asked it before but Scott himself. But overall, we also have to ask ourselves, do we really want to answer the question? Do we want the answer given to us as a shared experience codified in film, or would we be best served with our own individual answers trawled from the deepest slime of our imaginations ringing with the truth of our own individual visions?
    Again, to quote RAGAD:
    "It would have been nice to have had unicorns"

  5. innercity says:

    When I first heard of the Clone Wars in the original "Star Wars," I imagined something far different than the bland rendering presented in one of the prequels. Not that Ridley Scott will stumble the same, but I agree with Peter that imagination is being employed less and less, for what end.
    I did wonder about that large seated skeletal figure when I saw it, but I think it's much better that question lingers. It enhances the experience of the film each time.
    Should we expect a prequel to the Bible soon as well, explaining what happened BEFORE those seven days?

  6. Zhora says:

    Missing this event is going to hurt for a long long (long) time. But I just couldn't justify a trip to LA now. If the event organizers can make video of the event available for sale or viewing it will be much appreciated.

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