An online rumor emerged earlier this week that Ridley Scott’s “Alien” prequel project(s) had been put on hold for a year. Now, Fox has quickly denied the claim but has indicated that the project isn’t moving as fast as we might hope.
A studio rep told The Playlist that there is “no truth” to the reports on the delays and development is continuing apace. However the whole project hasn’t yet been greenlit or announced, so any talk of filming or release dates at this point is extremely premature.
Soon after, Vulture added to the report saying the ‘delay talk’ was due to a failed effort to cast Leonardo DiCaprio in the film and adjust production to his schedule. As DiCaprio’s involvement is now definitely out, they claim the film is still targeting a March date to begin production.
They also added some talk of their own – the story is as much a reboot as a prequel and “follows a group of space travelers who encounter a monstrous alien creature that picks them off, one by one”. The title is rumoured to be simply “Paradise”, while the lead character’s name is Elizabeth Shaw with actors like Noomi Rapace, Carey Mulligan and Olivia Wilde all having tried out for it.
Other characters include the android David, the tough/sexy older lady Vickers, a businessman character along for the ride, and a 6’5 entirely CG engineer character. Scott wants Michelle Yeoh for Vickers and Michael Fassbender for David, but early talks with Fassbender’s reps apparently didn’t go well. Still it’s early days and as there is no working budget, no formal offers have been made.
A few hours later Fox communications VP Chris Petrikin posted an update on Twitter essentially debunking some of the report, saying that the project is just one film (not two as has been previously reported) and the film is NOT titled “Paradise”. Petrikin is also dismissive of most talk already about the project, saying “I don’t know where to begin to correct what is being written.”