back to article Ridley Scott talks up 'nasty' Alien prequel

Sir Ridley Scott has been talking up his Alien prequel, promising a "really nasty" 3D treat which he described as "the dark side of the moon". The movie will be set in 2085, five years before the original, and will see the protagonists "first come across this thing on a planet called Zeta Reticuli". Scott teased to Screen …


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  1. David Given
    Thumb Down

    In space...

    ...nobody can hear you scream 'NOOOOOOOOO!!!'.

    1. Neil Stansbury
      Thumb Down


      Especially when the films are as bad as Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That's almost exciting, as there were a number of interesting questions about Alien, the most notable being how did the Company know that there was something to investigate.

    1. James Thomas


      In 'Alien 1' the crew recieve a distress broadcast.

      In 'Aliens' the Comapny learns of the crashed ship from Ripley - and presumably the ships logs - and sends Newt's family to investigate (this is seen in the Special Edition), thus starting the base infection.

      I'm actually excited about this. Scott has a mixed record in general but has produced some of the best Sci-Fi in cinema history. And it's not like the franchise hasn't beed raped already, if it's bad it can't be any worse than the others...

      1. Vince Lewis 1

        Actually. In Alien 1, the company DID already know about the alien life form.

        Actually. In Alien 1, the company DID already know about the alien life form.

        The Andriod ASH was placed onbaord to ensure capture of the creature.

        The onboard computer Mother informs the captian all crew are expendable.

        These actions where both preplanned since intergalatic communications in the Aliens universe takes weeks to send and recieve.

        And the answer is always "Dont ask!"

    2. alistair millington
      Thumb Up

      We all know it is gonna suck, hollywood will make the oscars 3d if they could.

      I thought the company investigated a beacon, woke the crew early. Explains it in the first one quite clearly. In the second film the extended version shows you the bit where they are told to go, later ripley shows the piece of paper that Berke had ordered them.

      The thing in the chair with it's chest blown open was alien as it was about twenty feet tall so where do humans fit in exactly?. Where and how can they shoehorn human actors in an obviously alien space craft / genre. (We know it will not be alien, or the nostramo will be the "second ship" to investigate, or worse some "american only" earth marines will break into the alien ship, gun everyone down, die and then leave the 20 foot seated corpse to rot very quickly over 5 years before the first alien film.)

      To me 3d and all the wannabe's are just making films that have things to come out at you. They are not concentrating on the plots. Could be good, but it is hollywood and they don't have a good track record on prequals.

      Lets just hope nothing from the AVP films leaks through. It will be god awful if the same plot writers are even in the same post code.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

        I had big hopes that there would be no human characters in this film. I know it was a long shot and that not having people would be mainstream suicide, but I had my hopes.

        Now I'm hoping that they try and follow the general canon at least. The Nostromo was the first human ship to encounter the Alien, that is written in scripts, and the books and in everything else that is connected to this universe. The only way this could be pulled off now is to have a human ship fly close enough to LV426 to pick up either the distress call or the regular transmissions of the transport ship which the Space Jockey is in.

        Clearly the Company knew about the transmission, they suspected it to be Alien and if it was they wanted it for themselves. They Scheduled a mining operation ship to return back in close enough proximity to trigger an investigation (in accordance to Company regulations). This way, whatever the result, they can't really lose. If it's nothing, they have the mining ship on it's way back and will get the profits from what they were mining. If it's a deadly alien that is captured and brought back they get their weapon and if the ship and crew are destroyed, they know there is something there worth investigating properly.

        Why would the company set up a colony on a useless rock like LV426? Why that useless rock out of hundreds possible? They knew, Burke thought he was smart sending the colonists to investigate the derelict, the company let him take some of the credit because he's a nice convincing scapegoat should things go wrong.

        The rest is pretty simple.

        I want to know the origin and the story of the Space Jockey ... I don't want humans in my Alien prequel.

      2. LaeMing

        twenty feet high... sounds familiar

        alistair millington: "The thing in the chair with it's chest blown open was alien as it was about twenty feet tall so where do humans fit in exactly?"

        It was a native of Pandora. The Na'vi were once a great space-faring race, until they encountered the Alien species. By the time Avatar was set, they had reverted to a more 'natural' civilisation. But at least the Alien infestation had weeded all the Greedy Corporation (tm) out of their gene pool before it was finally dealt with.

        Sorry for the spoiler.

  3. The elephant in the room
    Thumb Up

    Leaping facehuggers + 3D

    Wear brown trousers to the cinema!

  4. Peter Kay

    Please let it be good

    Alien Resurrection (4) was pretty shit, but if done properly it could be rather good. Plot and acting first, 3D second, please.

    1. Mad Hacker

      hmm and I thought 3 was crappy?

      I thought 4 was great compared to 3. Of course neither stood up to 1 or 2.

      1. Matt Newton

        Alien 3 was great :D

        The initial release wasn't fantastic but I think it was truer to the original Alien than Aliens was. Alien3 was a horror film, back where Alien was, rather than the action we got in Aliens and Alien Resurrection.

        The DVD directors cut release of Alien 3 has some of the scenes changed and the plot does make a lot more sense. If you can get over the whole Newt / Hicks deaths at the beginning, it's a good film; well directed and well acted. I see Alien 3 as the last of the true alien films, before they went a bit strange.

        Seriously, if you've not watched it since 1992, go download / rent the directors cut, it's a good film.

      2. MD Rackham


        Of course, none of the first four can hold a candle to Alien vs. Predator.

    2. Sooty

      not sh*t, just different

      4 was stylistically very different from the first three. It was however, a very similar style to jean pierre jeunet's other films, so not completely unexpected.

    3. Ian Davies

      Alien Resurrection

      had it's good points (Ripley with wet hair and black nails to hint at the Alien DNA, Aliens swimming like bastards, the previous grotesque attempts at cloning Ripley) but they were woefully few and far between.

      The embarrassing clusterfucks of poorly conceived and executed ideas, on the other hand, were in plentiful supply. None more so than the appalling 'newborn' at the end.

  5. blackworx
    Thumb Up

    Can't see 3D

    But I'll be first in line for the 2D showing.

    Might watch Avatar when it comes on BBC ten years from now, but only if I'm not doing my hair or something.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    One can only hope he goes back to the first two film's look and feel...

    "Remember: short, controlled bursts."

  7. Havin_it

    It's all a bit Lucas...

    ...which is an ominous thought. Who's for the "space jockey" (blown-chest alien bloke) having an annoying, accident-prone frog-like sidekick that talks in Black Vernacular English? /facepalm

    As for 3D, Avatar was basically a cartoon with a few walk-on parts by live actors - Pete's Dragon with knobs on. The chances of recapturing the grimy, suffocating realism of the original while trying to show off what your super new shiny-thing tech can do rank in my mind somewhere between slim and none.

    Still, at least it's not another bloody remake.

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      No, it's not a remake

      It's WORSE than a remake. Prequels frequently alter established "facts." Star Wars, Star Trek, and a host of other prequels have screwed up their respective universes (universii?) by altering previously understood "facts" in attempting (and mostly failing) to build a compelling and/or entertaining story.

      We all know the well-documented sins of George Lucas. Star Trek did stuff just as bad with the prequel series "Enterprise." In that, previously established timelines such as first encounters with the Borg and Klingons are tampered with along with a host of other Great Sins.

      I understand WHY it is done, but that shouldn't lessen the punishment for actually DOING it. I like my Alien universe just the way it is, thank you, warts and all. No revision, reimagining, or prequels required. Original ideas only, please. If you want to do something in an established universe OTHER THAN advancing the story past what's already been done, then use your skull to drive nails into bricks until the urge passes. [/rant]

  8. call me scruffy

    I have to admit that I like the sound of this.

    I for one welcome the extension of the Alien saga.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Secretgeek

    In space... can hear me weep tears of blood over the godawful crapness that was AvP.

    As long as it's better than that I'll be happy and if it's anywhere near half as good as the original Alien then an imminent chest bursting won't take the smile off my face.

    Now where's my flamethrower?

  11. Anonymous Coward


    IF Ridley was directing and IF he stuck to what made the original so good then it MIGHT be okay.

    If, as I expect will happen, he hands over the directing to someone else and the comments he made about Avatar's 3D effects just turns it in to 90 minutes of 3D effects with no substance as Avatar was, then Ridley should steer well clear of any association with this project.

  12. Graham Bartlett

    Wasn't Alien Resurrectal bad enough?

    Alien was good. Aliens was better. Alien 3 wasn't wonderful, but it still had a bit going for it. And then we had Alien Resurrection, where frankly most of us would rather have had a chestburster ourselves by halfway through it, and Alien Vs Predator (times two, for heaven's sake!) which took a reasonable fiction franchise and dumped on it from a great height. In other words, it's plainly become something which Hollywood can't do well, so they should stop it now.

    And then there's the prequel factor. Can anyone think of a good prequel film? Nope, me neither. Star Wars? All three sucked, badly. Star Trek? Lousy. So take a critically-murdered franchise, add a director who's good but hasn't done much recently, add MPAA censorship of anything remotely edgy, multiply by the prequel factor, and if it comes out as just averagely awful then you're probably ahead of the game.

    1. EvilGav 1

      Well . . .

      . . . Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom springs to mind.

    2. chr0m4t1c

      The problem with most prequels is...

      That they quite often ignore events or back-stories from the original (e.g. kill someone of vital importance to the next story along, or something similar).

      The other risk, particularly with Sci-Fi movies, is they often make the "older" tech look more advanced than the "newer" tech.

      So, I expect this "prequel" to have no references that match with the other Alien films and technology that appears to post-date Resurrection at least. Oh well.

  13. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    That doesn't start off too well

    "Zeta Reticuli" is not a planet. It's a star in the constellation "Reticulum".

    It's also (according to a rather fanciful pattern matching) the home star of the Greys who so helpfully showed a star map to the Hill family. Although it turns out that star map far more closely matches the configuration of our own solar system with asteroids in bold a few months after the encounter. Go figure.

    Additionally, we know that the Alien 1 ship is just a further development of a Cylon Basestar and Aliens a further development of Raiders.

  14. Bod


    Please Ridley, don't fall for this 3D gimmick crap! I'm shocked that even Marty is doing 3D.

    If you do, don't just convert 2D to 3D like most of the current crop, as it's pure gimmick. Do it properly or not at all, though I'd prefer not at all anyway unless you really can make a film that is a proper film first and 3D is just part of the film making, not in-your-face, not 3D for the sake of it as Avatar was (stunning though it may be).

  15. Anonymous Coward

    "the dark side of the moon"?

    Astronomy fail for a space based movie. There is no "dark side" of our moon, just a far side which is lit for half of every month.

    1. David 105


      "There is no "dark side" of our moon, just a far side which is lit for half of every month"

      So for the other half of the month it's pretty dark then

      Fail for you, everything in the Solar System has a dark side, the side it is just changes as the body rotates on it's axis

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      Actually, the moon does indeed have a dark side. It's the side that faces Earth - the dark splotches we see on the moon's surface (mostly iron) are largely absent from the other side, giving it a lighter appearance overall.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ...more fail

      Which 'moon' are you assuming. Earth? Which of Earth's moons...?

    4. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      at the risk of stirring up Roger Waters...

      "There is no dark side of the moon, really. Matter of fact it's ALL dark..."

      Heart(beat) for my WELL worn vinyl LP, not the AC poster.

  16. Markus Wallett

    don't pee on the memory of Alien

    The only new spin on the franchise will be the 3-D factor, as far as I can tell, plus we might finally be told that the biomechanical aliens are in fact the biological weapons of some advanced alien civilisation gone wrong. The big question is: what else can Scott & Co bring to the series? Not a lot, I don't think, apart from filming it in 3D. Alien has never been beaten when it comes to sweat-inducing tension and atmosphere, although John Carpenter's The Thing almost did in 1982. Setting the film on Zeta Reticuli is surprising, considering it's supposedly one of the homes of the Greys.

  17. Steven Knox

    Hawking on board?

  18. Lionel Baden

    this about sums it up

    The 72-year-old director insisted his project will challenge James Cameron's Avatar in terms of 3D spectacle. He said: "Jim's raised the bar and I've got to jump to it. He's not going to get away with it."


    Ha fuck you i can do better

  19. SlabMan

    Havin_it is right

    Scott's right that the bar has to be raised. Cameron developed awesome 3D technology. Now someone else just has to use it to make a movie that isn't complete arse.

    I second Havin_it - 3D works best with bright, well delineated images. The overall murky brownness of the Alien films won't give the best 3D effect.

    So my guess is that for most of the movie, the 3D will be understated, just enough to draw you in and give a sense of realism...

    It will then suddenly be turned to the max in one horrific scene that makes everyone in the cinema simultaneously scream and CRAP THEIR PANTS!

    Thus quickly and cheaply adding yet another sensory dimension to the movie.

    1. Jason Hall


      Except it will probably be turned into a PG13/12 (whatever?!?) so that they don't miss the cash from the kiddies wanting to watch it.

  20. Huntsman

    I for one hope

    that they don't shoot the John Spaihts Alien Harvest script.

    I'd rather wank my dad off than read that again, never mind watch it on the big screen.

    1. Jasper 1

      Do WHAT to your Dad?

      I thought that the image of the torture scene in Reservior Dogs would never be surpassed in my mind for bowel quaking nausea. Congratulations Huntsman the thought of what could take place if you were ever confronted with that script has just surplanted it. I am off to scrub my brain with Dettol

  21. Mad Hacker

    Didn't Alien 1 already ASK the question...

    Didn't the first Alien movie already ASK who was that guy in the first film lying in a chair with his chest blown outwards? Hopefully he means ANSWER!

  22. DS 1

    A bit tired

    However, in theory, there is so much in the Alien universe that_could be used to terrorise and thrill that it could be great.

    Personally, the way I see this is that Alien prequals could be horror. And some brilliant epic marines vs aliens should follow on that as well

  23. The Original Ash

    Oh please, dear Lord...

    Let him bring back Mr Hans Rudolf for consultancy on the artwork.

  24. Dave Murray

    Take off and nuke Hollywood from orbit

    It's the only way to be sure!

    1. Stef 4


      Pinewood Studios surely?

      Mine's the one with yet another Alien boxset in the pocket.

      1. Bod

        Alien boxsets

        Oh god, don't remind me! My third set coming up with the Blu Ray Anthology and then we'll have the Quintrilogy for this, then there will be the entire 3D remastered set, and then an ultimate set that includes the awful AvP series!

    2. Radelix

      Dont nuke Hollywood!!!

      I live there and I rather like my apartment near the red line subway

  25. fishman

    Alien - deleted scenes

    Did anyone watch the Alien deleted scenes? In one of the deleted scenes, they show a complete view of the alien - In the released movie you never see the entire alien. And it looked so "Star Trek Original Series" quality that it was easy to understand why they deleted it. I hope that Ridley Scott does better this next time.

    1. Trevor 10

      Cheap Animatronic

      Ironically, it was probably the state of Animatronics at the time of the first film and the need to never show the whole alien which help establish the sense of tension found in the film.

  26. Citizen Kaned

    poor reg


    what a shite article, it drastically contrasts with some other things ive heard from, uhm, reputable movie sites

    the film is based 30 years before alien and its all about humans first looking at terraforming

    there is also talk of the alien being redesigned, since it takes some of the form of the host it would most likely be very different if one came out of the 20ft space jockey (his words not mine). you know the massive alien that we all went 'oooh what the f is that?' giger is apparently still alive and scott wants him on board, since between the 2 of them they really designed the whole thing

    wayland will also be in this one, although its before wayland utani was setup.

    gawd, a 5 second google would tell us more than this crap

    also, there is talk of cameron doing alien 5. not sure on that one. he is a real visionary (well, used to be) aliens is still one of my all-time favourite movies

    also, i agree with the 3d thing. it desaturates colour to hell (i.e. avatar actually LOOKS better without the semi sunglasses on) so i dont think the 3d will work, unless its all bright, which isnt really what the aliens films are about.

    if you want to learn about movie go to as they actually know what they are on about

  27. Dale 3


    I would have thought Mr Scott (er, Sir...) had already sorted out his pension pot. That's what this is, isn't it?

  28. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse
    Thumb Up

    More importantly...

    What discreet reference to Joseph Conrad will be slipped in?

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Please don't ask.

    The great mysteries of Alien were where did the Alien come from? and who were the people in the crashed ship?

    I have a horrid feeling they're going to try and answer these mysteries. Some things are best left to our imagination, especially when you see the pathetic way they explained the force in star wars.

    There are more examples of this need to explain away everything in sequels but I can't bring them to mind right now.

    1. Rob

      Already done

      Read the comics and all these questions have already been answered, so no doubt their film will trash those storylines :(

  30. Kimo

    I for one... looking forward to a third Alien(ses) film. (The ones after Aliens don't count...they are blocked from my mind, never to return.)

    1. Marvin the Martian
      Thumb Down


      Jeunet's fourth Alien (Resurrection) is definitely a good one.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    There won't be any place for Hudson and Hicks.

    Should just watch Aliens again, perhaps if they converted that to 3D it would be good.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    I liked Alien 3

    ...... just because they had Brian Glover, voice of the Tetley tea folk, in space.

    I think there should be more Yorkshireman in sci-fi.

    Geoffrey Boycott in Star Wars... " You dinn't want to be mucking about with t' force stuff Luuke. Just bowl line and length, and Death Start wilt be History."

    [Foot note to US readers Geoffrey Boycott is a (in) famous opinionated cricketer.]

    1. TeeCee Gold badge


      I just can't see him as Kenobi myself.

      Fred Trueman on the other hand.........

  33. Dave H 2

    Oooh a 3D prequel...

    ...I'm just wetting myself in anticipation of the snarky review I'm going to post on imdb when it comes out.

  34. Kimo

    About the title...

    If the first movie is Alien, and the second is Aliens, will the two prequels be "Negative Alien" and "Zero Alien(s)" or is there no zero in this numbering system, leading us to a symmetrical "Negative Aliens" followed by "Negative Alien?"

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom ?

    Massive suckage. Only worth watching for the hot busty babe.

    1. Ammaross Danan


      "Only worth watching for the hot busty babe."

      Which would be quite the spectacle in 3D. Just think of how exaggerated Angie would have been if Tomb Raider had been shot in 3D...

      Ah well, I'm a Sci-Fi fan, and thus will be prone to watching it, no matter how terrible it may be.

  36. Blubster

    @I liked Alien 3

    That's the worst Yorkshire accent I've ever seen/heard.

    It should read-

    Geoffrey Boycott in Star Wars... " Tha dun't want to be mucking abaat wi' yon force stuff Loook. Just bowl line an' t' length, an' t' Death Star will bi 'istory."

    From a West Yorkshireman

  37. Gav H.

    H.R. Giger

    I hope he's involved.

    1. Marvin the Martian
      Dead Vulture

      He will be.

      He'll do the rolling in his grave thing.

  38. Armus Squelprom
    Thumb Up

    That's a classic!

    Geoffrey Boycott in Star Wars... " You dinn't want to be mucking about with t' force stuff Luuke..."

  39. Christos Georgiou

    Seemingly forgotten fact

    Scott did not make a tetralogy (or trilogy with four movies so far, RIP DNA; and no, I don't need an explanation of what trilogy means). Scott created a fine thriller: “Alien”. Then Cameron made a fine action movie: “Aliens”. Fincher made a sequel which I do not currently remember whether I liked it or not: “Aliens³”. Then Jeunet made a movie which I remember I disliked.

    So, Scott has no obligations to the world regarding the rest of the movies in the saga.

  40. Charles Osborne

    "...even Marty is doing 3D."


    Raging Alien...Taxi Alien...Goodaliens....

    (OK, I'll go sit in the corner now.)

    1. Bod

      Scorsese it is

      Yeah, he's doing some kids film, in 3D

  41. Daniel B.

    What would Ridley Scott do?

    It could be that it will be more similar in style to the first Alien movie, as that one is the only one he did.

    I disliked the third movie; Dark Horse Comics' "Aliens: Earth War" was much better than the tripe we were given with Alien3. Hell, even Alien 4 looks better than Alien3!

    A prequel might actually work... The Company already knew about LV426, that's why the Nostromo had that return route plotted. It could be that they knew because somebody had already found the thing. So it's workable...

  42. TeeCee Gold badge

    Oh God, not more 3D.

    Watched Burton's Alice the other day, the first of the new crop of 3D I've seen. Wrong. Very wrong.

    The elephant in the room is that films need to be also shown in 2D for conventional cinemas, TV / DVD / BD release et. al. This means that they are shot conventionally with the Director using a very tight depth of field to focus your attention on what he wants you to look at.

    With a 3D picture, your brain expects to be able to focus on any part of the apparently deep picture, this doesn't work as only the bit that's supposed to be looked at is actually shot in focus. The brain starts fiddling with the eye muscles in an attempt to do its thing composing the full picture internally (which it does whether or not you *want* to look at the back/foreground) and you get a headache.

    To cap it all, the foreshortening caused by the depth of field effects leaves the "3D" effect looking like a series of planes at varying distances so, while the whole picture has apparent depth, the individual items in it appear flat (like one of those cutout theatre things). I found that anything moving "out" of or "in" to the picture (it's 3D, so lots of things do this because they can) felt* like it was "hopping" between the apparent planes and gave me a second headache to match the first.

    The solution is to shoot films for 3D with a very long field depth to ensure that everything in view is in focus. The first problem here is that you'd have to compose and shoot every scene twice, once for 3D and once for 2D. The second problem is that doing this removes a great deal of the scope for doing things with lighting.

    *Yup, not "looked", "felt". They looked like they were moving smoothly,, I can't explain it.

  43. Bobster

    Scott should direct...

    Cameron may have 'raised the bar' somewhat, but only in terms of filming techniques, the content and story of Avatar was weak.

    I really hope Ridley Scott decides to direct this, few can match his attention to detail and the Alien storyline needs to be respected... and by that I mean Alien and Aliens, not the crap that was made after them...

    Perhaps they should join forces... after all it was Cameron who directed Aliens ;)

  44. Gavin Burnett

    hollywood and its bloody sequels

    I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit.

    It's the only way to be sure.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    call george lucas

    He knows a thing or three about prequel's...

  46. JeeBee
    Thumb Up

    Looking forward to it

    Alien3 was horrifically under funded.

    I think prequels could work well, if done appropriately and not worrying about catering for the PG/12/15 market. 3D can work if recorded originally in 3D (none of this 2D -> 3D post-processing rubbish).

    Then again maybe Space Hulk would make a good horror sci-fi movie...

  47. Bruno de Florence

    Jog on

    Rather than rehash the same thing over and over again, how about tackling some new material, such as Frederick Pohl's Heechee saga or Franck Herbert's Dune saga (Lynch's film was a complete disaster, Graham Norton would make an excellent Benet Gesserit queen bitch)?

  48. BongoJoe

    It depends...

    I, for one, was disappointed by the Cameron Aliens. Just another gung-ho bunch of American Marines in a movie.

    I have to say that I loved the feel of the Extended version of Alien 3. The cinema release of that, thank you production studio, was mangled and stank to high heaven but the 'proper' full cut was utterly magnificent and was actually one of the better films in the series.

    Then again I'm not a fourteen year old kid waiting for mom to take me to the arcade in the mawl who loves to watch films with lots of explosions.

    If Scott is involved with this one and, hopefully, helming these two films then I have high hopes for this idea. But, please let's not make this into another useless slug-fest. I've seen enough movies of John Wayne, etc., fighting the whole of the Japanese army with one rifle - no matter how it's translated on screen.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Pro Tip

    When your main selling point is "Look at this shiny 3D movie." you tend to lose focus on other parts. I mean look at Avatar, beautiful movie, extremely thin plot. If he had come out and said this first: "We can do some really interesting things with the story line" THEN I would be excited to see this. Less blue screens more scriptwriters please!

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