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The untitled Alien prequel is producing it's fair share of news these days. Earlier in the week, news had made the rounds that actresses Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Carey Mulligan (Pride and Prejudice, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps) were being considered for the project. Now Vulture has it that not only is there another actress in the running but that 20th Century Fox has gotten their hands on a new draft of a script, one they're very enthusiastic about.
Vulture states that Natalie Portman (Black Swan, V For Vendetta) is now a favorite for Fox to play the heroine. News of her potential involvement comes at a time where her name is reaching new heights with Black Swan, having already built a name for herself in the “tough heroine” market with “Vendetta” (shaving her entire head in the process) and now in next summer's Thor. Given that she has just dropped out of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies as well as Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, the Alien prequel could only further raise Portman's star while building a reputation for action-oriented material, a genre often lacking in female leads.
When Fox has not been hunting for a lead actress, they've been waiting for a draft of the proposed script, penned by Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof. Having recently submitted the first draft, Fox apparently is in love with it. Details about the plot are still under lock and key, but what can be assessed so far is that the film will be set around 35 years prior to the original film and a female Colonial Marine will be at the center (shock). Although the plot details are not known, the proposed script is apparently lacking in massive set pieces, meaning the chance of bigger action sequences are unlikely, probably making Fox ecstatic as the smaller the production, the less money they have to spend. Further, the script could be swung for a PG-13 rating, boosting the potential attendance pool for a theatrical run. For the sci-fi/horror genre, Fox is targeting the teenage male demographic, and a PG-13 rating will be much easier to get them into a theater versus an R.
As previously covered, Fox and director Ridley Scott (responsible for the original Alien film over 30 years ago) have been having what can lightly be described as “creative differences." Scott wants a bigger film shot in 3D, costing upwards of $200 million with an anticipated R-rating. Fox fears that such an expensive production with such a rating will be bad for business. While Fox loves Lindelof's script, there is no word (yet) on Scott's reaction, and whether or not he is willing to tone down the film in an attempt to garner a PG-13 rating (probably not). However, now that an approved script is out there, plans can begin to move forward in some degree.