By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist December 9, 2010 at 2:03AM
So, rumors started flying at the end of last week that the "Alien" prequel, or prequels, which has been set for most of the year to be Ridley Scott's next film, would possibly be delayed for as much as a year, despite talk that the film would be getting under way shortly. As we reported yesterday, the reports of a delay were inaccurate, particularly as the film is yet to be officially green-lit.
Vulture, however, had a different take, reporting a series of rumors that, if they turned out to be true, would have been pretty intriguing. Firstly, they suggest that reports of a delay came only from the brief possibility that Leonardo DiCaprio, who previously worked with Scott on "Body of Lies," could have been cast in the film, and was considering following up Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar" with the sci-fi epic.
DiCaprio is supposedly ruled out, but Vulture did name a couple of other possibilities -- Noomi Rapace has long been thought to be the front-runner for the lead role, who the site name as 'Elizabeth Shaw,' but also suggest that Michelle Yeoh has been linked to the role of 'Vickers,' and that Scott had been interested in Michael Fassbender to play an android named 'David,' but the "Hunger" star had priced himself out of the job.
Vulture also suggested that the film had a title, "Paradise," that it served as a 'reboot' of the franchise, and that it was closer to the original film, featuring a group of space travelers (also including Engineer 1, a character who would be created entirely through CGI), being picked off one by one by a space beastie. The only problem? Little, if any, of this appears to be true.
Chris Petrikin, the Senior Vice-President for Corporate Communication at 20th Century Fox, took to his Twitter account, saying that "I don't know where to begin to correct what is being written about a certain Ridley Scott project," as well as categorically denying that the title was "Paradise" -- as if the fact that the studio would never release the film without the word "Alien" in the title wasn't enough of a clue. At the very best, "Paradise" is the alias for the production, much as, say, "The Dark Knight" shot under the title "Rory's First Kiss." Perhaps the biggest clarification is that only one prequel is planned -- while it's reported for some time that Scott was planning a pair of back-to-back films, this seems to have been a case of a game of Telephone.
We've also been told by a source close to the production that 'some' of the casting thoughts reported by Vulture were "just plain wrong," so don't hold your breath for Michelle Yeoh or Michael Fassbender appearing in the final product. It's possible that there's some basis of truth to Vulture's report -- we wouldn't be surprised if Scott Free is trying to get a package together with key talent on board to present to Fox in order to get a green light -- but with much of what they reported being denied (and, yes, while studios do sometimes deny accurate reports, this one seems fairly categorical), it's to be taken with a giant heap of salt.
All this said, the film is in development and with any luck, we'll get some actual concrete news on the project soon.