For those of you who have been hotly anticipating the return of the evil xenomorph, you'll have to cool your jets. The upcoming prequel, which was supposed to hit the screens in either late 2011 or 2012, has been pushed to 2013.
This is annoying news for fans who have been eager to see more of the elements that made Alien famous in the first place. In addition to Alien's director Ridley Scott having signed on as the prequel's producer and director, Scott has spoken about bringing original concept artist H.R. Giger on board. Giger's imagery brought a visceral, nightmarish quality to the movie, whose impact is still as fresh as it was in 1979.
Even worse, this setback isn't the only setback the new installment of the Alien saga has had to endure. Scott has already clashed with 20th Century Fox over the movie's rating. The script, written by Damon Lindelof (creator and writer of Lost), currently involves an alien race called the Growers (the Space Jockey from the first Alien movie was one). And yes, the premise is R-rated, possibly even NC-17. 20th Century wants to tweak the content to acquire a PG-13 rating.
Indie Wire said of the postponement:
...[T]he news is intriguing because recently visual FX designer Henry South in a now deleted tweet said, "Started work on alien prequel today!! Absolutely stunning. Worth waiting till late 2011 for peeps!" And last month, Scott told World Screen magazine, "It's written and budgeted and, frankly, we've already booked film stages in England, so I think [it will happen soon]."
In other words, this delay comes after preproduction had already begun. Production was scheduled for February 2011. The starring roles had not be cast, although Noomi Rapace (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) and Olivia Wilde (Tron: Legacy) have been mentioned as potential Alien bait.
The promise of another Ridley Scott Alien movie is tantalizingly near, yet so far, and more delays only create frustration. We can only hope 20th Century Fox is listening, because here on Earth everyone can hear us scream.