Lost's Damon Lindelof just turned in his rewrite of Ridley Scott's Alien prequel, the brain trust at 20th Century Fox is thrilled—and Natalie Portman is at the top of everyone's list to star.
Details are very hard to come by on what we're calling Alien: Year One—the project doesn't have a name yet, and Untitled Alien Project is just boring—but according to the Vulture blog, the plum role in Scott's film is a female Colonial Marine general. Portman is currently the favorite, with Noomi Rapace, star of THE ORIGINAL The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, in the runner-up slot.
Lindelof's rewrite of Jon Spaihts' original script doesn't bring down Alien: Year One's budget, which was a sticking point between Scott—who wanted $150 million—and Fox, who wanted to spend less. But it does bring it more in line with Fox's desire for a PG-13 film.
A source close to the project doesn't think that a more family-friendly rating means that Alien: Year One couldn't have teeth: "If the original Alien were released today, minus the F-bombs, you could still get a PG-13. Alien is a very Jaws-ian movie: There's no sex, and while there's lots of violence, most of it is off-camera. Maybe you'd have to cut away from certain scenes two seconds earlier, but it could be done."
Three other things are clear: 1) This film won't reboot the Alien franchise, but it will return it to its horror roots, 2) the origin of the Space Jockey will definitely be explained, and 3) there won't be a Predator within spitting distance.