Alien prequel a go - with Ridley Scott

In yet another attempt to resuscitate an ailing franchise, Twentieth Century Fox is returning to "Alien", this time with a prequel. The only bright spark to this one is that original film director Ridley Scott has signed to direct.

Jon Spaihts will be writing the script with Scott Free producing. It will precede the 1979 film that Ridley Scott directed, in which the crew of a commercial towing ship returning to Earth is awakened and sent to respond to a distress signal from a nearby planetoid. The crew discovers too late that the signal generated by an empty ship was meant to warn them.

Spaihts has also written the Keanu Reeves sci-fi film "Shadow 19." Reeves also hired Spaihts to write the space journey epic "Passengers," which is in development at Morgan Creek.

Fox has separately hired him to rewrite "The Darkest Hour," which Timur Bekmambetov to produce with Tom Jacobson. Spaihts is writing "Children of Mars" for Disney and Scott Rudin, and he will follow by rewriting "St. George and the Dragon" for Sony and Red Wagon.

The biggest unanswered question is exactly what the story of this prequel will be and no release date has been announced. -- 08/01/2009

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