The "Alien" prequel is taking shape, with the studio reportedly thrilled with the new script and the director having winnowed his choice for the lead role down to two of Hollywood's hottest actresses.
It comes as not great surprise that Natalie Portman and Rooney Mara, a pair of actresses with experience on the darker side of cinema, are Ridley Scott's first two choices to pick up Sigourney Weaver's mantle in the upcoming "Alien" prequel, as reported by Vulture.
Portman, the frontrunner, has shown a comfort level with weapons and violence in films ranging from "The Professional" to "V for Vendetta." Her next film is Darren Aronofsky's psychological ballet thriller "Black Swan," which comes out Dec. 1 and has generated some Best Actress buzz.
Mara, meanwhile, is currently working with her "Social Network" director, David Fincher, on the American remake of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," which comes out Dec. 21, 2011.
Damon Lindelof, co-creator of the dearly departed "Lost," just submitted his script for the as yet untitled film, and the studio is stoked.
The folks at Fox are said to be pleased that the story as it is now could be done with a budget far more modest than the $150 to $160 million that Scott has mentioned. Scott's last film, "Robin Hood," cost roughly $200 million, but was a critical disappointment and took in only about half that domestically.
The "Untitled Alien Prequel" will presumably get a new name in time for its release in the summer of 2012.