But hey, look on the bright side ... or at least look at the studio-planted buzz.
Apparently, Fox execs are head-over-heels for Damon Lindelof's ('Lost') latest draft of the script, which is "creatively engaging" while being substantially less expensive than originally thought, at least a far cry from the $160 million that Ridley Scott wanted. Of course, this could be a great bucket of lies, but Lindelof is a smart guy and a good writer. A lot can be said about 'Lost', where he was a head writer, but it's impossible to deny his ambition and creativity. This is a film series that should fit his geeky sci-fi sensibilities like a glove.
Still, the news of an 'Alien' prequel shooting for a PG-13 lingers over this project like a dark, noxious cloud. The "insider spin" is that ...
"...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."
Okay, fair enough. If the suits want a PG-13, they're going to get a PG-13 and there's little the fans can do about it. However, the execs and Scott should well remember what makes the original 'Alien' a masterpiece: it's scary. Really scary. Terrifying even. Sure, it's not as gory as many modern films (is the infamous chestburster sequence really a PG-13 scene?), but 'Alien' is a class unto itself when it comes to creating dread and terror.
This 'Untitled Alien Prequel' doesn't need an R-rating. It doesn't need $160 million. All it needs is a spaceship full of shadowy corners and the feeling that something that wants to kill you may be lurking in those shadows.