Recent rumors that Ridley Scott's Alien prequel would be delayed by a year have turned out to be false. Not only is the film on track for a March production start, but it also has a tentative name — Paradise.
Vulture has an extensive report on the status of the Alien prequel, which they call Paradise — not Alien Paradise, as some other outlets have been reporting — saying that those rumors of a delay are merely echoes of "a failed effort to cast the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. Initially, there was some talk at Scott Free of pushing back production to accommodate DiCaprio's schedule, so that he could shoot Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar Hoover biopic back-to-back with Scott’s two-part Alien prequel. That, apparently, will not be happening — there will be no 'push' to next year."
Instead, the two-part Paradise is targeting some other actors, including the previously reported Noomi Rapace for the lead role of Elizabeth Shaw. Michael Fassbender is reportedly up for the role of David, an android, though his representatives' negotiation tactics are supposedly threatening his deal. Michelle Yeoh, meanwhile, is being eyed for Vickers, "a fortysomething, tough-but-sexy woman." None of this casting is official at this point.
Regarding the film's plot, Paradise sounds a lot more like a reboot than some had originally thought, as Vulture explains it:
We're told that Paradise reboots the original Alien franchise, in that the story follows a group of space travelers who encounter a monstrous alien creature that picks them off, one by one.
Whether our heroes are targeted by the same alien menace from the previous Alien films or if its the infamous Space Jockey making its presence known is, at this point, unclear. But the alleged premise and casting hopes are definitely in line with the vibe of Scott's previous Alien movie, which could be a very good thing if the filmmaker brings his A-game to this project — but if he doesn't, it's looking like we could have another stale reboot on our hands.
Update: Perhaps we spoke too soon! Chris Petrikin, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for Twentieth Century Fox, is denying portions of Vulture's report, including the reported Paradise title.
"I don't know where to begin to correct what is being written about a certain Ridley Scott project," Petrikin wrote on Twitter, later adding that the prequel will not be two films as previously reported. Petrikin assures that we'll have "all answers soon enough," but for now, the rumor mill continues to churn...