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Ridley Scott Seeking Gemma Arterton For <i>Alien</i> Prequels?

Few if any fans of the Alien franchise would deny Sigourney Weaver's status as an icon thanks to the role of Ellen Ripley, but that character isn't likely to resurface once director Ridley Scott returns to the series with two planned prequels to his 1979 space horror masterpiece. Instead, it appears that Scott is eying a new female lead — possibly in the form of Gemma Arterton.

Speaking with the Sunday Times (via The Playlist), the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Clash of the Titans actress revealed that she's been contacted for a role in the Alien prequels. "Ridley Scott saw Alice Creed and loved it," said Arterton. "He wants me to meet for Aliens: The Remake, or something."

Arterton's quote is hardly a definite commitment to the Alien franchise — indeed, if she does join the prequels, she may want to find a bit more enthusiasm, "or something." Still, Scott's alleged interest in the actress does provide some clues towards the direction he's going for the prequel films. The question is, will fans get on board with a completely new female lead driving the Alien franchise forward?

In other prequel news, Scott spoke with The Independent and offered a tease at some of the questions the films would address. "The film will be really tough, really nasty," he explained. "It's the dark side of the moon. We are talking about gods and engineers. Engineers of space. And were the aliens designed as a form of biological warfare? Or biology that would go in and clean up a planet?"

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