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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

dream cast: not-so-hypothetical ‘Alien’ prequel

It’s Thursday, so it’s time for another installment in the semiregular Dream Cast, in which we take a classic movie, TV show, or book, perferrably something with Xer appeal that we can either trash or have fun with, and cast a production or recast a hypothetical (or sometimes not so hypothetical) remake with actors working today. This week: the prequel to Alien that Variety reported last week director Ridley Scott will take on soon.

(If you have a suggestion for a show, movie, or book we could play Dream Cast with, feel free to email me.)
Variety offered no details on the movie, except that it will definitely take place before the events of 1979’s Alien (I reviewed the 2003 theatrical release of the director’s cut here). Which leads one to wonder how this can quite be an Alien movie at all, if the events of Alien were those in which the Alien aliens were discovered. Or were they…? We know that Weyland-Yutani — the evil Company — is, well, evil, so maybe they already knew about the monsters lurking on that dead planet. In fact, it’s arguable that Alien suggests that the Company did, in fact, already know about the creatures, which is why it detoured the Nostromo to stop and check out that mysterious beacon.

Major question regarding any prequel: Can we have an Alien movie without Ripley? But how can we maintain the ignorant Ripley of the 1979 movie while also having a prequel with both Alien aliens and Ripley?

So here’s your assignment for today: Envision a prequel story that satisfies that conundrum.

Here’s my idea: The Ellen Ripley we know from 1979 is actually a clone of the real Ellen Ripley, a high-ranking Weyland-Yutani executive, who is on a space cruise to the spas of Proxima Centauri when her ritzy corporate yacht is diverted by a distress call from a colony abandoned for reasons no one knows (it’s a space age Roanoke Island, see). The yacht’s captain is bound by the spacer’s code to check it out… and mayhem ensues.

I’m gonna steal an idea from EW’s PopWatch and cast Ellen Page as Ripley. The captain? Timothy Olyphant (cuz I’m so tired of seeing his awesomeness wasted).

Who’s in your scenario and dream cast?

In space, no one can hear you speculate about prequels:

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