Stoner, Stunner courted for Alien prequel?

James Franco and Anne Hathaway are said to be joining Natalie Portman on Fox and Ridley Scott’s wish-list for the “Alien” prequel (definitely one of the most anticipated movies of the next couple of years – finally, we learn who and what the Spacey Jockey is!).

According to Bloody Disgusting, Franco (“127 Hours”, “The Pineapple Express”) and Hathaway (“Brokeback Mountain”, “Bride Wars”) have met with Scott and discussed the prospective job but nothing is on paper yet.

A few days back it was rumoured that Natalie Portman was the frontrunner for the Ellen Ripley-esque lead role.

Previously…

So I guess we can scratch two rumours :

The “Alien” prequel has been put on hold

Noomi Rapace looks to be the star

Seems it’s indeed full-speed ahead on the cant-friggin-wait prequel to Ridley Scott’s “Alien” with Vulture claiming that Fox is – funnily enough, considering recent rumours – ecstatic with the script (by “Lost” alum Damon Lindelof). In addition, the site says Fox want Natalie Portman to be the film’s female lead.

Fox and Scott may have been arguing over the budget (which was said to be getting pretty steep) – but they aren’t any more!

”One reason Fox execs are so thrilled with Lindelof’s Alien draft is that, not only is it creatively engaging, but it adds no expensive “set pieces” — production-speak for elaborate, effects-heavy action sequences that add millions to the cost of a film — to the movie” says Vulture. “20th Century Fox and Scott have been wrangling over the director’s proposed budget. One insider familiar with the situation puts Scott’s suggested budget at between $150 million and $160 million; Fox obviously, would like that number to shrink. Still, this is some good news for Fox, which has almost nothing resembling a blockbuster in the hopper for the summer of 2012, and could certainly stand to reinvigorate a wildly popular multi-part sci-fi franchise.”

The script, an insider tells the site, can probably lend itself to a PG-13 movie (what!? No!).

The Natalie Portman bit is very believable. Portman recently ditched “Gravity” and “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” for… well, something (As we exclusively reported a couple of weeks ago she was Darren Aronofsky’s choice to play Lois Lane in “Superman” had he got the job – which he didn’t. Most of us wondered whether Portman was actually still being courted?) – might that something be the “Alien” film? After all, it’s likely this large-scale science-fiction thriller is going to take months and months to film, so the “Black Swan” star is undoubtedly going to want to clean her calendar should she want the gig. If so, she would play a Colonial Marine General.

I think Portman would be great (though comparisons to that other thin pretty Winona Ryder in “Alien Resurrection” are inevitable) but more so, this would be a terrific career move. After playing the love interest in Marvel’s upcoming “Thor”, a nice starring role like this (and, of course, “Black Swan”) is just what the hungry agent ordered.