Gemma Arterton to star in Alien prequels?

Ridley Scott is gearing up to direct a couple of 3-D prequels his 1979 classic Alien for 20th Century Fox. In a first for the franchise, the films will not feature Sigourney Weaver (no, we don’t consider AVP part of the series). Scott has another female actress in his sights: Gemma Arterton.

Arterton reportedly told The Times in the U.K. that she would be meeting with Scott to discuss a role in the films; a request made by the filmmaker after seeing her performance in The Disappearance of Alice Creed.

Scott recently shared with The Independent some thoughts on his upcoming Alien flicks.

“The film will be really tough, really nasty…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?”

As previously reported, Lost show-runner Damon Lindelof is currently rewriting the script to both prequels. Scott revealed the direction of the film back in April:

“It’s set in 2085, about 30 years before Sigourney [Weaver’s character Ellen Ripley]…It’s fundamentally about going out to find out ‘Who the hell was that Space Jockey?’ The guy who was sitting in the chair in the alien vehicle — there was a giant fellow sitting in a seat on what looked to be either a piece of technology or an astronomer’s chair. Remember that?”

The first of the Alien prequels is expected to hit cinemas late 2011.

Discuss: Does Arterton have the chops to create a character as indelible as Weaver’s Ripley?

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