Variety is reporting that the long-rumored Alien prequel is a go. That, however, is probably not the big news. It seems that returning to direct, will be Ridley Scott, the man whose directorial vision of H.R. Giger-inspired creatures shaped the very first Alien back in 1979. (Before handing the franchise over to James Cameron for his one-shot deal with the sequel, Aliens in 1986.) The film, which is set to take place before the events of the first Alien, will also be the first real test for up-and-coming screenwriter, Jon Spaihts.
I guess the 800 lb. gorilla in the room, is a rather simple question: Did we really need another Alien movie? This franchise is kind of a paradox. On one hand, it doesn't seem like it has been in the mainstream spotlight since at least 1992's Alien 3. (Which spawned a string of God-awful video games, which still make me cringe to this day.) That film was followed by the less-heralded Alien: Resurrection in 1997. However, the numbers tell a different story, as the Aliens themselves have been featured in FOUR films from the "Aliens" series and TWO more from the Alien vs. Predator films. (Which feature human characters so asinine and douchey, that you find yourself rooting for the Aliens.) That's a gross total of SIX films, as it stands now. With this prequel, the Alien franchise will outnumber even the Star Wars and Rocky films.
Regardless, it's probably a waste of time to debate the subject, since all the signs seem to indicate that it is indeed coming. It is kind of a cool sentiment that "the man" is returning to the helm of the franchise that he basically created. However at around this time in 1997, we were all thinking the same thing about George Lucas' triumphant return to Star Wars, as fanboys (such as myself) drooled over the incremental reports after principal photography began for The Phantom Menace. (Need I say more?)
Ridley, for what it's worth...give 'em hell!