prequel was first announced, Ridley Scott wasn't even attached as a director.
When he came on board to return to the franchise (and the genre) in which he made his name, the prospect of revisiting the Alien universe became a lot more tantalising (even with our post- AvP cynicism).
Deadline are now reporting that Twentieth Century Fox have officially announced that the movie, now called Prometheus (not Paradise ), will hit cinemas in March 2012.
Fox have also confirmed that original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Noomi Rapace is locked in to play scientist Elizabeth Shaw.
Rumour has it that Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron are in contention for the other big female role, but Fox confirmed nothing, merely stating that the remaining roles "would be cast soon."
Sir Ridley said the following about the project: "While Alien was indeed the jumping off point for this project, out of the creative process evolved a new, grand mythology and universe in which this original story takes place."
"The keen fan will recognise strands of Alien ’s DNA, so to speak, but the ideas tackled in this film are unique, large and provocative."
"I couldn't be more pleased to have found the singular tale I'd been searching for, and finally return to this genre that's so close to my heart."
Writer Damon Lindelof ( Star Trek , Lost , Cowboys & Aliens ) added: "In a world flooded with prequels, sequels and reboots, I was incredibly struck by just how original Ridley's vision was for this movie. It's daring, visceral and hopefully, the last thing anyone expects."
"When I sat in a movie theatre as a kid, feet raised off the floor for fear that something might grab my ankles, I never dreamed in my wildest imagination I would one day get to collaborate with the man responsible for it. Working alongside him has been nothing short of a dream come true."
Scott hasn't made a sci-fi movie since helming two of the genre's finest every entries: Alien and Blade Runner .
It'll be incredibly exciting to see what Scott will bring to the project at this stage in his career, and it's promising that Rapace has been confirmed, as she's one of only a handful of contemporary actresses who could match Sigourney Weaver's fierce determination.
March 2012 can't come around quickly enough...