Page last updated at 16:00 GMT, Friday, 31 July 2009 17:00 UK

Scott 'to direct Alien prequel'

Sir Ridley Scott
Sir Ridley is currently filming Robin Hood with Russell Crowe

Director Sir Ridley Scott is to direct a prequel to seminal sci-fi horror film Alien, according to reports.

Trade newspaper Variety said the 71-year-old would return to the franchise he began in 1979 with actors Sigourney Weaver and John Hurt.

Sir Ridley, who is currently directing Robin Hood, has not made a sci-fi movie since Blade Runner in 1982.

He was not involved in the three Alien sequels or the two Alien vs Predator spin-offs.

It is thought the prequel will tell the story of the events leading up to the original film, in which the crew of a commercial towing ship respond to a distress signal - only to discover it was generated by an empty ship that was meant to warn them.

The film will be written by Jon Spaihts, who has also penned Keanu Reeves' space film project Passengers, after he pitched his idea for the reboot to Twentieth Century Fox and Sir Ridley's production company.

Alien, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, won an Oscar for best visual effects in 1980.

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