Sir Ridley's Robin Hood will open the Cannes Film Festival
Director Sir Ridley Scott has revealed that his 3D Alien prequel will be "really nasty" and will respond to the standard set by James Cameron's Avatar.
Speaking to Screen Daily, the film-maker said the movie, set in 2085, would be "the dark side of the moon".
Sir Ridley, who directed the original Alien film in 1979, paid tribute to Cameron's technological innovation.
"Jim's raised the bar and I've got to jump to it," said the 72-year-old. "He's not going to get away with it."
'Gods and engineers'
Sir Ridley's latest film, Robin Hood - starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, will open the Cannes Film Festival on 12 May.
Speaking about the Alien prequel, which is set five years before the original, the British film-maker said it is about "gods and engineers... engineers of space".
"And were the aliens designed as a form of biological warfare? Or biology that would actually go in and clean up a planet?"
"It will take place in the years before that, when they first come across this thing on a planet called Zeta Reticuli, he added.
"And it will ask who was that guy in the first film lying in a chair with his chest blown outwards when they first go into the giant spacecraft."
Sir Ridley has not made a sci-fi movie since 1982's Blade Runner and was not involved in any of the Alien sequels or two Alien vs Predator spin-off films.
The original Alien movie, which starred Sigourney Weaver, won the Oscar for best visual effects in 1980.