There’s some big news on Ridley Scott‘s two-part prequel to his 1979 film Alien. First up, time to kill off the rumor that the project has been delayed: Fox says that there is no delay. (The interesting reason for the rumor is after the break.)

But more important, a report says that the first film is called Paradise, and that cast sought by Ridley Scott includes Michael Fassbender and Michelle Yeoh. More info on the character details and plot of the film are also after the break. And note that there are possible spoilers in the info that follows.

First up: the title. Vulture does not explain any context for the title, but doesn’t refer to the film as Alien: Paradise or anything like that. Just Paradise. But the report does say,

We’re told that Paradise reboots the original Alien franchise, in that the story follows a group of space travelers who encounter a monstrous alien creature that picks them off, one-by-one.

That’s less than inspiring, but could be a broad generalization. I hope it is a broad generalization. Because while I was nervous about a film that explored the ‘space jockey’ from Alien (pictured above), I’m far more nervous about something that boils down to a reboot. The news that Damon Lindelof‘s script revisions were well-received was good, but now…

So let’s talk about casting. Vulture reports that Leonardo DiCaprio was sought for the lead role at one point, and efforts to work out a schedule that would see this film shot after Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar are what resulted in the rumored shooting delay. But Mr. DiCaprio hasn’t been cast, and the schedule remains as it was before the rumor. The idea that Ridley Scott would look for someone like Leonardo DiCaprio is interesting — what part in the film would be well-suited for him? Even when he’s part of an ensemble cast (The Departed) he has a tendency to stand out. I don’t see it, but then I haven’t read the script.

There’s also word that the director wanted Michael Fassbender for a character called David, who is an android and precursor to the Ash and Bishop characters from Alien and Aliens. But Mr. Fassbender’s quote has risen astronomically, and he may be out of the running for now. Too bad if so — I’d love to see Robo-Fassbender.

There’s also a character called Vickers, “a 40-something, tough-but-sexy woman,” for which Michelle Yeoh is being sought. If you read the spoilerish script details we posted a while back, you might guess, as I do, that this is the Vasquez-like character mentioned there, assuming those details were correct.

Other characters:

  • Elizabeth Shaw: the main female lead, for which Noomi Rapace remains a front-runner.
  • An unnamed ‘older businessman along for the ride’. Shades of Burke from Aliens?
  • Engineer 1: a character to be played by a very tall actor who will be repalced by CGI, a la Gollum in Lord of the Rings. Will Doug Jones be hired?
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