"Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof has been hired to rewrite 20th Century Fox's "Alien" prequel ... sort of.
While Lindelof was specifically brought on board to tweak Jon Spaihts' screenplay, his ideas were interesting enough that the script he's writing could (and likely will) develop into a separate original sci-fi movie entirely, according to Deadline. Studio execs won't know until Lindelof turns in his draft.
The original "Alien" reportedly was a seminal influence on Lindelof, who jumped at the opportunity to update the 1979 classic.
I love that Fox is giving Lindelof some room to play with the material, and should his take not fit with what the studio and director Ridley Scott have in mind for their reboot of "Alien" franchise, at least they'll have an original screenplay to develop on its own.
Ironically, Spaihts' work on the "Alien" prequel was strong enough to persuade Scott to slide into the director's chair after he was initially set to simply produce the project through his company Scott Free.
With Lindelof still honing the project, it's possible that Scott could direct another movie before production on the "Alien" prequel gets under way.
Three projects are currently battling for pole position on Sir Ridley's jam-packed development slate:
• Angelina Jolie is circling the female lead in Fox 2000's "Gucci," which would see her play femme fatale Patrizia Reggiani, who was sentenced to 29 years in prison after being convicted of plotting the murder of her ex-husband Maurizio Gucci after he'd taken control of the family's fashion empire.
• Scott is also eyeing Justin Cronin's best-selling novel "The Passage," which Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan ("Gladiator") is adapting for Fox 2000.
• Scott also recently signed on to direct "The Wolf of Wall Street" from a script by Terrence Winter ("Boardwalk Empire"). Scott Free is producing with Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, who will likely star as a scheming stockbroker once he wraps Clint Eastwood's biopic about FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.
Lindelof recently collaborated with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci on the script for DreamWorks' "Cowboys & Aliens," and is currently working with those same writers again on Paramount's "Star Trek" sequel, which Lindelof will also produce.
Lindelof is represented by CAA.