Scarlett Johansson to Play Sexy Alien in Sci-Fi Movie

Jonathan Glazer will direct and co-write an adaptation of Michael Faber’s novel “Under the Skin”

Last Updated: November 3, 2010 @ 1:56 PM

Scarlett Johansson is attached to star in FilmNation Entertainment's "Under the Skin," a bold sci-fi drama from "Sexy Beast" director Jonathan Glazer, the company announced at AFM on Wednesday.

Johansson will play a ruthless alien living on Earth where she takes the helpful form of a beautiful woman and uses her voracious sexuality to snare human prey.

Over time, the deadly efficient seductress becomes drawn to and changed by the complexity of life on Earth, but her newfound humanity and and weakening alien resolve leads her on a collision course with her own kind.

The story will be told from her Isserley's point of view to present a unique look at our world through alien eyes.

Glazer adapted Michel Faber's 2001 novel with Walter Campbell, and while the project sounds an awful lot like the 1995 Natasha Henstridge B-movie classic "Species," Amazon.com's review claims the book "is unlike anything else you have ever read."

Hmmm … apparently, the alien character, Isserley, doesn't actually kill anyone, she's just used as a pawn to capture and collect humans, although her purpose remains a secret for now.

Publisher's Weekly describes Johansson's character as having "breasts too large, legs too short and scars everywhere." Their review goes on to say the book "feels like something animal rights extremists might have cooked up after watching 'Soylent Green'," so perhaps there are some plot clues in that description.

I love Glazer's "Sexy Beast," and consider it to be one of the best heist films of the last 15 years, but it wasn't until I sat down with Glazer to discuss his 2004 follow-up "Birth" that I realized he's a true artist.

Like "Never Let Me Go" director Mark Romanek, Glazer prefers to take his time between projects, and I think his patience serves him well. For him to be involved with "Under the Skin" means he must really see the potential to do something special with the fairly familiar genre material.

Either way, it's a shame that he hasn't directed a feature film in six years, and I'm delighted to see him finally returning to the big screen with another strong lead actress in tow.

Nick Wechsler and James Wilson will produce "Under the Skin," while Film4's Tessa Ross will exec produce. Tanya Seghatchian will steward the project for the U.K. Film Council, with the assistance of Scottish Screen.

FilmNation will handle international sales for the movie, which is currently scheduled to start production in the spring.

As for Johansson, the four-time Golden Globe-nominated actress is preparing to reprise her "Iron Man 2" role of Black Widow in Joss Whedon's "The Avengers." She is represented by CAA.