Film; It's the Best-Kept Film Secret This Year. but Finally Ridley Scott Has Opened Up about Alien Prequel Prometheus. ROGER CROW Reports

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Byline: ROGER CROW

RIDLEY Scott has a glint in his eye.

It could be the fact it's a rare sunny morning here in his home country, but it's more likely because the British director's finally ready to release his hugely anticipated movie Prometheus.

The 74-year-old South Shields-born triple Oscar nominee is at least hoping his multi-million pound gamble pays off. Scott's prequel to Alien, starring Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender, is a 3D science fiction epic that opens in cinemas next week.

His first blockbuster attracted many fans, not least because of the clever tagline "In space, no one can hear you scream".

Alien centred on seven astronauts returning to Earth who were awoken to investigate a distress signal. Landing on a wind-lashed planet, they find a derelict alien space craft and the fossilised remains of a giant humanoid creature.

In the bowels of the craft, Kane (John Hurt) discovers a cache of eggs and is attacked by one of the organisms within.

After recovering from a coma, he and the crew continue their journey to Earth. However, a creature produced from that close encounter wipes out most of the crew, until warrant officer Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) kills it.

The movie transformed Weaver into a star and marked the beginning of one of 20th Century Fox's most lucrative franchises.

Though Scott thought the franchise was "fundamentally used up" that fossilised humanoid nicknamed "the Space Jockey" continued to bug him.

"Something that had stayed with me ever since Alien, was the mystery behind it," explains Scott. "Who was he? Where was he from? What was his mission? I thought those questions could provide a springboard for larger ideas."

"Over the past few decades, we've been 'action filmed-out' and 'monster filmed-out' and almost 'science fiction filmed-out'. So the baseline question is: how original are you going to be?" The answer was to tackle issues inspired by Swiss author Erich Von Daniken decades ago in books such as Chariots Of The Gods? …