• Original Alien concept art by Ron Cobb. Via.

Okay, yeah, so this Deadline story is a few days old, but JESUS CHRIST GET OFF MY BACK I was on vacation. Anyways before you jerks got all up in my face, what I was going to say was that Ridley Scott's Alien prequel just got a whole lot more exciting... because it's not an Alien prequel anymore!

Twentieth Century Fox officially announced the new Ridley Scott production as Prometheus is now bound for worldwide release on March 9th, 2012. Returning to science fiction filmmaking for the first time since Blade Runner, Scott will direct this epic. Of the five major roles to be cast, Noomi Rapace is the first actor signed to star (as "Elizabeth Shaw"), and we hear that Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron are both circling the other big female lead ("Vickers").

The initial draft of the script was written by Jon Spaihts (The Darkest Hour) from Ridley’s idea. Damon Lindelof (Lost, Star Trek) and Scott have since been working together on the current version which has expanded the story into new directions. We hear they were instructed to "go off and come up with what they want" using the 'Alien DNA'. Though story details are being closely guarded, Ridley explained the outlines of the film and its genesis as follows: “While Alien was indeed the jumping off point for this project, out of the creative process evolved a new, grand mythology and universe in which this original story takes place. The keen fan will recognize strands of Alien’s DNA, so to speak, but the ideas tackled in this film are unique, large and provocative. I couldn't be more pleased to have found the singular tale I'd been searching for, and finally return to this genre that's so close to my heart.”

Ever since "the Alien prequel" was announced, I've felt both excitement and dread: Excitement 'cause Scott, the dude who made two of the finest science fiction films yet made, was finally returning to the genre—and dread, 'cause fucking A, who needs another Alien movie, and also, uh, can we just admit now that Ridley Scott doesn't really make movies that're all that great anymore?

This, though? This sounds promising. Not a prequel, not a sequel, not a goddamn reboot, but something new that's inspired by everything Alien did right? With Scott maybe finding something to actually be excited about, rather than, oh, I don't know, terrible Robin Hood stories? Count me in. Prometheus just joined Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity and Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium in the "science fiction movies nobody knows much about yet but Erik won't shut up about all the same" category.

WHAT OTHER NERD-RELATED NEWS DID I (AND POSSIBLY YOU) MISS WHILE I WAS AWAY? Huh, let's see. The new Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield, in his condom-y new Spider-Man costume (and hey, look, here's an incredibly bored Emma Stone talking about Spidey's mechanical webshooters). Captain America standing in front of what a friend fairly accurately described as "some lazy fat robots." Yet another "Darren Aronofsky doing a Batman movie" rumor. A few people actually went to The Green Hornet. (Ha!) And hey, holy shit, there's a new Game of Thrones trailer that's so badass I'm going to embed that motherfucker right here.