Variety’s story is more concerned that the screenplay is being written by Jon Spaihts, but the headline and the one-line explanation are enough to make me run around the room with glee: Ridley Scott is now attached to Alien 5 as director.

Commercials director Carl Erik Rinsch was originally reported to be the Scott Brothers’ choice to helm, with their Scott Free Productions, well, producing. But there’s no mention of Rinsch this morning. Were Fox unconvinced? Or did Ridley start getting more interested the more involved he became?

Whatever the circumstances, what does seem to be officially confirmed now (rather than just rumoured and hoped for) is that the film is a prequel to the 1979 original, presumably dealing with the events that led the elephant-faced Space Jockey and his croissant-shaped ship to crash on Giger World. 

Spaihts’ pitch to Fox and Scott Free was apparently enthusiastically received. Well clearly, since he got the job.  I’d hope Fox and the Scotts reaction wasn’t “meh, that’ll do”. Prolifically busy all of a sudden, Spaihts is also involved with Shadow 19, Passengers,The Darkest Hour, Children of Mars, and George and the Dragon. But the Alien prequel will be his highest profile gig yet.

Hard to imagine a higher, really…