Screenwriter Damon Lindelof (“Lost“) has turned in his script for Ridley Scott’s upcoming Alien prequel, and the suits love it! They really, really love it! Coming from the heads of 20th Century Fox that’s not really saying much because they’ve let some pretty sh*tty movies slip through the cracks but we’re trying to stay positive. More on the plot and casting below…

According to Vulture, everyone who’s seen a copy of the script has been asked to sign nondisclosure agreements to ensure that the plot doesn’t get out. All we know is that the story takes place about 35 years prior to the original, and it doesn’t feature any big, expensive set pieces, which is one of the reasons the studio loved it so much. The budget that Scott proposed for the film is somewhere between $150 – $160 million.

The studio doesn’t have a major tentpole project in waiting to compete during the summer 2012 blockbuster season and this Alien prequel may be their only horse to put in the race. They are currently in search of the film’s female lead and have met with several actresses, with Natalie Portman being one of them. The actress has stepped down from multiple films over the past few weeks (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Gravity), which makes us think she’s clearing her schedule for something big.

Another contender is Swedish star Noomi Rapace who appeared in the original The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo adaptation as Lisbeth Salander. She’s slowly making her way up the ranks and becoming a serious threat to Hollywood’s leading actresses.

Who do you think should star in the new Alien?