We’ve all thought about Ridley Scott returning to the Alien franchise, but we always sort of assumed that if he did it would be for a sequel. Who would have imagined that the director of the original film that started it all would be coming back for what looks to be a possibly ill-advised prequel?

That’s the latest word from Variety. You’ll remember that the news of an Alien prequel broke earlier this year, but it looked like Ridley Scott would only be involved as a producer. Then we heard that Fox really wanted him back in the director’s chair, and we all wondered if this was a case of the studio ruining one its own projects by once again alienating the talent. But apparently they got what they wanted, and they also got a pretty exciting writer – Jon Spaights, whose scifi script Passengers was on the Blacklist (in the film a guy on an interstellar craft accidentally wakes out of cryosleep a century before everyone else).

With Scott directing and Spaight writing Fox may very well have earned the benefit of my doubt. I still think we don’t need to see a prequel, and I hope (against all reason) that the Space Jockey won’t appear or be explained. But at least there’s real talent on this one, and not just a hack who Tom Rothman can push around.