We’ve all been a little hesitant about this Alien prequel.  We’ve always wanted more mythology, but it runs such a risk of ruining what makes Alien so goddamn scary.

But today, Deadline Hollywood Daily revealed some interesting plans, as well as its first signed star.

Noomi Rapace has signed to play science officer Elizabeth Shaw, which is good news, as she was Scott’s original pick.  I’m sure she’ll be a bit of a homage to Ripley, and I’m perfectly cool with that. I like the conceit of consistently pitting women against these beasts.

Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron are both being considered for Vickers, “the tough and sexy 40something crewmember.”

But the biggest news may be that is that Prometheus is no longer — except in some possibly vague sense — a prequel.   Says Scott:  “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.”

Lindelof further stressed the “not a prequel” point:  “In a world flooded with prequels, sequels and reboots, I was incredibly struck by just how original Ridley’s vision was for this movie. It’s daring, visceral and hopefully, the last thing anyone expects.”

Plot details are, of course, being kept under wraps.  This could all be a lot of elaborate marketing obfuscation, but if Scott and Lindelof have truly taken the prequel idea, run with it, and chucked it out for something new, the result could be what we really do crave: a fresh, original, and standalone Alien installment. There’s plenty of room to expand this universe into the black to scare the hell out of us again, and not circle back to a Space Jockey origin story.  It really sounds as though they figured that out. Fingers crossed.

Prometheus has a release date of March 9, 2012.