As director Ridley Scott gears up for the anticipated 3D prequel to his terrifying 1979 sci-fi classic Alien, we're hearing rumors that Swedish breakout star Noomi Rapace could be first in line for the Ripley-esque lead role. According to Deadline's Mike Fleming, sources are saying that Rapace, who played Lisbeth Salander in the international hit thriller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, "met and left a strong impression" with Scott and 20th Century Fox.
Scott has been taking meetings all week, testing a number of actresses for the big role - which will likely mirror Sigourney Weaver's original heroine, Ripley - including Carey Mulligan (who recently starred opposite Shia LaBeouf in Wall Street 2) and Abbie Cornish (who Scott directed in A Good Year). Supposedly the director has been trying to get Gemma Arterton on the phone, too.
While sources say meetings are ongoing with potential cast members and that no decisions have been made, it's a safe bet to consider Rapace a likely frontrunner for the Alien prequel. The talented 30-year-old actress has become a buzzy name in Hollywood seemingly overnight, after winning the European Film Awards' Best Actress category for her role in the Millennium Trilogy films (of which Dragon Tattoo is the first part), and has already signed on to co-star in the next Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. And production on the sequel wouldn't conflict with the next Alien, which is still in the scripting process with newcomer Jon Spaihts and rumored rewriter Damon Lindelof (who wrote for Lost and was a co-writer for the upcoming Jon Favreau- directed Cowboys & Aliens).
Rapace has definitely got the look and 'tude to fill Ripley's shoes (or a similar space heroine), but Scott probably has a long list of actresses lining up for what could be a career-making role. We'll hear in the coming weeks who the director ultimately chooses, so stay tuned.