Twentieth Century Fox is bringing back the Alien franchise, signing on Jon Spaihts to write a prequel for Ridley Scott to reprise his role as director.

According to Variety, Spaihts pitched to the studio and Scott Free, which will produce the film.

The film is set up to be a prequel to the groundbreaking 1979 film that Scott directed. It will precede that film, in which the crew of a commercial towing ship returning to Earth is awakened and sent to respond to a distress signal from a nearby planetoid. The crew discovers too late that the signal generated by an empty ship was meant to warn them.

The deal gives Fox another chance to keep the Alien franchise alive. There were three sequels to Scott's original, but it is the first time the director has set his mind on directing one.

No production date has been set.