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Charlize Theron Won’t Be in Eastwood’s Hoover Movie, May Star in Alien Prequel

Charlize Theron has decided against starring in Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar Hoover biopic, and insiders tell Vulture that 20th Century Fox is working overtime to rejigger its planned prequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien to potentially, um, vacuum her up. (See what we did there? Space is a vacuum, so is a Hoover! … Sigh.)

Apparently, Theron’s reps at William Morris Endeavor were a bit ahead of the curve on their client’s willingness to star as Hoover’s longtime personal secretary Helen Gandy, putting the Oscar winner in the slightly awkward position of having to apologize to Eastwood for backing away from a role she never actually planned on accepting. All has since been smoothed over with Eastwood, but it’s also opened the door for 20th Century Fox. The studio is hoping the newly available Theron can solve one of its more pressing problems: casting its Alien prequel.

Director Ridley Scott is adamant that the little-known Scandinavian actress Noomi Rapace — best known, to the extent that she’s known at all, for playing Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish-language Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy — get the part of the Alien prequel’s main character, Elizabeth Shaw. Scott has also been pushing to launch a far more multicultural crew into space, and last month, Vulture reported that the director hoped to give the part of Vickers — a fortysomething, tough-but-sexy crew member — to Michelle Yeoh.

However, knowledgeable insiders say that Fox execs are nervous about pinning Scott’s costly CGI movie on such lesser-known actors as Rapace and, should a deal be made with him, Michael Fassbender (who, as this blog also previously reported is in negotiations to play the part of an android crewman), or Yeoh, and so wanted a bigger name for the part of Vickers.

Regardless, we’re told that Fox is having the role rewritten so that it’s larger and befitting, if not of Theron, then at least of someone of Theron’s stature. We're also told that the South African beauty should get the new version of the Alien script sometime this week and make her decision soon.

Photo: Patrick McMullan