Is Noomi Rapace, the star of the Swedish "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" films, edging out 'Wall Street 2's 'Carey Mulligan for the juicy role of the female lead in Ridley Scott's upcoming 3-D 'Alien' prequel for Fox?

Well, according to Deadline, Scott has had several meetings with a number of actresses, including Mulligan (and Gemma Arterton before her), but his meetings with Rapace left a strong impression on the director.

Rapace, who played Lisbeth Salander in all three 'Dragon Tattoo' films, recently signed to play a gypsy in Guy Ritchie's 'Sherlock Holmes' sequel with Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law. Mulligan, of course, has no dearth of roles in the near future: she stars opposite Ryan Gosling in 'Drive,' has the female lead in Sam Mendes' 'On Chesil Beach' and was set to play Eliza Doolittle in (the now on hold) remake of 'My Fair Lady.'

From what we're read about the project, the story predates Sigourney Weaver's Ripley character and revolves around the encounter between the Aliens and the giants whose crashed space ship was found at the outset of the first 'Alien' film. We're not sure of the nature of the female lead, but if Scott is looking for a kick butt/bad ass female to lead his prequel, then Rapace is his actress. After her turn in the two 'Dragon Tattoo' films that have come to the states (the third, 'The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest,' will open here Oct. 29) she definitely knows how to fight evil with firepower.

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