Look out, Ripley, the original bitch is back! This Halloween, a new generation will have the chance to be scared silly by Alien when a new director's cut of the 1979 sci-fi screamer gets released in theaters. Oscar-nominated helmer Ridley Scott says he jumped at the chance to retool his landmark spooker.

"Fox [asked], 'Do you think we've got an audience there again?'" recalls the British auteur, whose con-artist comedy Matchstick Men opens Sept. 12. "I said, 'Absolutely!' I regard a generation as 10 years. The kid who couldn't see Alien at 15 years old, never saw it until it was on video. Tape fades and it varies tremendously... It can be anything from what it should be to absolutely dreadful. That is not the film I made."

Though the running time of the extra-terrestrial thriller will remain about the same, Scott says he trimmed some slow bits and added about five minutes of unseen footage. "As the 24 years have past, I think, 'G--damn, why doesn't he come into the room quicker, or why didn't I cut out there?'" he says. "The attention span now is like 45 seconds, so I've been very conscious of that."

Of course, the studio has picked his brain about making a fifth Alien, but Scott says he's "more engaged by other material." That includes two more epics in the works: Tripoli (re-teaming with Russell Crowe) and The Crusades. At 62, this director is keeping with a simple philosophy: "What I try to do is a film that I've not done before."