Ridley Scott’s Alien non-prequel Prometheus rode a mountain of buzz but proved to be a frustrating film cobbling together several cool ideas and visuals without any true through line to make it work.
The ever-controversial Damon Lindelof (Lost) has dropped some intel on the development of the film’s script, on which he conducted a substantial rewrite, and it reveals some enlightening details about what the film was trying (and not trying) to be. The comments came about as part of a much larger feature on Lindelof by The Hollywood Reporter, but for sci-fi fans, they’re interesting nonetheless.
Basically, he liked the ideas of humans searching out their creators, and juxtaposing those concepts around the android and its human creators. That’s a cool idea, to be sure, but when jammed into the mishmash of the Alien mythology it just didn’t really work all that well. Check out an excerpt from his comments below:
“I thought that there were a lot of really great ideas embedded in [the original script]...I felt Jon [Spathis] had done a number of really smart things, but I tried to figure out why is it that they are sending the script to me? What is it that they think that I can do? ...the language of 'Alien Zero' was very much an 'Alien' reboot, in my opinion. There were facehuggers, and xenomorphs, and eggs, in the language of that movie, by page 30. I had heard [Prometheus] was a prequel, and there’s a problem with prequels; there’s something I don’t like about prequels, which is there’s an inevitability, that you’re just connecting dots…
[T]his is a movie about scientists who are searching for the existence of their creators, and so there’s this kind of religious spirit, a pseudo-spiritual thing told in scientific language. And then what was really interesting to me was there was a robot along for the ride, an android, named David in Jon’s script, and I was like, 'Oh this is cool. These idiot humans are basically going and looking for their creator.' And anybody who’s ever watched a science fiction movie knows, all great sci-fi is: don’t cross this line; there are questions that mankind should not answer, do not reanimate dead bodies. And it’s like, 'Well let’s f—ing do it anyway,' and then it doesn’t turn out well. And because it’s an 'Alien' movie, we know how it’s going to end...
But that was an interesting idea, because the android was there, and he’s there with his creators, and they’re seeking out their creators. And he’s not impressed by his creators. The android, he’s the smartest guy in the room, and I was like, 'I’m going to take those ideas, and I’m going to say that’s what the movie is, and we don’t even get to anything, any familiar 'Alien' language, until the end of this movie and if there was a sequel to 'Prometheus,' it would not be 'Alien' — it would go off in its own direction. And therefore it would be exciting to watch because we’re not just connecting dots.”
What’s your take on the finished product, after reading Lindelof’s comments? What do you want from the sequel?
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)