Ridley Scott's latest sci-fi epic Prometheus is nearly here, and he's managed to keep it shrouded pretty well in mystery. Luckily, writer Damon Lindelof is a bit more chatty, and he's opened up about how the script evolved from a straight Alien prequel to a standalone film with a more grandiose concept.
Former Lost writer Lindelof, who was brought in to tweak Jon Spaihts' first draft, told Entertainment Weekly that quite a bit changed between the initial Prometheus concept and the finished project.
"I thought it was really cool. It was not at all what I expected it to be. But obviously they were giving it to me for a reason. And this is one of those situations where you're given no advance sense of what they like, what they don't like, you just have to walk out on the plank and say, Here is my fundamental reaction to this thing. So when I finished it I went into my office and I wrote an email to Ridley and his producing partners. And this response was basically my job interview.
I wrote maybe a four or five paragraph email saying here are all the things I love about it, I think there are some incredible set pieces here, I love the fundamental idea behind the movie, I feel like it's a cool think piece. BUT I think it's relying a bit too heavily on the Alien stuff that we've seen now five or six times in different movies. Chest-bursting and face-hugging and xenomorphs and I just feel that your idea is so strong and the characters can be made so strong that we don't need any of that stuff. We can present iterations of that stuff in different ways.
That isn't to say that this isn't a movie that should be set in that universe, but I look at it more like a story that is running parallel to the original Alien, so that if there was a sequel to this movie, it would not be Alien, it would be Prometheus 2. And then Prometheus 2 is parallel to Aliens. And here's how we could do that. And so I sent off that email and I got into my bed. I didn't sleep at all. And at 10 a.m. the next morning, my agent called me and said, 'Whatever it is you did, they liked it. Can you go in and meet now?'"
Lindelof went on to say the biggest part of his job was playing down the traditional Alien clichés and helping Prometheus stand on its own ideas.
"The job that I was hired to do was to scale back the familiar tropes or symbology of what we think of when we think of an Alien movie. When I say Alien to you, you think face-hugger, chest-burster, eggs, acid blood, queen — the concentration of those things was much higher in Jon's script than they are in Prometheus."
The full interview is a great read. It gives quite a bit of insight into what could be one of the biggest sci-fi films of the year. Prometheus is set to open June 8.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)