As Ridley Scott puts the finishing touches to his script for the upcoming Prometheus sequel Alien: Paradise Lost, bringing the franchise closer in line to the Alien franchise, screenwriter Damon Lindelof has been speaking to THR about how he went about doing the opposite on first movie – rewriting Jon Spaihts’ script Alien Zero to make Prometheus less of a direct prequel to the original sci-fi horror classic.
I thought that there were a lot of really great ideas embedded in it. I felt Jon 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.
So this idea of the Star Wars prequels, for example, is you’re going to make three movies where you basically just tell me what I already know. At least embed a new idea in there that I didn’t already know, or introduce a different thematic [element]…And in Jon Spaihts’ script for ‘Prometheus’ was this creation myth. The opening of ‘Prometheus’ as you see it was in Jon’s script. …this 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 fucking 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.
‘Look, embedded in this script are these amazing ideas, and if you want to hire me, I play up this stuff and play down this stuff, but I don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water because obviously there’s a lot of great things in Jon’s script.’
Was it the right move to make Prometheus less of a direct prequel to Alien? Let us know your opinion in the comments below…