When it was released in 2012, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus more or less split audiences right down the middle. While some felt that the film was a total mess, full of plot holes and plagued by frustratingly unanswered questions, others praised the heady sci-fi flick for working as both its own movie and a clever prequel to the original Alien. I personally fell into the latter camp, and consider Prometheus a more-than-worthy addition to the overall Alien mythology.
But there’s one scene they kind of messed up.
In the film, the character Fifield (played by Sean Harris) falls into a puddle of alien goo shortly after discovering the creatures known as Hammerpedes, and later is shown to have been completely mutated into some sort of monster. His face melted and his forehead bulged out, the hideous Fifield goes on a bloody rampage inside the hangar bay, and is ultimately crushed underneath the tires of a group transport vehicle. It’s a confusing scene, as it’s unclear what exactly the alien goo has turned Fifield into, and many fans have noted that he looks more like an infected zombie than anything else.
The original version of that scene was SO MUCH COOLER.
In the original Prometheus script (titled Alien: Engineers, at the time), writer Jon Spaihts used the transformation of Fifield as a means to more directly connect the film to Alien. When Fifield shows back up at the hangar bay, he has quite literally transformed into a Xenomorph, described as having an elongated skull, impossibly long arms, claw-like talons, and dorsal tubes tearing out of his spacesuit. Sounds pretty cool, right? What’s even cooler is that the scene, as Spaihts originally wrote it, was actually created in post-production.
When Prometheus hit Blu-ray, the four-disc set contained a whopping 7+ hours of bonus features, including a 3 1/2 hour documentary and all sorts of deleted/extended/alternate scenes. The most must-watch of those scenes that were left on the cutting room floor is hands down the original Fifield attack sequence, which is pretty close to Spaihts’ original vision for the scene.
With generous amounts of CGI laid over top of the practical makeup effects, the alternate scene reveals that the black goo literally turns human hosts into Xenomorphs, adding another layer to the mythology of the creatures and making for a pretty chilling sequence that makes a whole lot more sense than the one that ended up in the finished cut of the film. Yea, for once, CGI was kind of a good thing.
Ultimately, the added-in-post CGI was removed from the scene, presumably because Ridley Scott desired to separate Prometheus from the Alien franchise a bit more than was originally intended. Then again, the film does end with a baby Xenomorph being born, so one has to wonder why this incredibly badass version of Fifield’s transformation didn’t make the final cut.
Is it just me or would a human-Xenomorph hybrid have made Prometheus so much cooler?
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this week in horror
This Week in Horror - December 3, 2017 - Halloween, Friday the...
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