I found a lot to like in the film, though I can’t really argue with its many detractors. The logic is utterly nonexistent in many of the characters. Still, I liked the ideas it tried to wrestle with. And visually I thought it was stunning. But a lot of folks wished it had been much more of an Alien film (that last, brief, xenomorph tag not being enough for them). And it was! At least back in Jon Spaihts‘ original draft (before Damon Lindelof came onboard).
Head inside to check out some details on what Prometheus was like back when it had Facehuggers, Chestbursters (during sex even) and Xenomorphs. Oh, and ostensibly more character motivation!
It was actually Fox who wanted it to be less of an Alien movie, which is why they called in Lindelof. “I wrote five different drafts of the script, working with Ridley very closely over about nine months. And even as we were working, we were constantly toying with the closeness of the monsters in the film to the original xenomorph. You can see an interesting balance, even looking at the movies in the Alien franchise, between homage and evolution. In every film you’ll see that the design of the Alien shifts – the shape of the carapace, the shape of the body – and some of that is to with new technology available to realise the monsters, but a lot of is just a director’s desire to do something new. Ridley and I were looking for ways to make the xenomorphs new.
And so he was always pushing for some way in which that Alien biology could have evolved. We tried different paths in that way. We imagined that there might be eight different variations on the xenomorphs – eight different kinds of Alien eggs you might stumble across, eight kinds of slightly different xenomorph creatures that could hatch from them. And maybe even a rapid process of evolution, still ongoing, in these Alien laboratories where these xenomorphs were developed. So Ridley and I were looking for ways to make the xenomorphs new.
The creature did change in some pretty dramatic ways from draft to draft. But the most dramatic change was the removal of the xenomorph from the film. That was a shift that happened at the same time as I stepped off the film. A lot of that push came from the studio very high up; they were interested in doing something original and not one more franchise film. That really came to a head at the studio – the major push to focus on the new mythology of Prometheus and dial the Aliens as far back as we could came down from the studio.”
Originally there was some chest-bursting action (in bed)! “I did have facehuggers in my original draft. David, as he began to get fascinated by the science of the Engineers, doesn’t deliberately contaminate Holloway with a drop of black liquid. Instead, Holloway hubristically removes his helmet in the chamber, is knocked unconscious, facehugged and wakes up not knowing what had been done to him, and stumbles back into the ship. In my draft, he returns to his cabin, is embraced by Shaw, who is delighted to see him having feared that he had died, and the two of them make love. And it’s while they’re making love that he bursts and dies. So that lovemaking sequence echoed my original lovemaking sequence where he explodes! It was messy.”
I highly, highly, urge you to check out the entire interview at Empire Online. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
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