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UPDATED: 'Prometheus 2': In Space No One Can Hear Ridley Scott and Fox Scream at Damon Lindelof

Update: Lindelof has responded to Slashfilm. We are including his response below the jump. He sheds some interesting light on the situation – but that doesn’t change the fact that Fox and Scott have no idea what to do now in regard to Prometheus 2.

Exclusive: Watching the 18 hours of extra features on the Prometheus Blu-ray I learned that Twentieth Century Fox didn’t trust screenwriter Jon Spaihts enough to run with his script, so they hired a big name to “clean up” Spaihts’ vision. This big draw was none other than “Lost,” Cowboys & Aliens and Star Trek Into Darkness writer Damon Lindelof, pictured.

Those of you who’ve obsessed over the quasi-Alien prequel as much as I have know that Spaihts’ vision was a one-shot**, meaning Prometheus lead right into Ridley Scott’s 1979 Alien. In fact, a source in pre-production at the time had leaked story details proclaiming that the movie takes place on the planet LV-426 where the elusive Space Jockey was first seen. At the finale of Prometheus, the Jockey ship that crashes is the exact same ship that Ripley and her crew discover in Alien. It’s a beautiful way to bridge the new sci-fi epic with the old one. But, if you saw Prometheus, you know that’s not what happened. The movie’s events don’t even take place on the same planet, occurring instead on LV 223 (which is ridiculous and means the Engineers are truly terrible at piloting their ships, crashing them all over the place).

Why? Greed took over.

Lindelof transformed Prometheus into a “trilogy”, thus stripping the first film’s conclusion of any meaning and setting Ridley and Fox up for disaster. This disaster was perpetuated when Lindelof announced he wouldn’t be penning the sequel. So, in short, the guy who convinced the filmmakers to make a trilogy, left them in the dust…

Sources close to the sequel have told Bloody Disgusting that the studio and Scott are literally “freaking out” over how to continue the story of Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), and are taking pitches from basically anyone who can crack the story*. While a sequel is nearly inevitable, it definitely puts it in flux, and in a state of jeopardy.

*We expect everyone surrounding the project to deny this story. That’s standard procedure. Don’t believe ‘em.
**Twitter follower @JonSheasby pointed us to a contradiction at Empire Magazine, where Spaihts says Scott and him talked trilogy prior to Lindelof’s hiring. You can read the bits below.

Spaihts tells Empire in an old interview: “I did have a plan for multiple films and the conversations I had with Ridley was about a new franchise, from the beginning. We talked about a possible trilogy, or a duology, but more often as a trilogy. And I did have pretty broad notions as to how we were going to get from this world to the original Alien – the baton pass, closing the circle, if you will. So yes, I did have plans for two other films. I came up with an even more twisted sequence than the Medpod, but I cannot tell you what happens…

My vision of the trilogy would have involved the arrival of the Yutani Company and a couple of other major plays around the Engineers themselves: the revelation of an additional grand Engineer design, and the possibility of seeking an Engineer homeworld. That shot of the ship flying at the end offers a lot of creative ways to play with this. But it feels like it brackets you into the search for the Engineer homeworld and home civilisation. That’s an interesting challenge.

In the end, the push to make this a new trilogy is causing a huge headache at Fox as they struggle to figure out the new film’s arcs. We’ll update you when we hear more.

2nd Update: Here is the response Lindelof gave to Slashfilm.

While I’m happy to maintain my ongoing role as internets whipping boy (well, not happy, but at least resigned) this is a weird attack piece, even for someone who should be used to it by now.

The unglamorous truth is this:

During the creative process of Prometheus, all involved (that includes Fox and Ridley) had a strong desire for this film to launch off in its own way so that by the end, it would not connect directly to the original ALIEN, but instead run parallel to it. This is something that I talked about many, many times in the press burst around the release of the movie. As you probably remember, there was a lot of interest as to whether Prometheus was a “prequel” — the answer was, “Yes. Sort of. But if there was a sequel to Prometheus, it would not be ALIEN.”

Taking the strong foundation that Jon Spaihts had already written, I worked on the script to this end — and yes, during that process, Ridley did occasionally riff on what he felt might happen next as Shaw and David’s Head ventured off of LV-223 in search of wherever The Engineers had come from.

After the movie came out and discussions began about a possible sequel, I was already neck deep in writing and producing TOMORROWLAND with Brad Bird. I have found, unfortunately, that if I take on too many projects at one time, there is a higher probability of those projects sucking. And contrary to popular belief, I do not want anything I work on to suck. I really don’t. I care about these stories deeply — not just as a writer, but as a fan. It might not always feel that way to the audience, but I swear to God it is true. It also so happens that Ridley was about to embark on directing his next movie, THE COUNSELOR, and had another one, CHILD 44 lined up right behind it. The conclusion was obvious — In the best interest of the franchise, it was best to take myself out of the running before I had to suffer the embarrassment of potentially not even being offered it.

And that it is the complete (if not somewhat boring) truth.

As to whether Ridley and Fox are “freaking out” about me not working on a sequel, well that’s news to me. I retain awesome relationships with both. More importantly, the idea that there aren’t many, MANY writers out there capable of taking the reins is sort of ridiculous. I did not map out a trilogy and then walk when the going got tough. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know me and doesn’t know the truth.

The process of working on Prometheus with Ridley was one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me. Love or hate the result of that work, I don’t regret having done it for a second.

Bloody Disgusting was very clever in tagging their story with the sentiment that denials were going to come. This would seem to throw shade on me denying the veracity of the story simply by anticipating that I would.

But denying the story I am.

As I said, I will take all the abuse in the world for the things I have done, but I refuse to take it for the things I have not.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Your Pal,

Damon

prometheus 1024x437 UPDATED: Prometheus 2: In Space No One Can Hear Ridley Scott and Fox Scream at Damon Lindelof

50 comments

    • Avatar of ozmirage

      I was not pleased with the movie. The gaping plot holes, such as how did they get faster-than-light spaceships that outperformed the ships of the later series, had wimpy reaction motors, or that the bimbo thought being 500 million miles* from all men was something “astounding” (barely past Jupiter’s orbit), shows that the writer had zero credibility with “science” fiction. This was basically an “idiots in space” movie.

      *Meredith Vickers: But then it wouldn’t make sense why I would fly myself half a billion miles from every man on Earth if I wanted to get laid, would it?

  1. Avatar of predalien3939

    I say they just got back and re-dub “LV-223″ with LV-426 and reshoot the last little clip of the alien bursting out, so the space jockey is on the chair?

    I don’t know. I feel like having it be LV-223 will always make the movie feel cheap and stupid.

    I also feel like it will relieve some pressure trying to connect them all again. Then they will just be free to continue the story anyway they please.

    • Avatar of EvanDickson

      Yeah but they want to further her story where she goes to meet the Engineers on their home planet.

    • Avatar of Luke

      No. Prometheus is not a direct prequel to Alien, therefore it doesn’t have to take place on LV-426. Why is that a problem for so many people? It would just end the awesome story that was Prometheus and I don’t want that to happen.

  2. Avatar of djblack1313

    i’m sorry but IF Ridley is “freaking out” (if that’s even true. i rarely ever believe “sources close to the original” bullshit….what is this The Enquirer…”a friend tells The Enquirer”? LOL), he is partly to blame for his movie/story. also the ending of the movie is hardly it’s main problem. how about the other storylines that go nowhere. the ill fitting music score. the undeveloped characters, etc, etc, etc.

    i don’t hate this movie but again, the ending is hardly it’s biggest problem. lastly how is this article even news? it’s kinda old news now. i think this PROMETHEUS 2 will really be a test for Ridley to show if he still has what it takes to make a good movie even if under tremendous pressure to do so (more than the usual amount of pressure). i actually think this sequel could be VERY good if they create a good script.

    • Avatar of EvanDickson

      @djblack1313 it’s news that Fox doesn’t yet have the take they want on the material despite claims that they’re moving forward.

      As far as “sources” go, it’s standard procedure to protect them in this manner. But thanks for doubting our honesty and comparing us to the Enquirer.

      • Avatar of djblack1313

        my pleasure best buddy. Evan i think you’re kidding but in this case i can’t tell. i’ll wait for your reply before i get into why “sources” believability is a joke.

        • Avatar of EvanDickson

          I’m serious. If you have doubts about a story there are more polite ways to voice them.

          • Avatar of djblack1313

            Evan deal with it. i’m serious as well. i wasn’t calling anyone names. you’re being WAY too sensitive. i stand by what i said. want to ban me, then by all means do so. have a great day, my friend. :)

          • Avatar of EvanDickson

            @djblack1313 lol not gonna ban you. Yes, I was being sensitive. We all have our moments.

    • Avatar of divisionbell

      Ridley is very much to blame. As is Fox. Trying to put all the blame on the awful writer really is a huge joke. That’s why people review scripts before they start making a movie.

    • Avatar of djblack1313

      Evan i apologize for being so aggressive in my comments. you know i think you’re cool and i DO love this site. again, i apologize. :)

  3. Avatar of WalkingDeadGuy

    If they were planning on it being a trilogy, they really backed themselves into a corner with how the ended the first film. It’s a shame that in the process, they didn’t even give us a direct prequel. I still enjoyed the film but wish they would have made those slight changes as mentioned in the article.

  4. Avatar of Giraffe_Monster

    I must say, I love the fact that you guys used that particular pic of Lindelof, especially after reading the whole article.

    He’s like “pfffftcchhhh lolololol”.

  5. Avatar of Beneviolence

    After the bungled conclusion to Lost, it’s not surprising that Lindelof steered Prometheus into trilogy-town without the slightest idea how the story should progress and end. It’s so easy to throw a million things up in the air (technology! religion! aliens! black smoke, er, black goo!) but it is something else entirely to catch them and safely put them in order. No wonder Fox is freaking out with the big pile of doodoo they were left with: as an opener to a trilogy, Prometheus was a nonsensical, inconsistent mess.

  6. Avatar of Vatican-Loki

    Where do I apply? I’m a huge sic-fi fan and screenwriter willing to take on the task. Now, to get in front of those guys and tell ‘em how to write it. =)

  7. Avatar of wildgator25

    First off, I LOVED PROMETHEUS! You hear me? Ok…. that being said, I don’t think that Ridley or Fox have backed themselves into a hole entirely. Here’s my idea…

    My opinion for the story of the second movie of the trilogy could be by the creation of a new alien life-form from the obvious spilling of all of the black goo containers and the DNA of all the humans left aboard the wrecked engineer vessel. Peter Weyland would not have been stupid enough to not have a back-up plan should the Prometheus become shipwrecked on LV-223. Therefore, the “rescue party” (authorized by Yutani, in Weyland’s absence) would come to LV-223 to look for Weyland, yet they encounter these new aliens instead.

    Meanwhile, Shaw and David have plotted their way to the Engineer home-world…. at least that’s what Shaw believes. David has been programmed that in the event of Peter Weyland’s death, Secondary Protocol would be returning any foreign life-form to Rosto (another satellite “moon planet” near LV 426) for research. Unbeknownst to Shaw, Weyland launched the vessel Pandora shortly after Prometheus’ departure from Earth. The crew of Pandora were to explore other satellites surrounding Calpamos and set up research facilities on those satellites.

    As all-out war is happening back on LV-223, Shaw is slowly learning that Weyland was not as oblivious to the existence of the “Engineers” as she once believed. What will happen when Shaw discovers the secrets of Pandora’s Box….?

    • Avatar of Luke

      Damn, not bad! Only part I didn’t like was Weyland “was not as oblivious to the existence of the Engineers as she once believed.” Too cheesy IMO haha. But the rest was pretty kick ass.

      • Avatar of wildgator25

        Thanks Luke. Yeah, I didn’t have everything completely thought out in my mind, so there is definitely room for a redraft, lol.

  8. Avatar of
    Incinerated

    I do not understand why people hate Lindelof’s work. I loved Prometheus. It captured a magic and mystery that is rarely accomplished. I also went into Lost very resistant to the high praise it was getting but became a fan and loved how it ended.

    And yes, I’ve read some of those ’100 errors in Prometheus’ articles. Most of the critiques are ridiculous, silly, or missing the point. So, I haven’t seen much merit to critiques and, again, don’t understand the hate.

    I get the impression people are too insecure for a magical trip where there are unknown or unexplained elements and would rather have something more easily controlled, something that fits into a neat box, something that would no doubt be far more predictable and boring than Lost or Prometheus. In an attempt to get that control, extreme nitpicking ensues. No thanks, I’m not that insecure and his writing isn’t nonsensical and sloppy like people make it out to be.

    • Avatar of djblack1313

      so expecting a movie where a “scientist” (who’s supposed to be smart/rational, etc) doesn’t run up (even though mere seconds earlier he was TERRIFIED) and try to play patty cakes with a clearly unfriendly viper vagina alien snake, means we’re insecure? um, sure.

      i didn’t hate the movie but come on…lol.

      also LOST’s first 2 seasons are IMO among 2 of the best seasons of any show ever created but after that they clearly were making shit up as they were going with no pay off whatsoever. not good.

      • Avatar of
        Incinerated

        “clearly unfriendly viper vagina alien snake”

        The only objective word you’ve used there is “alien” and I get the impression the words viper, vagina, and snake are all intended to be negative fear inducing things, which would also be subjective. I mean come on, the female anatomy isn’t evil and threatening. Anyway, due to your lack of objectivity you’re already far less of a scientist than the one in the film. I could stop there, but I’ll indulge for kicks.

        As to the film, those two characters were alone and the scientist was wise enough to try not to create a hostile situation with the alien. Why create a chase scene with this unknown life form and little man power? He repeatedly tells his companion to remain calm, and with jumpy defenses and nervous speech speaks positively to the alien and moves slow, trying to make it feel safe and not threatened to ensure their safety and hopefully prevent an attack. Makes perfect sense. He did his best, and I wouldn’t fault that.

        My indulging stops there, though, so if someone comes up with another critique they’ll get no response from me. It’s not my job to think for people, ha.

        • Avatar of
          Incinerated

          You know, I think my serious pants were on too tight. There were a couple things that didn’t need communicated, too, so I apologize for those in advance. If I could edit it, I would, but I can’t so there’s that :)

          • Avatar of djblack1313

            Incinerated, i apologize too (this is my 2nd apology today IN THIS SECTION!! lol).

        • Avatar of djblack1313

          nope the words viper, vagina, and snake are what that thing was. and in no way was my using those words used as a bad thing.

          and you’re “…due to your lack of objectivity you’re already far less of a scientist than the one in the film”…YES!! THANK YOU!! you just buttressed my point. i’m not a scientist and even i know that when a snake like creature is in a defensive stance HISSING AT ME, it’s best not to run up and try to touch/play with it.

          AND your ” and the scientist was wise enough to try not to create a hostile situation with the alien. Why create a chase scene with this unknown life form and little man power? He repeatedly tells his companion to remain calm, and with jumpy defenses and nervous speech speaks positively to the alien and moves slow, trying to make it feel safe and not threatened to ensure their safety and hopefully prevent an attack. Makes perfect sense. He did his best, and I wouldn’t fault that.”

          BRILLIANT. so instead of observing the creature from afar and getting some sense of the creature, you think it’s acceptable to run right up to it and to do what that idiot did. Fifield behaved like a normal person would have. Milburn (who you’re defending! LOL) was written to do THE most cliche horror movie move just to move the story along.

          and you don’t need to “think for other people” because you seem to have a hard enough time doing so for yourself. ha. :)

          • Avatar of Zombie-Killa

            Get out of my head, djablack! We must share some kind of telekinetic link, and are on the same wavelengths. lol.

            That one scene has caused an uproar in many places my friend, not just here. lol.

          • Avatar of djblack1313

            Zombie-Killa, i believe we are psychically (or psychotically! LOL…joking!) linked! :)

          • Avatar of
            Incinerated

            Yes, I do think it’s acceptable. Is it the only option in the scenario? No, such is life, full of options–multiple good and multiple bad. My point was that it is an informed and thoughtful option and not poor writing. Plus, it’s less boring than running away from a small alien that’s not doing anything threatening besides existing. To me, that would be… weird. Different perspectives. I appreciate yours.

          • Avatar of djblack1313

            Incinerated, you DID read the part of my comments where i said “i didn’t hate the movie” right? lol. it’s just that THIS IS A RIDLEY FUCKING SCOTT MOVIE!! he’s amazing. i (and many people as well) expect not a 100% flawless script but one that doesn’t have GLARINGLY BAD parts in it. the visuals and the acting in the movie were excellent though. i’m actually looking forward to the sequel. i pretty optimistic it’s going to be very good! (see i’m not all Norah Negative. LOL). :)

      • Avatar of Luke

        I loved Prometheus, but I will be the first to say that that part of the movie was stupid as hell. I was watching it with this “wtf” look on my face the whole time. It makes no sense at all. Tarantino even mentioned the absurdness of it in a talk show interview (Leno?). It just wasn’t even close to a believable response for a biologist. I think Ridley threw it in there for the “lol” factor. In that case he succeeded.

        But if that’s the main critique you have of the movie I think you’re losing the forest for the trees. Sure, some of the characters were ridiculous (poor Guy Pierce looked like an alien himself), but there were great characters too, such as Shaw, David, and Vickers. Overall I really liked the story. It was an epic ride and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

  9. Avatar of DBZEROGRAVITY

    Prometheus was a breath of fresh air. I still don’t understand the hate behind it. And Damon’s right, there are plenty of good writers out there. No need to “freak out” just yet

  10. Avatar of djblack1313

    EVAN, DID DAMON IN THIS 2ND UPDATE JUST CONFIRM WHAT I SAID EARLIER ABOUT “SOURCES SAID”????????????? now i admit i may be misreading Damon’s statement (i DO feel bad for the guy. he does seem like a nice man) but he mentions this site

    “Bloody Disgusting was very clever in tagging their story with the sentiment that denials were going to come. This would seem to throw shade on me denying the veracity of the story simply by anticipating that I would.

    But denying the story I am.

    As I said, I will take all the abuse in the world for the things I have done, but I refuse to take it for the things I have not.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    Your Pal,

    Damon”
    ===========

    Evan THIS is why my initial comment was spot on.

    • Avatar of wildgator25

      All I want to know is…. now that Damon is reading Bloody Disgusting…. when is he going to take my script and go with it. C’mon, give me some royalties man! Ridley will let you back in there with a script like that!

      :)

  11. Avatar of PERIL

    The more I watch Prometheus and think back on the screenplay I shopped around to production companies (Jonathan Spaihts’ management company Circle of Confusion being one of them) and entered into Scriptapalooza’s screenwriter’s competition a few years ago the more I’m convinced something foul happened. There are too many similarities between my screenplay and this film. Also, naming Shaw’s boyfriend “Holloway” (my last name) was just too close to home– especially when I think back on that scathing lecture about raising the money for the expedition that Vickers gave him (it’s no secrete that I’ve been attempting to raise money for “PERIL” which included reaching out to various production companies). Was that a tongue-in-cheek or just a nod-wink moment?

    “Sources close to the sequel have told Bloody Disgusting that the studio and Scott are literally “freaking out” over how to continue the story of Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), and are taking pitches from basically anyone who can crack the story*. While a sequel is nearly inevitable, it definitely puts it in flux, and in a state of jeopardy.” ––Perhaps if they didn’t cannibalize the source they would be able to “crack the story.” You can’t mix apples and oranges and then expect to drink grape juice.

    Producers––I’d be happy to write your next two films, but this time give me some CREDIT.

    So glad I wrote the book and expanded the story after putting my original screenplay out there. Otherwise, my whole project would have to be scrapped.

    Here are some of the similarities:

    PROMETHEUS:

    Lead character can’t get pregnant and is deeply remorseful about it.

    PERIL:

    Lead character has abortion to go on mission and seeks redemption for it.

    PROMETHEUS:

    After waking from cryo-sleep main character has a serious bout of vomiting.

    PERIL:

    Same vomiting experience after waking from cryo-sleep.

    PROMETHEUS:

    Crew find the creators of humans called “Engineers”

    PERIL:

    Main character finds creators of humans called “The Ancestors”

    PROMETHEUS:

    Pivotal scene of alien birth/extraction in medical pod.

    PERIL:

    Pivotal scene of human birth/delivery in medical cryo-tube.

    PROMETHEUS:

    Discovery of black alien goo in erns that transforms humans

    PERIL:

    Discovery of grey alien fluid in canisters that transforms humans

    PROMETHEUS:

    Vickers line quote, “Wake them up”-referring to the crew after reaching LV-223

    PERIL:

    Bains line qoute, “Wake us up”- referring to crew after reaching MV5

    PROMETHEUS:

    Main character’s last name “Holloway”

    PERIL:

    Hey! That’s my last name!!!!!

    PROMETHEUS:

    Vickers living quarters makes heavy use of Holographic scenery of Earth. Also is the backdrop for the final alien fighting scene. They quarters in completely destroyed with flickering holo-imagry was like reading a scene from my script.

    PERIL:

    See above

    And the list goes on… but suffice-it-to-say it’s no wonder the next Prometheus films are at a stand-still. Hey no worries there are so many untapped screenwriters out there I’m sure the ball will be rolling again, soon.

    “PERIL” by Timothy J. Holloway

    Peril Universe dot com

  12. Avatar of Arby

    How much has Hollywood cranked out in the last year or so that’s been utterly terrible, a rip off, a real burn? There’s hardly been anything good. I liked the last installment of Resident Evil. It was exactly what I expected. Stuff I had high, high hopes for, like Prometheus, left me disappointed.

    The let-downs varied in degree of disappointment. The point being, Sure, Throw dude (Damon) under a bus if it makes you feel better. But Prometheus is only one of many disappointments and that means there are a lot of over paid losers with attitude in Hollywood/Pentagon RIPPING us off.

    Prometheus was, in my view, the absolute worst. In this day and age, it’s hard to ‘not’ have good special effects, even when everything else is rubbish. Prometheus didn’t even have good special effects. They – not ‘he’ – tried to force this crap on us.

    If you want us to imagine that someone making bad movies can, after all, be fired, then how about going further. Let’s see the firing start and not stop until the movies are not a rip off.

  13. Avatar of VictorCrowley

    Wow. Hollywood can’t even make one simple prequel without fucking it all up. This was supposed to be huge for the fans. Ridley coming back to the genre to answer our life-long questions about the origin of Alien, etc. Instead, what we get are MORE questions, no real answers, and now — no real direction on where the never-should’ve-gotten-convoluted story goes from here. Pathetic.

  14. Avatar of Arby

    Prometheus was, hands down, the worst movie of that year. It’s one of the all-time worst sci fi movies I’ve seen. And I just couldn’t believe that the man behind Blade Runner could sign off on this tripe. No one, including Ripley, should be allowed to make money working in Hollywood again. And stay the hell out of banking!

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