[Prediction] ‘Prometheus 2′ Is Not Going To Happen!

prometheus

Even with all of the flawed logic and character decisions (and there’s plenty of both) taken into consideration, I’m still a fan of Prometheus. I revisited the film on Blu-ray recently and aesthetically it really holds up, it’s an enormously watchable film. So while I’d certainly be down for a sequel, it’s a bummer to think that it’s probably not going to happen.

The reason? Momentum. It just doesn’t seem to be there anymore. Back in March there was a lot of back and forth about Damon Lindelof creatively painting the franchise into a corner and, regardless of where the blame lies (if indeed it lies anywhere), I sort of agree. Not from a creative standpoint, but a marketing one. I know that’s a weird place to operate from as a film fan, but hear me out.

Prometheus hobbled its franchise potential by being the ultimate half-measure. It wasn’t enough of an Alien film to invest its audience in the Weyland-Yutani/pre-Nostromo mythology that original writer Jon Spaihts planned on exploring in the new trilogy he was conceiving. And this isn’t necessarily Damon Lindelof’s fault, either. Spaihts’ draft introduced the Engineers after all. So even though his script actually takes place on LV-426 and implies that Rapace’s character Shaw had sent the distress signal that attracts the crew from Alien (not to mention featuring actual xenomorphs), he was already bringing some new ideas to the table.

When Lindelof was brought onboard to nudge those new ideas into the narrative spotlight (at Ridley Scott’s request mind you, it’s not like he snuck in and did all this without permission), that was the moment Prometheus likely lost its tether to any sort of trilogy involving the Weyland-Yutani corporation (as was Spaihts stated intent). However, by positioning itself as an Alien prequel (all coy statements aside – just look at the trailer), Prometheus also ensured that a significant chunk of its audience wouldn’t invest in the new mythology either.

I’d certainly be okay with two films featuring Fassbender and Rapace jetting around space looking for our “creators,” but are enough people really onboard with that to justify the cost? At a reported $130 million production budget (and a worldwide advertising budget that likely nears that figure) the film grossed $126 million domestic and $277 internationally for a worldwide total of $403 million. That’s “gross” not “net” so I’d guess that the film was only just approaching profitability before home video finally swung it into the black. And while $130 million is already a surprisingly modest budget for a film this size, it’s hard to pedal backwards and make a sequel for much cheaper. The entire appeal is the enormity of the thing, not to mention the fact that no one’s going to take a pay cut for this.

So here’s the dilemma (and this may be why Fox was “freaking out” six months ago) – either way the sequel probably makes less money than the original. There’s no way to put that “Alien prequel” curiosity back in the bottle, it’s gone. And while I’d (again) be okay with seeing an expansion of the new universe Prometheus hinted at, how many people are actually with me on that? Half the audience? $200 million worth of people at the (worldwide) box office? That’s not enough. $250M or $300M worldwide would still be more risk than incentive. Even if Scott and Fox made a truly great film the next time out it would be almost impossible to position it properly.

This isn’t a case like The Avengers or Avatar where the film made so much money that the studio is almost obligated to follow it up. This is a film that made just enough to think about a sequel. And, at this point, they may be wondering whether they should think about it at all. Even if they’ve hired a writer and are in development (which they’ve announced), I’d be surprised if it actually happens. I’d love to be wrong, of course. But I have a feeling the next time we see something even tangentially related to Prometheus on the big screen, it’ll be in an Alien reboot.

 
  • anezka

    Prometheus promised a lot and just didn’t deliver. It’s not a bad film, the visual is fantastic, but it misses the point. The tell us a lot of things and explain nothing, so, in the end, we have more questions than answers and a feeling of disappointment. They didn’t even use the details that made Alien such a success, like the very old-looking and dark spaceship that was creepy all by itself.

    • Jc

      well i really love prometheus. despite some plot holes/logic flaws (which might not really be there) i think the whole philosophical concept about humanity’s origins and the idea of traveling in the dark magical space to find the answers, is really exciting to even think about, let alone watch it unfold in an absolutely beautiful film by ridley scott. to me the film missed no point. well it did tell us who created us. the only questions now are who(and what) are exactly the engineers and why so eager to destroy us. i loved the fact i didn’t find out and the chance to let loose my imagination and thoughts on the matter. as i said i loved the philosophical aspect of it and the mystery. all these provided of course that a sequel is on the works because i really need the answers.
      —-> Now, as a response to this article and the box office/budget issues, i’d like to bring in mind a little movie called BATMAN BEGINS with a budget of 150 m.dollars and almost 375 m. at the box office (wikipedia). prometheus has all the premise it needs for it to evolve in a super successful franchise

  • kaido

    Cloverfield 2, Jeepers Creepers 3, I can forgive those, but if there’s no sequel to Prometheus I will be beyond disappointed.

    • EvanDickson

      @Kaido – I hope I’m wrong. There’s always a chance!

  • jstanek1

    I hope your opinion is dead wrong. Voyager out there somewhere, renewed interest in Mars, spotting Earth-like planets all over the Universe. Come on! I think there will be more viewers than ever on the sequel “Paradise”.

    The script is clean…. we have a new universe to explore and wonder at. I definitely think there will be a sequal as there are so many answers to consider from the first film. I for one would see it twice , then buy the Blue ray.

    • EvanDickson

      @jstanek1 I hope I’m wrong too and if there is a sequel I hope it’s great. Just depends on Fox getting through development hurdles and financial considerations.

  • TwistedCritic

    Yeah I feel like this will be another Zombieland 2 – remember when that one was supposedly just around the corner? They even announced it would be in 3D. Then it just…never happened, and instead it turned into a failed Netflix pilot.

  • Darkness69

    Evan, I hope you’re wrong, the same way you hope too, but this sounds logical – sadly. I loved Prometheus, but it aimed to be a bit more ambiguous and not that connected to Alien than we expected it to be, which was a perfect waste of movie logic – the change of the name of the planet and other things that just seemed to float out there. While the idea of the Alien reboot scares me a bit, not visiting this universe scares me even more. What I’d like is a good Alien movie, thus discontinuing with the AvP downward spiral. Then I wouldn’t mind the Prometheus sequel going somewhere completely past Alien or wherever they imagined it to go.

  • Golic

    I hope you’re RIGHT, Prometheus was awful. I’d take an ALIEN remake or reboot over Prometheus 2 any day of the week.

  • ThunderDragoon

    All I want is another Alien film. It’s been a long time coming.

  • Cremildo

    I’m with you. Even though Fox have announced plans for a sequel, there just doesn’t seem to be passion for it.

    A shame. The universe from the film could be opened up, getting more vicious or more esoteric. The home world of the Engineers would be awesome to witness.

    Despite what the naysayers, Prometheus is pretty much a pure, fascinating cosmic-horror sci-fi epic. It might be forgotten by rabid Alien fans who just wanted another rehash, but it will never be forgotten by me, sequel or no sequel.

  • Julian Nunez

    I doubt Prometheus will get a sequel. After rewatching the movie, i don’t i would mind if they dont go forward with it. The story was really messy.

  • DarrelDreadful

    I loved Prometheus but I think the problem was there was too much talk about what it was and what it wasn’t, instead of letting people go in with an open mind. I honestly think the sequel needs to happen and they should take their time with it.

  • scaryjim

    PROMETHEUS was indeed the ultimate half measure. By being Ridley Scott directed and at the least in the same universe alot of fans who liked the minimalist aesthetic, well drawn characters, mood and general intelligent execution of ALIEN were already disappointed. The direction wasn’t terrible (I am though annoyed at how the landing looked about as trivial as a passenger jet plane coming in to land) but the screenplay was abysmal, the characters annoying, cliched and at worst unforgivably stupid considering who they were supposed to be. Multiple ridiculous threads of story resulting in laughable scenes- I mean what exactly was the point in Guy Pearce? Why is searching for our supposed creators on another planet somehow rendered about as awe inspiring to the people involved as a visit to Chester fucking zoo and how is Guy Pearce in old man makeup with revelation we don’t care about somehow a part of this ? Why so much horrible horrible character exposition?

    I can understand the difference between 2001 ASO and 2010, it’s acceptable considering no one was going to attempt to ape Kubrick- most can agree 2001 is the masterpiece but Prometheus is just so jarringly different in tone in totally the wrong way. I got the same feeling about 10 minutes in as I got at the climax of ‘Sunshine’. I can pinpoint the scene- it was where Fassbender is watching the crews dreams. Lazy and just why? Ironically I think Joss Whedon could have pulled it off better, if we’re going this thematically different at least have someone who can do ‘funny’ characters and over the top action.

    I was most annoyed the engineers ended up essentially being big, dumb hulk smash types and that most of the ‘cool scenes’ were basically reworked from ‘Alien’. The fact that it was built with franchise in mind is just kind of cheap for someone of Ridleys caliber and the philosophical depth that was almost promised was not explored at all. The engineers could have been replaced with any hostile alien species and not a single thing would have been lost. What was so exciting about the Space Jockey was that it was an intelligent alien species and it was almost a throw away scene in the Alien universe- we didn’t really know to what extent anyone knew about alien life in the ‘Alien’ universe. With so much lore and themes to explore I just thought it couldn’t fail to be an intelligent Sci Fi.

  • Spike0037

    @evandickson I think the biggest problem with all the movies making money back is they spend to much on marketing. They have great ways to do it on the cheep kinda. For example do it extremely creative. Like during the Super Bowl make seam like it interrupted the game but intellectuality it was a TV time out. But pay the money for that one spot. Which gets social media blowing up on that thing. Pay people like street performers (like when people were trying to spreed the word of harvy dent.) get office buildings in major citys to take place in adds. Like they were defaced to permote the.

  • Dr. Detfink

    I too, really enjoyed Prometheus. A very good looking but flawed film that dared play the concept of faith in a sci-fi film. Maybe not since Contact did they try to make that angle work. While it didn’t completely work and the horror schlock was convenient plot device to transform a pure sci-fi/philosophy film into horror, I gotta say I continue to enjoy re-watching this film.

    Gonna boldly say in 5-7 yrs a cult following come back to watching this film. There’s just something about it.

    As for Fox not having the brass cajones to push forward, well I’d rather be all or nothing than the fate some forced sequels with a slashed budget go.

    • Rick-Taylor

      I hope you are right about the 5 years thing. I’m a big fan now and have the special edition blu-ray. I know it’s flawed and has major eye-rolling moments, but I get past it. I consider it in the same universe as ALIEN but not the same story. In my eyes, the xenomorphs have been around before humans have existed and their looks are based on their hosts.

  • djblack1313

    this movie had an overall bad script but the storyline had so much potential. i agree w/ scaryjim’s (above) assessment of PROMETHEUS. as heavily flawed as it was i would definitely be interested in a sequel (one that explored the Engineers world).

  • macguffin54

    I had such high hopes for this flick and while I was disappointed that it all but went back on all promises to be linked to Alien, I could have forgiven that if the movie had not been laughably bad. I agree that it brought up ideas that would be interesting to explore and a universe that might be fun to revisit, but why would anyone make a sequel to a movie that seemed to lay promise for future good movies when the movie itself was not good. Why couldn’t Prometheus be the movie that explored this universe and fleshed out the interesting ideas instead of hinting at some things but then doing some really dumb, incredulous things. If you want a movie that explores these ideas make a real prequel to Alien or just start from scratch and make a new sci-fi flick that delves into the origins of mankind or the origins of the Aliens without linking it to all of the crap from this movie. This movie doesn’t deserve nor did it earn a sequel. It shouldn’t have ever been made to begin with, as it is