Do We Really Want ‘Prometheus 2′ To Be More “Alien-y”?

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On Monday Prometheus 2 became more “real” to me than ever in the sense that it looks like this movie is actually happening. Not only did 20th Century Fox hire Jack Paglen to write a script for the sequel in the wake of its initial release, they just now tapped Michael Green (who just wrote the new Blade Runner for Ridley Scott and Warner Bros) to rewrite it. To me, this is significant and marks this as a priority for the studio because it’s happening after all the dust has settled. While the first film certainly didn’t lose money with a $400M worldwide take, it probably didn’t make as much as Fox was hoping for considering its budget was around $130M with a global P&A campaign that I’m sure easily exceeded $50M. Keep in mind, the studio doesn’t see anything close to the gross returns of any given film coming back in the net – so the margin of profit here, while healthy, might not be stratospheric.

But they’re doubling down now (perhaps in the light of decent ancillary revenue). Like I said, the dust has settled and they’re pressing on. Shooting is apparently scheduled to begin this fall. I’m not giving anyone a hard time here, I enjoyed Prometheus (even though the issues with its script play louder to me than they did before) and I’m excited to see what they come up with next. But what I liked about the film was the fact that Ridley Scott seemed truly engaged by the material. There was a real reason why they veered away from John Spaihts’ Alien: Engineers draft and brought on Damon Lindelof to nudge the property further into unknown territory – Scott wasn’t interested in repeating himself. While the shift from Spaihts to Lindelof was ultimately problematic (on paper I prefer the Alien: Engineers draft to Lindelof’s script), it might have been what was needed to engage Scott. And if you look at Prometheus as a film, it’s pretty clear that its new ideas and scenarios are handled with a lot more verve than the Alien elements, which tended to come across as rote and obligatory.

So with the news that Green is being brought onboard partially to make the script more “alien-y” (in the words of the source that spoke to The Wrap), I have to wonder if this project is being shifted out of Scott’s interest range. Granted, this is Sir Ridley Scott here so part of me has to assume he knows what the f*ck he’s doing (or wants to fulfill a contract clause from the first film), but it seems like backsliding. When doing press back in 2012 he was absolutely resolute that the reason it took him so long to get around to making Prometheus was that he felt that the well on Alien ideas had run dry.

So the real question is, has Scott found a new angle in the Alien-verse that truly excites him? Or is he doing a bit of fan (and studio) service? I wouldn’t begrudge him on any of this, but I was actually excited for a movie where Noomi Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw and the head of Michael Fassbender’s David rocket around the universe completely unfettered by arbitrary associations to an exploitable brand. It seemed like the franchise might pull away from its anchor and really take off in the direction Scott wanted to go. If a great director is truly inspired by the material he’s working with, I’ll take that over brand recognition any day of the week. We already have seven movies with Xenomorphs in them, how many more do we need?

Again, I could be totally wrong on all of this. Maybe Scott really has found a new idea that simultaneously excites him and allows 20th Century Fox to return to a more solid franchise footing. And if that’s the case, I really am all for it (and either way I’m excited for the multiple Michael Fassbenders we’re told to expect from the film). It’s just that there’s a finite amount of Ridley Scott films left in our future, and I want all of them to count.

  • tbaio

    My comment here is in response to the question/title of this article, not the contents of the article: I really want Prometheus 2 to NOT be anything like the first movie! I respect the opinions of those who liked part 1. I however, hated it. I think its a minor miracle that a 2nd movie is able to be made. If I hear its another metaphysical trip to nowhere like I thought the first one was, I’m gonna pass on it…there are better things to do & better movies to see in the close to 3 hours the sequel will probably last.

  • Nyghtfall

    In response to the headline, I don’t care what it’s supposed to be like, I just want IT to know, and be able to convey that to viewers.

  • Rick-Taylor

    I really enjoyed Prometheus and would love a sequel but I don’t want it more “Alien-y”. I know they are in the same universe but I want to see its own story, not the Xenomorph story.

  • felixbrewer

    Yes and no. I am firmly of the opinion that Spaihts’ version of that story was more of an ALIEN film and better… Hell, that “fake” “ALIEN: Harvest” script had a lot of great ideas going on(and I still want to know the whole story behind that joke or pitch or w/e it is was)but if they wanted to drift from the proper ALIEN universe expectations, they should have gone all the way.

    There was a lot to like in Prometheus and I would love to see some balls out hard-ish sci-fi horror that has little to nothing to do with xenos on a grander scale… but I’m torn because this might be the closest thing we get to anything ALIEN in film for at least a long while.

    My opinion is that the Alien isn’t played out in film… Its enormous potential just hasn’t been utilized properly in almost two decades. That is Brandywine/Fox’s fault; not the creature’s and not the universe’s.

    Maybe… just maybe, we will get a grander Engineers Paradise thing going on that also happens to be a great ALIEN film. Not holding my breath but here’s to hoping.

  • divisionbell

    I’m on the fence on this one. I think the first would have benefited from having no connection, but since they already did I think they should just go for it. They gave us too many connecting details that made the film too cluttered. It was like a combination of alien and mountains of madness but couldn’t make up it’s mind on what it really wanted to be.

    • felixbrewer

      I really hope GDT gets to make his At the Mountains of Madness film someday. You just reminded me. haha

  • Lemonade

    Oh, Evan. You’re talking the same talk everyone else is. You’re acting as if a movie can’t intellectually engage you and scare the shit out of you simultaneously. Yes, we’ve had “seven” movies with xenomorphs in them, but how many of them have been good? Most people would say the first two. I think the xenomorphs are deserving of a good movie. They are my favorite movie monster, and it has always been my fantasy that the Alien franchise would get the “Blade Runner”, or “Batman Begins”, treatment. Something deep and serious with A-list talent in front of and behind the camera. Prometheus was kind of that. Kind of. I just know I wanted to see the Giger beast in that beautiful lighting. Because let’s be honest, Prometheus was gorgeous. My fandom covers Alien, Aliens, and Prometheus, by the way.

    And nobody tells Ridley Scott what to do. Nobody’s going to force him to do an aliens-on-the-attack movie. Please do remember, it was 20th CENTURY FOX that rejected Alien: Engineers. Yes, the studio said remove the aliens. More specifically, I’m guessing it was Tom Rothman.

    Hell, who knows what they even mean by more “Alien-y”. Maybe they just mean more heavy on the scares but without the traditional xenomorph. The point is, I’m beyond frustrated people assume we either have to take one or the other. That we either HAVE to have: A) A deep movie with just the engineers or B) A straight up monster movie without the engineers.

    Are we forgetting who the writers are? Jack Paglen of Transcendence and Michael Green of uh, oh I don’t know, BLADE RUNNER 2? These guys write think-piece sci-fi. I don’t think they have it in them to write simple stories. I wager a guess that Paglen’s draft was pure sci-fi, but Michael Green talked some sense into Ridley and Fox. Like, if you’re going to make a big budget sci-fi movie, you’re going to HAVE to have action set pieces. It is a tentpole after all. People are not going to just watch Shaw ask the Engineers questions while David translates for two hours(Okay, I would). Has anyone ever thought that the filmmakers figured out a way to incorporate the aliens and the engineers in an organic way that makes sense to the story? Strange concept, I know…

    Anyway, again, I’ve always wanted a big, deep Alien prequel where the movie wasn’t about the aliens, but the aliens were in it. Prometheus was ALMOST that, and it is ALMOST a perfect movie to me, but I just wanted around 10 minutes of facehuggers and xenomorphs. Then my score would go from 9.5/10 to 10/10.

    Again, if anyone could let me know if they were really expecting Fox to give an $100 million+ budget to a movie where Shaw and a re-assembled David wax philosophical with the Engineers, that would be appreciated.

    Fundamentally, the engineers are not only tied to humanity, but tied to the xenomorphs. They are inextricable. That’s the question Shaw had in the first movie! What did us humans do wrong? They were gonna drop that fucking payload on us!

    Anyway, there were lots of seeds in the first movie that were planted that I hope to see paid off here. Remember when Holloway says Shaw can take off her cross? She’s like why would I want to do that? They made us, says Holloway. And who made them, says Shaw. “Who made them?” now that’s a very important seed. We could see the “addition of a grand engineer design” that Jon Spaihts talked about. I’m also hoping we see the conglomeration of Yutani Corp. I’m also hoping we see one of the David 8 models stick a facehugger on somebody’s face, a’la Alien: Engineers.

    Regardless, I’m excited for what they bring to the table, because Prometheus was my favorite movie of the last 20 years. That sense of awe and wonder hasn’t been present in a movie since well, Jurassic Park. And before that, Back to the Future. Then E.T., etc. I would not have minded two hours of Shaw and the crew just exploring those vast corridors.

    Anyway, I hope Prometheus 2 intellectually engages me like Prometheus(and Inception, I’m still wrestling with both of those movies) but on that same token, I am a horror fan(clues: I’m typing on a site called Bloody-Disgusting, and aced my college horror essay) and would like to see my favorite designs(the Oscar-winning xenomorph design, and the facehuggers) do some damage. There is nothing wrong with that. Those designs deserve better than some low grade B movie. I haven’t seen a gorgeous shot of an Alien since ’86. Alien 3 is tainted by those damn mo-cap shots! A4 looks like a cartoon. Don’t have to explain the rest. Haha.

    So all in all, YES! We want Prometheus 2 to be more Alien-y. Why avoid something if its organic to the story and inhabits the same damn universe. ;-)

  • EvanDickson

    @Lemonade you do realize that starting a paragraph with a sentence like “Oh, Evan” is incredibly self serving and disrespectful, right?

    • macguffin54

      Not to mention the fact that writing a book in a comments section is a waste if time because nobody cares enough about other people’s opinions to read all of that. That being said, I thought Prometheus was laughably horrible. The only reason I had any interest in it was its Alien-ness with Ridley Scott attached. Everything else was gobbledygook. It sounds like that Lost guy ruined what it could have been by steering away from its roots. Returning to those roots sounds better than digging deeper into the garbage heap.

  • Lemonade

    I didn’t know that. No sarcasm present here either, I really didn’t think that. Apologies.

    Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts on anything I said above. Do you think there will be two factions of Engineers? One bent on destroying humanity, and perhaps the others might be more patient and forgiving?

  • EvanDickson

    No worries. Aside from that I liked your thoughts. No clue on the factions of Engineers though.

  • djblack1313

    i’d be completely fine if there are no Xenomorphs in this sequel. personally i want more expansion on the Engineers. maybe the Engineers in PROMETHEUS were a rogue faction while the main population of Engineers don’t want us dead and we can get into their interspecies battles?

    • tbaio

      Expand more on the Engineers?? Didn’t the first movie take up enough time on them? They created us & didn’t want us, so they sent the Alien to destroy us. There; over….done. Now let’s blow some sh!t up!!!!!

      • djblack1313

        tbaio, not really. i’d love to see the Engineers planet and learn more about them. if you guys want an ALIEN movie then you should contact Fox Studios and demand a new ALIEN film. no need for PROMETHEUS 2 to be a full on ALIEN film. that franchise is officially tired.

        • tbaio

          To each is own, 1313. As for contacting the studios, I’d like to get them to repeat history on this one: Get James Cameron to improve on what Ridley Scott started…..just like he did on Alien. Prometheus could sure use that!

  • Darkness69

    Yes.

  • Canucklehead

    I thought the film was visually stunning and the story was good enough to keep me interested. I am excited to see whereever it goes next and enjoy the ride.

  • polock91

    If anything, the fact that Michael Green is now part of the project may be more indicative of the alleged Blade Runner/Prometheus relationship I had heard about.

    I didn’t think they were going to continue with the Alien storyline, but if they do, I’m interested to see where they take it. If they find a way to tie both the Alien franchise and a piece of Blade Runner into the puzzle and still make a great stand-alone film (which, I do believe Prometheus was), then I have no complaints. We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess.

  • http://mitchmacready.blogspot.com/ Zombie-Killa

    I have to agree with those, who are in favor of expanding the Prometheus universe. The Alien franchise had SOME life with 3, but Resurrection was god awful in every imaginable. Let’s take more time explore Prometheus’ universe before we jump into the “how it all began” stuff for Alien.

  • macguffin54

    IMO they cheated people out if an Alien movie by suggesting P was tied to Alien. There was absolutely no reason to do that but truck fans into buying tickets. They could have just done their “origin of mankind” nonsense. They need to make things right.

    • ThunderDragoon

      Completely agree.

    • tbaio

      I completely agree as well. In my opinion, the only way they’re going to get people to see part 2 is if they do in fact bring in the Alien theme (& of course the Alien)as they hinted at doing with the final shot of Prometheus. The vast majority of movie goers are not going to sit through more of what the first Prometheus offered.

  • aphroditeboy

    I think if the intention of the sequel is to build on the origin mythology first film, they need to further develop the relationship between the god-like Engineers, the humans, and the seemingly manufactured Xenomorph monsters. Most people seem to have felt the script was too sparse (which I though made it more intriguing because it allowed you to draw your own conclusions and theories like many films should), so I think they need to offer more answers to the questions they pose, such as the basic one driving the first film: “What is the origin or man and what is his purpose?” I thought it would be pretentious to answer that question, but it seems that’s the answer everyone wants from the series.

    • https://soundcloud.com/will-dotson-dmnm WILL-.-SON

      amen

  • Neilg888

    Shouldn’t the question be: Do We Really Want ‘Prometheus 2′?

    • https://soundcloud.com/will-dotson-dmnm WILL-.-SON

      if ridley scott can get the money to do any sci fi….why wouldnt you want it.

  • Damobloggs

    When I stop to contemplate the prospect of a sequel to Prometheus, I’m sorry to say it’s difficult to generate any enthusiasm at this point. I had such high hopes (and expectations) for Prometheus, but they were dashed. It’s going to take something pretty exceptional for me to return to this franchise – alien -y or not.

    Meanwhile – can’t wait for the release of Alien: Isolation!

  • oneofthosedeadfckers

    I liked Prometheus for the ambiance/cinematography/soundtrack but really didn’t like the story overall.

  • DeadInHell

    “We already have seven movies with Xenomorphs in them, how many more do we need?”

    And one or two of them were even good! So…yeah.

    Honestly, as long as Damon Lindelof never touches the script, I’ll be as pleased as Punch. Prometheus had a lot going for it despite his involvement and the meddling of the studio. Although, to be fair, Scott himself was directly responsible for the some of the more “…huh?” (and no, not the good kind) moments in the film. Like the big ship crash near the end, which he insisted be written into the script without having the slightest clue why it should happen. And it showed. Seems to me that those sorts of forced ideas tend to play out rather poorly. I’d rather they allow the writer to create a narrative and a cast of characters that make sense, with events that flow from one into the other rather than a sequence of “cool” ideas the director or producer had (just as long as that writer is anyone other than Damon Lindelof). It reminds me, in a less extreme way, of the story that Kevin Smith tells of his work on the Superman film that never materialized, and the producer that wanted a giant spider and all this other nonsense to be put into the script.

    But I digress. I’m happy with a sequel that takes a bit more of an Alien approach. Prometheus would have if the studios hadn’t insisted otherwise. And for as many films as we have in the Alien universe, there’s a real lack of ones that don’t suck. Ridley Scott may not be infallible, but even Prometheus for all its flaws was a step above the Alien stuff we’ve gotten since practically forever. I think a good modern xenomorph film is a worthy goal. Multiple Fassdroids just makes it that much more appealing.

  • Lemonade

    Um, DeadInHell, you NAILED it. Bravo my friend.

  • Justin Ward

    looks like woody harrelson

  • Beneviolence

    Awful movie that tried to gloss over bad storytelling under the guise of philosophical depth. So the sequel will be more Alien-y like the tacked on chestburster scene at the end of the first movie? No thanks.

  • Michael Bourke

    My Synopsis for Prometheus 2 & 3

    Well despite the criticism of the original we all need to accept that it is out there and in fact upon rewatching it is actually a great story. If Sir Ridley Scott planned a trilogy, then this chapter laid the groundwork. We can be thankful that unlike another legendary director, Sir Ridley Scott didn’t opt to write the script. I am glad it left unresolved questions. I feel that everything that happens leading up to the Nostromo is quite fantastic. We don’t need to jump the shark. Here are my thoughts

    CHAPTER 1 – PROMETHEUS – It exists. It left questions unanswered.

    CHAPTER 2 – EVOLUTIONS (Synopsis) Although this would upset those who believe we(the human race) came from GOD or the Almighty Being. What if we were to have come from the black goo which is in fact the Primordial Soup.

    Chapter one dealt with the engineers as possible creators of the human race. Evolutions would touch on the evolution of the Xenomorphs and of course the Weyland family. The movie should open with the Weyland heir apparent (Vickers brother) launching an investigation into the Prometheus, he encounters some objections from the 2IC who happens to be Vickers husband, Mr Vickers (Our Protagonist – who is harbouring his own secret and agenda) who believes that it is a waste of time and money, and that they should let their insurer pick up the tab. Despite the objections the Weyland heir assembles a team of investigators (non-scientific) to head to the LV-223. The protagonist of course joins him on the mission to ensure that no money is spent unnecessarily, we of course will discover his secret and hidden agenda (and it’s not what you think, in fact. It’s bloody brilliant, if I do say so myself)[spoiler] our Protagonist is a direct descendant of the ENGINEERS, who was nurtured on earth to help with the planned infestation invasion[/spoiler]

    After 2 years in hypersleep they arrive at LV-223.

    Shaw and david have been travelling space in the Engineers craft looking for answers, they land on what is deemed to be the engineers home planet only to find it decimated. There is evidence of a great battle, with what or whom we are unsure. What they determine though is that LV-223 was not just a military installation but in fact it was a slave colony, the question is who were the slaves?” David activates the trajectory information from a console to ascertain evidence that LV-223 is the launching place for a full scale infestation invasion of earth. Shaw and David realise that in order to save the earth from from the Engineers and the planned infection of earths population they need to go back to LV-223

    This synopsis works and would fit in with the existing Alien universe, because up until this point the Weyland Corporation is privately owned, so there would be no need for mass panic or government involvement, meaning that all of these events can happen without general knowledge. Also, as all we have at this point is the recording at the end of Prometheus by Shaw, even Weyland Corporation would not be aware of the events that have occurred in the previous chapter.

    ARRIVAL – Upon arrival the Weyland crew start exploring their surroundings and find trace elements of the destruction of the Prometheus, but nothing else.

    – here was can explore and establish the Xenomorph | Engineers mythology, answering some questions, whilst asking more (to be resolved in chapter 3)

    FAR FETCHED IDEA – How fantastic would it be if VICKERS who we believe was squashed in the original was in fact the ORIGINAL CONDUIT for the XENOMORPH Queen. Think about it, prior to the ship rising from the planet we see the ground as unstable and collapsing. Is it to far fetched, as a plot device to imagine that VICKERS (prior to being squashed) fell into a cavern, thus saving her from one death, only to have her infected with a XENOMORPH strain. I can see the new group discovering her body central to breeding ground of a XENOMORPH strain that blends the collective DNA to provide us with the XENOMORPH we know and love. It is fitting, that the ice queen and bitch from the first chapter become the ultimate BITCH.

    After the Weyland team spend time on the planet, they discover interconnected tunnels that lead them to discover the other ships and stasis pods of the remaining engineers, here we can discover the true elements of the goo, here we can establish that the engineers are just a race of beings, not THE race. I strongly believe that they were mere visitors to earth not the creators, and having already experienced the black goo, and having visited earth many times before, they knew there was a race they could infect that would help them build an army. So you have a new team of investigators, you have Shaw and David, you have the evolution of the xenomorphs, you have conflict, mystery, fear a battle for survival. You also have more engineers who were in stasis. Shaw wanted to know why the engineers changed their minds. In evolution, Shaw discovers that they didn’t change their minds, THE LOST CONTROL.

    Shaw to David and Weyland (of the engineers) ” I have been searching for answers as to why they changed their minds, why after creating us they wanted to destroy us!, they didn’t change their minds…THEY LOST CONTROL”

    CHAPTER 3 – PARADISE (Yutani have named LV-426 PARADISE as it is contains a wealth of organic matter that is of benefit to earth) Thus, their decision to send a pre-terraform crew to explore and investigate the feasibility of Terraforming.

    The survivors manage to escape The LV-223 moon and plan to head back to earth. All goes according to plan until they are forced to land to refuel. David has identified another moon that has the fuel required fuel (LV-426). Most questions are answered in the Evolutions chapter, but a couple of questions remain unanswered. On this new moon, those questions are answered. Little do these remaining survivors and Yutani crew know, but they are about to encounter the birthplace of the black goo. They are about to encounter the origin of the “Decon Queen”. The mural from Prometheus is finally explained. We discover that the engineers are not the all powerful race, but in fact were enslaved by the Xenomorphs. This will be the ultimate battle, a battle that will result in the physical Xenomorphs we all know and love. A battle that will end with the sole survivor activating a distress beacon that will rudely awaken the team on a little rusted tin can we call Nostromo.

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Plot Points:

    The engineers, as slaves of the xenomorphs were only heading to earth at the bidding of their masters. They had visited many times before as seen in cave drawings to essentially Terraform the earth as the new nesting place for the xenomorphs race. The Xenomorphs themselves are in control and have been throughout time. They, like ticks latched onto the Engineers 1000′s of years ago. We will learn that engineers have always been the Braun but the hive intelligence of the Xenomorphs has always been the brains. Clearly from the holographic imagery of the engineers running in fear, we know that they are afraid of something. Fair to think that we were witnessing was the crushing of an uprising. History has shown us that even slaves have been allowed a place of worship. Thus the large head room from Prometheus, despite the representation of their god, the mural was always a reminder as to who they were really bound to.

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Plot Points:

    Yutani is the key for the third instalment. As a nod to Aliens. You have Weyland already established as a multi trillion dollar company who in Aliens has already decided to put colonists on LV-426. Yutani also established as a multi trillion dollar company could have already sent their own crew out to explore and terraform LV-426. Of course these two companies are working independently of each other, so it would make sense that one would not know about the others plans and objectives. So For the survivors of Evoloutions to land and surprise the Yutani crew on LV-426 would not be completely out of the question . And would fill a plot hole and provide a new cast :) Remember, Weyland-Yutani merged between ALIEN and ALIENS almost 70 years after the events described above.

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    NODS TO THE LEGIONS OF FANS – OPPORTUNITIES (more to come)

    1. VICKERS becomes the original XENOMORPH CONDUIT QUEEN (A scene of discovering her body at the centre of what is a different version of the EGG ROOM from Alien and Aliens)From Vickers the FACE HUGGERS are born.

    2. We saw LV-426 in the middle of a storm, by PARADISE we see it lush but barren and expansive (as we did LV-223) which is why it is referred to as PARADISE and why YUTANI are Terraforming. Although initially expansive, the key conflict returns to the claustrophobic environment that is in fact the mother ship we see in Prometheus.

  • djblack1313

    mattjulia142, your “roomate’s” (spell check can be your best friend) mother-in-law sucks ass.