With “Prometheus” hitting home video this week, the discussion continues to revolve around just what it was supposed to be. A prequel to “Alien“? A prequel to the “Prometheus” sequel? Some kind of tie-in to the eventual “Blade Runner” follow up? Well, let the conversation continue as original screenwriter Jon Spaihts reveals that his initial script tied more directly to the franchise-starting movie. And moreover, a crucial element from the original formed the centerpiece of two key sequences.
“I did have facehuggers in my original draft,” he told Empire. “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.” That sounds infinitely more sinister than David doing the equivalent of putting a roofie in his drink.
“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,” he continued. “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.” But that’s not all. David’s contempt for humans goes even further, and Spaihts reveals how he originally envisioned the plot turns that led to Shaw cutting into her own uterus.
“So at one point Shaw goes to stop him and David ties her up and deliberately exposes her to a facehugger. He caresses an egg open and out comes a facehugger,” he said, noting that because David is a robot, it doesn’t draw the interest of the facehugger. “…But then he exposes it to her and it goes for her like a shot. He toys with her for a bit and then lets it take her. That, in my draft, was how Shaw was implanted with the parasite that she had to remove with the medpod sequence.”
Damn. All of this essentially confirms that when Damon Lindelof came on do a rewrite, he steered “Prometheus” away from the more direct links to “Alien.” “It started as an ‘Alien’ prequel. That is what everybody wanted it to be. There is a real issue which is — what is the state of the ‘Alien’ franchise at this point in our lives? There has been ‘Alien vs. Predator‘ and all these things, and it’s been completely and totally diluted. “I’ve always felt that really good prequels should be original movies,” Lindelof said in 2011. “…So a true prequel should essentially precede the events of the original film, but be about something entirely different, feature different characters, have an entirely different theme, although it takes place in that same world. That was my fundamental feeling about what this movie wanted to be.”
Was Ridley Scott right to veer away from Spaihts draft? Did Lindelof go too far? Weigh in below.