If you’d like to cynically file this one under “no shit Sherlock,” we won’t entirely blame you, but hear us out for a second. Way back when “Prometheus” was first announced circa March 2010, it wasn’t “Prometheus.” Written by Jon Spaihts and conceived then as a full-blown prequel to 1979’s “Alien,” when the announcement first arrived, Ridley Scott himself corrected journos that had asked about the prequel during “Robin Hood” press. “Prequels, two films,” he stressed, noting both would be shot in 3D but wouldn’t be shot back to back.
Things then changed. The “Alien” prequel was then rewritten and reconceived by “Lost” writer Damon Lindelof and became “Prometheus,” a film that, according to Scott, audiences would able to “recognize strands of Alien’s DNA, so to speak.”
Even though strands of a xenomorph — or a type of xenomorph, the H.R. Giger work is unmistakable — are clearly visible in the trailer (or at least visible when you freeze the frame), this weekend at WonderCon in Anaheim, Scott and Lindelof continued to distance “Prometheus” as being a proper prequel to “Alien.”
However, Scott did circle back to the idea of two films at the WonderCon panels. “It evolved into another universe,” Scott told the WonderCon crowd about the original intentions for the “Alien” prequel and how it morphed into “Prometheus.” “If we’re lucky, there’ll be a second part. It does leave you with some nice open questions.”
Now, that’s where we really get into the potential “duh,” but we’re glad to hear that this sequel idea — word of which many assumed had gone away when the film concept was retooled — still survives. Of course Scott’s “lucky,” comment means if “Prometheus” does well at the box office and justifies its existence (the budget has been reported to be in the $200+ million dollar range).
A side note of interest. While at Comic-Con 2011, Lindelof said that “Prometheus” was “literally designed for 3D,” there’s very little by way of the recent marketing that pushes the 3D angle. Then again, that appears to be the norm these days as studios shy away from promoting 3D as their main focus and back to the content itself (never a bad thing). And while Scott also said he was cutting a PG-13 and R-Rated cut of the film, the greenband nature of the new trailer suggests the R-rating was a pie in the sky idea.
And if you’re not convinced that “Prometheus” is not an “Alien” prequel, according to Lindelof at WonderCon, one of the reasons the film did evolve was because the original script felt too familiar to the director. “I want to do Sci-Fi again, but I think this movie is too close to ‘Alien,’ ” Lindelof explained, recalling what Scott said in their first meeting together.
Another idea Lindelof reiterated from past statements about the film — that we admittedly kind of love — is the idea that prequels are often pretty damn boring because you know the outcome of them.
“Often there is an inevitability to watching a prequel,” he said. “So, If the ending of this movie is just going to be the room that John Hurt walks into that has eggs there is nothing interesting in that. We know how it’s going to end. So, this movie will hopefully contextualize the original ‘Alien’ so maybe you know a bit more.”
June 8th cannot arrive any sooner as far as we’re concerned. Btw, while we’re here, here’s the full U.K. trailer for “Prometheus,” which sports a more relaxed pace (at first at first) and centers on the origins of the “invitation.” You’ll see what we mean below, not to mention the subtle love story within.