Bloody Disgusting reported earlier this week that there were some “issues” with the sequel to Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. The report said that Fox were “freaking out” about what to do with the sequel, and that without Lindelof onboard, both Fox and Scott were struggling to know what to do with the next chapter.
Per BD: “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.”
To explain things a little further, it was Jon Spaihts who wrote Prometheus, and at the time it was written as a direct prequel to Scott’s Alien, but at some point Fox decided that they did not want just one prequel which would lead on to Alien. Instead they wanted to open up the story and allow for a trilogy of films instead. Damon Lindelof was then hired to re-write part of the Prometheus script, and he was asked to mostly focus on the ending of the film so that there was scope to have the Prometheus trilogy run parallel to Alien, instead of being a direct prequel. The initial plan was that the ship that crashes being the Space Jockey craft that Ripley discovers later.
Lindelof came in to change that ending, and allowed Prometheus to become its own trilogy. Fox initially had plans for a 2014 or 2015 release, and recently Prometheus star Noomi Rapace commented that the script was underway. However, it would appear that this is far from the truth, and the script has not even started yet.
Lindelof has already reveled that he will not be returning to write the Prometheus sequel as his schedule means he cannot commit to it. He is now working on the script for the Brad Bird directed Tomorrowland for Disney, and also has a new TV series at HBO to develop.
This report of a “freak out” at Fox seems a bit over exaggerated, and surely Scott and Fox to pick from any number of writers to write Prometheus 2. Lindelof is not the only person who can write the sequel, so this panic seems a tad unnecessary. It also seems unfair that Lindelof feels obliged to have to respond to this panic, but he did so anyway in a lengthy email to SlashFilm. His response follows:
“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.”
(Sources: BD, Slash Film)