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Who knows where 'Prometheus' sequel will go? Apparently, no one

damon_lindelof-2Love him or hate him, Damon Lindelof is probably one of the few writer/producers in Hollywood who is fairly open about his opinions and allows fans of his to berate him endlessly for the faults of the last episode of Lost, years after the final hour’s air. He seems willing to admit and take personal responsibility for the disappointments that many fans have with his work (Cowboys and Aliens, Star Trek reboot). It’s a genuine rarity not only in Hollywood, but also in everyday people.

When word broke that Ridely Scott was interested in returning the Alien franchise he helped launch, many wondered where he would go after four films. Obviously, the idea of a prequel –which would explain the events leading up to the Nostromo landing on LV-426- was a good place to start. Still, Scott seemed not keen on making a direct prequel, but maybe something that shared some of the DNA of his first film, but would not require a complete knowledge of the Alien mythology.

So maybe in Scott’s eyes, Prometheus would be a stand-alone film, but knowing the way studios work, the idea of launching another franchise was probably on their mind. Greed always trumps logic, so Fox brought in Damon Lindelof re-work Jon Spaihts script, which did have an ending, and re-shaped the movie as a trilogy.

But, Lindelof would not be returning to script any more films, because he already committed to Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland (plus, he admits he feels his work gets diluted when working on multiple projects at the same time, so he has a tendency to just take one film at a time). This, apparently, precipitated a rumor that Twentieth Century Fox and Ridely Scott are “freaking out” on how to precede with a Prometheus sequel, because they had not mapped out one. Bloody Disgusting, who broke the story initially, has said that the studio is “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.”

But instead of saying no comment, Lindelof explained to Slashfilm:

“While I’m happy to maintain my ongoing role as internets whipping boy (well, not happy, but at least resigned) this is a weird attack piece, even for someone who should be used to it by now. 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.

 

As to whether Ridley and Fox are “freaking out” about me not working on a sequel, well that’s news to me. I retain awesome relationships with both. More importantly, the idea that there aren’t many, MANY writers out there capable of taking the reins is sort of ridiculous. I did not map out a trilogy and then walk when the going got tough. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know me and doesn’t know the truth.

 

The process of working on Prometheus with Ridley was one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me. Love or hate the result of that work, I don’t regret having done it for a second. Bloody Disgusting was very clever in tagging their story with the sentiment that denials were going to come. This would seem to throw shade on me denying the veracity of the story simply by anticipating that I would.

 

But denying the story I am. As I said, I will take all the abuse in the world for the things I have done, but I refuse to take it for the things I have not. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

 

This also may explain why Prometheus felt so choppy and why a lot of stuff just does not make sense. Of course, the lapses in logic of the characters not with standing, the film never seemed to understand what it truly was. Obviously, in the end, perhaps it would have been smarter for Ridely Scott to really do a direct prequel to Alien, instead of setting up this convoluted mythology that made the film pretty to look at, but empty of anything of wonder and surprises that made people like the 1979 film in the first place.

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