Damon Lindelof on Prometheus 2 rumours

News Simon Brew 28 Mar 2013 - 06:54

As reports suggest problems cracking the script to Prometheus 2, Damon Lindelof has issued a response...

Spoilers for the ending of Prometheus lie ahead...

A story broke last night, over at Bloody Disgusting, that was suggesting all wasn't well at all with the in development Prometheus 2. According to the site's unnamed sources, 20th Century Fox and director Ridley Scott are "freaking out" over how to continue he story of Prometheus, and where to take the adventures of Noomi Rapace's character next. Furthermore, it suggests that they "are taking pitches from anyone who can crack the story".

It also suggests that Prometheus 2 remains in limbo, partly as a result of the desire to turn the first film into the opener for a trilogy. And the site's story also digs into what changed when Damon Lindelof boarded the original film to rework Jon Spaihts' screenplay. It specifically states "Lindelof transformed Prometheus into a 'trilogy', thus stripping the first film’s conclusion of any meaning and setting Ridley and Fox up for disaster. This disaster was perpetuated when Lindelof announced he wouldn’t be penning the sequel. So, in short, the guy who convinced the filmmakers to make a trilogy, left them in the dust…"

It also said that "while a sequel is nearly inevitable, it definitely puts it in flux, and in a state of jeopardy".

Interestingly, Damon Lindelof has now responded, in an statement that he's posted via Slashfilm. Bloody Disgusting seems adamant in the light of it that its story regarding problems with Prometheus 2 is on the money. Given that we have no access to anyone who can clarify things one way or the other, we're advising requisite amounts of salt for the time being.

Lindelof, meanwhile, comes out of this in quite a classy way. He opens his response by declaring "while I'm happy to maintain my ongoing role as Internet's whipping boy (well, not happy, but at least resigned), this is  weird attack piece, even for someone who should be used to it by now".

Lindelof clarifies that those behind Prometheus "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", which was mentioned several times around the movie's release. With specific relation to the sequel rumours, Lindelof said that "if there was a sequel to Prometheus, it would not be Alien", and admitted that during the making of the first film, "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".

"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", he said.

"I did not map out a trilogy and then walk when the going got tough", Lindelof added, "anyone who says otherwise doesn't know me and doesn't know the truth". He ended by saying that "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".

You can read his full statement at Slashfilm, here. And Bloody Disgusting's original story, which has been updated with Lindelof's statement, is here.

At the end of it all, we can't help but feel that we're none the wiser really. Ridley Scott's slate remains jam-packed, although we'd imagine that he'd like, and perhaps need, to get Prometheus 2 going by the end of 2014 at least. We will, of course, keep you posted.

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Normally a writer or director will have a story they are desperate to tell.

Prometheus (and its sequel) seem to have it backwards; they wanted to do something in the Alien universe and are trying to find some story as an afterthought.

Also, if you design a film around the premise of setting up a sequel, shouldn't you have a pretty solid idea of what that sequel will be?

I suspect that all involved fell victim to a locked-in release date. So much so that when Lindelof was asked to come on board to make changes, time was of the essence. That's probably why the film felt schizophrenic and/or half-baked (much the same as Green Lantern, really, which seemed to me like an shoddy patchwork of different drafts and different visions).

Poor first film that's going have it's work cut out to make a second part any better.

Maybe Alejandro Jodorowsky should write it. His work with Moebius was quite mind blowing. He also worked on the original unfinished pre-production for Dune, which led to Alien. He's mad, but no more crazy than the Prometheus script!

LOL are you fricken kidding me, blaming this on the script writer. One question answers this: "who made the frikcen movie?!!".

Fox and stupid locked in release dates seem to go hand in hand a lot. sometimes they get away with it it (X-Men First Class) sometimes they don't (X3)

It's a strange attack story on Lindelof, The script before his polish is out there and he didn't change anything radical, The main faults of the story were there before Lindelof got involved. This does seem like an attack for the sake of one, and to boost page hits

SCENE 1: INT: PROMETHEUS CRYOSLEEP CHAMBER

Shaw sits up in her pod. David smiles and hands her a cup of water [optional: really obvious pickup shot of him not putting his finger in the drink].

SHAW: "God, what an awful dream!"

DAVID: "Yes, the Company are trying a reverse-psychology subliminal training technique."

SHAW: "Okay. Let's go exploring like proper scientists."

DAVID: "Don't forget your helmet at all times. And don't touch anything... alien-looking."

SHAW: "As if!"

CUT

(Author's note: There you go, Ridley, insert logical film from here on. My number's on the bog wall if you get stuck/pretentious.)

Yes, in fact let's have the whole film be about satellite surveys and rock sampling, and data analysis in MS Excel 2190, so that it really is a real film with real science. They should also remake every horror film ever made so that a teen never wanders off to investigate by themselves. Every alien craft that visits Earth must present viable technology for travelling faster than light, rather than some vague mumbling about wormholes, and every cop must be shown filling out the paperwork in real time, including standing silently waiting for the kettle to boil.

Having seen the first one, I've absolutely no desire to see a second. Everyone I went with seemed to feel much the same way, so I'm wondering how viable a sequel to this mess would be anyway.

Ha! So true!

I'm morbidly curious to see what they do with the proposed sequel as they really painted themselves into a corner with the ending and they obviously haven't got a clue what to do next.

Not that I'd actually waste money going to see it, mind - I'm not a mug. I'm just really curious to see how the adventures of one woman and a robot's head in a bowling ball bag traveling to a planet full of murderous giant albinos to 'ask them some questions' could possibly make a solid basis for a two-hour blockbuster...

My suspicion is that there won't be a sequel at all, completely punking all the apologists who said the sequel would make it all make sense, which would be priceless.

For the sake of all the great horror/thriller sci-fi movies, something doesn't have to be nonsense to be thrilling. "Logical", as Ian suggested, is something that you can let yourself believe as "true" and not get distracted all the time by bad writing - it's a contextual realism. It's simple: just imagine whatever crazy scenario you want, then imagine how real people would behave, and not what will look cooler in visual effects (like the giant donut rolling and the chick running straight like it was a car chase, when she could just take five steps to the left and get out of the way. Not blaming just Lindelof... Scott should be on drugs not to have the whole script rewritten before shooting.

Everyone should take a note of Jos Whedon and MARVEL; plan things out!

please don't let Damon anywhere near this script/project - he really screwed the pooch on the first one.

the ending to Lost was one of the worst ever. Prometheus just insulted the intelligence of the audience with poor characters. Lindelof needs to go far far away

Everyone seems to attack Lindelof. Oh wait, he wrote Lost and Prometheus. He deserves it.

Not partial to the Lost ending myself, or even the entire of it's final season, but I'm interested to know what you think Lindelof changed to the earlier script which is floating about the Internet that "insulted the intelligence of the audience". I'm not going to argue with anyone who says Prometheus is a very patchy movie which has characters acting in random ways to advance a plot which isn't close to being finally delivered. It's the Lindelof specific blame which interests me, even Bloody Disgusting's accusation of having planned a trilogy and bailing after the first one is a vague and frankly strange one. It would seem the problems they have in developing a sequel isn't because Lindelof has the master plan locked securely in his head, but because of problems inherent to the first movie, problems that a team of professional movie makers which include Ridley Scott should have been able to see and fix at the time.

The biggest problem with the Prometheus 2 script is that it actually exists.

Let's talk about the giant doughnut then. Maybe she knows it's not a full circle so she might get away with it before it stalls and falls sideways. Because it does fall sideways, even though Shaw veers off to the side, she only survives by virtue of luck. So both forwards and sideways were a bit of a bum deal really.

You do recall what happened with Whedon at Fox...

Dear Everyone.

The problem with Prometheus was and is simple. It started out as being a direct prequel to Alien. That's what it was always going to be, that's what Ridley Scot talked about, and promoted it as when they started filming.

Then part way through the filming , for some inexplicable reason they decided it was NOT going to be a prequel to Alien, but "set in the same universe"

Then when it came out, they go to the same star system as Lv426 and find the same ships, the same alien race and end up with something that obviously is a prequel to Alien but ended up a total mess with some great scenes and ideas and acting.

They should have just gone with what they started with and done a prequel to Alien and not changed it part way through.

The major problem with the film is the Engineers themselves. They started out in Alien looking really ALIEN. More Alien than the Alien itself. But in Prometheus they just turn out to be big white bald blokes in suits. So you turn your most interesting and mysterious monster into just another bloke in a rubber suit. It was just stupid and a really bad idea.

All that to one side though, I wonder if Ridley Scott is going to end up as George Lucas the second. By that I mean a once great director that has produced some classic films, going back to revisit old work and doing prequels and messing up not only the prequel but also tarnishing the originals. After Prometheus, it makes you wonder how the new Blade Runner sequel / prequel or whatever is going to turn out.

Simple way to solve the problem for Prometheus 2 is to turn the Engineers back into proper spooky Aliens. Have the engineers we have seen so far just turn out to be slaves that handle the dirty jobs and dangerous stuff and wear suits that look like and are modelled on their real masters. Then you can have proper elephant trunked freaks causing trouble and being really scary. Its easy to come up with lots of good ideas etc, and everyone is right in saying that anyone who had anything to do with LOST should never be let anywhere near a film again, never mind Prometheus 2.

Bull, Prometheus is a really good movie.

Hardly, he was brought in at the last minute to do a re-write to make the script less of an Alien prequel (while still keeping all the major set pieces.)
You can read the initial draft that he re-wrote and a fair few of the movies faults are still in there (so in theory Ridley Scott wanted them in the film.) His script also added the little character flourishes to David (like the Laurence Olivier obsession) that helped make him one of the films better creations...if you are going to blame anyone for the faults in Prometheus, blame Ridley Scott! (he had complete control over how the film ended up, the script is the way it is because that is how he wanted it!)

I agree. The original article is obviously just telling the people who didn't like Prometheus what they want to hear instead of being based on anything of substance.

Agreed, the way some people talk about Lindelof you would think he forced Ridely Scott at gun point to make his script into a film! When from all we've seen he didn't have all that much say in what he could actually put into the script....Also despite Bloody Disgusting's claims, from all I've seen Lindelof's lack of involvement in the sequel seems to have been a studio decision (not his choice) look at how enthusiastic he seemed about a sequel before the release, then after the release and all the attacks on him we get an announcement that he won't return!

Erm. Sorry, no idea what your talking about; I was just referring to how he does his MCU.

I was just referring to how Whedon had things planned out with Firefly, then Fox shuffled the deck. I do agree that Marvel seems to have a plan and it's working quite nicely so far.

You can argue it away all you want, but it's irrelevant if people in the cinema are laughing at the film.

Panic makes people think strangely. Also pretty sure the ship was more than 5 steps wide, it was massive so running either way would be difficult!

Lost.
Prometheus.
Cowboys and Aliens.

All good conceptual ideas (ok C&A maybe not quite so much) made a bit pants by the writer involved. You can't deny there's a common thread there.

I'll probably skip the new Star Trek at the cinema now he's involved.

Can't see myself paying for more of his pointless waffle with no meaning and way too much pretension.

Prometheus is the Marmite of movies, personally I'm in the 'love it' category (although they could have expanded on Elba's crew more).

Although not a great fan of all his work (Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk excepted), I have watched online interviews with DL and found myself thinking, "He's an alright kind-of bloke." My question is; if the script he was brought in to work on was already full of flaws, then why didn't fix those? My second question is; why did Ridley Scott feel confined to the two-hour run-time? My third queation... NO! I have to stop there. This is Prometheus we're talking about. Once started the questions could go on for hours.

RS

Tru dat!

Never underestimate the spending power of idiots. There's seven billion of us now and although even the stupidest of us is light-years ahead of the closest competition (chimpanzees, dolphins, pop-stars that film their own documentaries) very few of us are really worth having. Now don't get me wrong here, I am a fascist but not a racist or eugenicist - I do think we could do with 80% fewer humans on the planet but I wouldn't descriminate by religion or race, and by my own standards I would have to include myself in the useless percentage because instead of doing something useful I'm writing comments in a geeky internet forum. All I'm saying is, idiots (myself included) will watch anything (I'll probably watch WWZ even though I know it's going to be poo - I live in hope, which is the purest form of stupidity).

Just to clarify - I'm not actively planning the extermination of 5.6 billion people - just in case Homeland security are monitoring this thread - but if I was a character in Utopia then I probably would have gone the way of Winston. Very few of us would willingly subscribe to G'Kar's philosophy of "for all to live many sacrifice their lives". Free-will is always going to be a sticking point when it comes to culling humans.

I saw it twice in two says when it came out and no-one laughed. You can make that up that sweeping generalisation of all audiences to try and make a point if you like, but it ain't exactly true.

I agree, people exaggerate massively to make it sound as if she could just sidestep it like it was someone on a bike coming at her. The thing was huge, irregular in shape, it had just fallen out the sky, and it got to a point and fell SIDEWAYS.

Come on now, Lucas messed with the originals to fit the prequels, and didn't want to release the unaltered versions that people remembered. The original Alien remains intact and untouched. Ridley Scott also has a variable but not-too-bad recent track record, whereas Lucas made Indiana Jones 4.

I think for the most part Lost was quite well handled (and despite what most of the internet thinks, most of its questions were answered.) It obviously wasn't perfect, and had strong and weak points, but that can hardly be all stacked up to Damon Lindelof (at any one point he would be working on around 5 episodes of the program, so there are bound to be some slip ups.)

Cowboys and Aliens he was one of five credited writers, plus several uncredited writers, and how much of his contributions made it into the script is a mystery (from most interviews before and after the film came out the script seems to be mostly the work of Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci, who also produced it...so they would have had much more control over what got into the script than Lindelof.)

Not sure if you know this, but he was also heavily involved in the previous Star Trek (he may not have been a credited screenwriter, but if you listening to the audio commentary it becomes clear that he was a strong part of the story/ screenwriting process) so it's not as is suddenly crashing the party...he was a huge part of the last film (which I think was a brilliant film, and this next one looks even better.)

In any-case if you're going to compare his work on Lost to Prometheus, look at the individual episodes he wrote (some of the most praised in the series and they were nominated for numerous awards)...you might not like the work he did in the overall mythology, but that says more about his abilities as a producer than as a screenwriter (Prometheus he had no say in the overall mythology, he was told what to write, including the ending...literally the exact opposite of Lost!)

Of course he should have been able to do a better job with Prometheus, but presumably the script he wrote was the one Ridley Scott wanted to film! (It's not as if Damon Lindelof forced Ridley Scott as gun point to use his script, Ridley seemed more than happy to use it...and even cut some scenes out that actually would've helped the movie make a little more sense!)

The answer to both those questions is Fox interfering

"confined to the two-hour run-time?" Films are too long anyway, a longer version of Prometheus would not fix its numerous problems!!!!!!

Everyone should take note of when Whedon wrote the script for Alien Resurrection, which he admitted was not really changed in the filming, it was just "filmed wrong".

You could very well be completely correct. However, Prometheus is a very strange movie riddled with moments of true Sci-Fi beauty and lots of contradictory confusion. The movie has everything in the world going for it - director, franchise, cast, crew - and yet it still, in my opinion, stinks. It is a really bad movie and that is a source of great puzzlement to me. In my humble opinion Fox are to blame, but not for interfering, rather for mismanaging the project and not interfering enough. Over time I have come to the conclusion that Prometheus is an example of the soul-less suits not doing their job properly. Why this might of happened has, I believe, a one word answer - Scott; and that should be very worrisome to anyone who loved Blade Runner.

At the end of the day, it just goes to prove that the producers of Prometheus had no idea of any kind of overarcing story when they made the mess that is Prometheus. lLindelof is not a bad screenwriter...it's just that he sucks at one important thing...He has no conclusion to all the interesting ideas he puts up. The producers made an aggravating movie on purpose to attract viewers to a SERIES of movies. They brought in the absolute best guy at seeding seemingly important clues into a story...and then not paying them off. It's the producers' fault that this idea is languishing (and, in my personal opinion, that Prometheus is absolute, unalderated, Pure-D Shiite.) Lindelof should have to eat, FOREVER, the crap that was LOST in the end....but he really doesn't need to eat this. He just did what they asked him to do.

I know. i would take R Scott over Lucas anyday. I was just wondering if we would see another mess up in the new Blade Runner movie. Hence the comparison. We will just have to see what its like. If its pants then it will draw the same thoughts from others I am sure. I just think Blade Runner needs leaving as it is and was.

Even if no one laughed in your screening, the fact that it's become a running joke since suggests that it is a problem, one of many serious problems the film has. If you like the film, good for you, but you can't really argue that it isn't hugely flawed at best.

The ending 'reveal' still baffles me. So, there's now an proto-alien on the planet. A deserted planet where there is no other life. So presumably the alien will promptly starve to death.

So.... how is that in any way important and how does it make any sense regarding the original Alien?

Just typical of a film that desperately throws images and ideas into the mix with little or no thought. Another lame-ass twist in a film of lame-ass twists.

Because the script they had was trashy nonsense, and they thought that if they got someone in to chop up the script to make everything vague and ambiguous and insert sporadic religious imagery enough people would be fooled into thinking it was an intelligent film.

It worked!

I don't even know why people were surprised it sucked. I mean come on, this is Ridely Scott! There seems to be a collective amnesia regarding the last two decades of his career. Remember Hannibal?!?!

Excellent post; although self-awareness in an idiot is a bit of a dichotomy (most probably the 'dich' bit) that has caused me to question my own raison d'etre.

Hopefully theyll ruin Bladerunner first, then get back to putting all their energy into ruining Alien.

Yep, the big bald grey polish-looking guy was terrible.

Did you see the How It Should Have Ended they did from Prometheus? It was a much better movie.

When you see some girl screaming through the dark woods when a psycho is chasing her, you think "that's stupid", but that's what most people would do. So, what matters is not what people in panic would do in real life, 'cause it's all BS if people are laughing at the scene, as Tom said. And yes, people did laugh in my screening. Maybe if it was shot slightly different it would prove the case that it was the best option...

Hannibal was a beautiful movie, considering the source material. In fact in the book, Clarice and Hannibal run off and become lovers. Ridley did a great job what was in fact material the American public would have never been able to follow. American Gangster wad great, and I even enjoyed Matchstick Men....certainly not horrible by any means.

She still would havegotten crushed......that ship was wide.

Each to their own - I thought Hannibal was an awful, awful movie. There's actually very little Ridley Scott has done that I like. Gladiator was OK, but insanely overrated.

I am hoping someone can explain to me how Prometheus was a bad movie? CT has a sweet sweet ass in those tights. I was entertained.

It's rather obvious where Prometheus 2 needs to go. The clue is in the name of the 2nd film - Paradise. It means that Shaw and David will arrive at the home planet of the Engineers, but where as we imagine Paradise to be a place of beauty, it also holds dark secrets.
Shaw and David will literally be 'Adam and Eve' arriving in God's garden. There, Shaw will find out, that there has been a bitter argument between the two factions (a 'War in Heaven'), where half of the Engineers (the Good Angels (and the ones at the start of Prometheus)) are the Creators and they create life. The other half are Fundamentalists. They believe that they were created by God, and what the Creators are doing, is going against God's will and thus it is sacrilege (sound familiar with the Church going against the medical profession in some of the stuff that we do).
The movie, I believe, will be a deep thought one for the audience. What should the two sets of Engineers do with Shaw and David. One wants to glorify their success, while the other wants her, and her race dead ...and then we have David who could screw everything up, as he is not human, but we know he is a mischief-maker (Satan).
I believe the film will end with expulsion of Shaw and David from Paradise. Where the third film goes, could be the beginning of a war between Man and the Fundamentalists. This is where Shaw intervenes again, and it leads to the crashed alien ship that we see in the original Alien movie. However, the Fundamentalists never reach Earth (as it is never mentioned in any of the other alien movies!)
That would be my take on the sequels.

They find another ship on the planet and fly off. Or an alien ship comes to check up on the planet and they get on board

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