ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

Prometheus has divided fans. Some thought it was a bit of a mess, and others thought it was an absolute, unforgivable mess. The directed sci-fi flick was supposed to expand the original Alien franchise, instead it just kind of ended up confusing everyone with a story splattered with plot-holes.

According to Bloody Disgusting, much of this mess was apparently down to script shenanigans long before Prometheus even started filming. Reportedly, Jon Spaihts was originally brought on board to write Prometheus. He provided an initial draft which was very much a 'one-off'. It seemed Fox didn't appreciate his efforts, and hired renowned screenwriter Damon Lindelof (Lost, Cowboys and Aliens, Star Trek Into Darkness) to finish it off.

Apparently, Lindeldof rewrote Prometheus as the first movie of a trilogy, which led Bloody Disgusting to conclude:

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...

As a result Bloody Disgusting claim Fox and Ridley are literally "freaking out" over how to continue Elizabeth Shaw's () story. In fact, they're so desperate they are reportedly "taking pitches from basically anyone who can crack the story".

However, Lindeldof has arrived to give his side of the story. After being approached by /Film, Lindeldof wrote a lengthy email which seems to have cleared up some of the mess. The email deserves to read in it's entirety, so check it out below:

"Hey, man!

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.

Your Pal,


Meanwhile, while /Film were building up the case for Team Damon, Bloody Disgusting also got some quotes from Spaihts (in an old interview with Empire) suggesting the idea of a trilogy long pre-dated Lindelof's involvement in the project. Basically, I don't know who to blame for Prometheus anymore. The truth is, it probably involved a team effort to screw up what should have been a sure fire sci-fi success.

In any case, despite the controversy, Prometheus 2 is still expected to arrive. At the moment it still seems like their looking for a story, so perhaps you can help? Where would you take the story in Prometheus 2? Let me know your thoughts below.


Latest from our Creators