In the wake of the mind explosion that was Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus,” both fans and haters have been curiously posturing about what it could all mean and whether a sequel is likely or even possible.
Though after a solid opening weekend, the fate of a “Prometheus” sequel may now lie in the hands of a Fox executive instead of the creative talent, we spoke with co-writer Damon Lindelof about whether the events and ideas in “Prometheus” leave an opening for a follow-up.
Much of the philosophy in “Prometheus” revolves around the unsatisfying nature of ultimate answers, and the film purposely avoids resolving some of the story’s lingering questions. So could a sequel exist without contradicting the ideas of the original? Lindelof told us that “Prometheus” was always intended to be a stand-alone film, but there is the possibility for more story.
“The conversations that we had about the story of ‘Prometheus’ and how it would end were always predicated on the idea that there would not be a sequel, that a sequel was not a foregone conclusion, and that the movie itself had to have a feeling of being complete,” Lindelof said. “That being said, we also wanted the audience to feel that, like, if there were a sequel to ‘Prometheus,’ it wouldn’t be ‘Alien.’ ”
That idea of a separate narrative arc from “Alien” led to the loose end of Shaw flying off to find the Engineers, so that if a sequel were to happen, it would take the audience to unfamiliar territory.
“Something needed to happened at the end of this movie that clearly steered and announced that the direction of the trajectory of this story moving forward was not going to head toward LV-426 and a crashed, derelict ship with a Space Jockey with an exploded chest surrounded by eggs, that Shaw and David were headed in a different direction that was probably not going to result in that,” Lindelof said. “Those two things were sort of simultaneous to each other, so you’re both saying, ‘We want this movie to stand on its own, but we also acknowledge that it needs to end in a way that is very clear that if the story were to progress (if there were a sequel) ‘ We tried to thread the needle between the two ideas.”
If the concept of no sequel to “Prometheus” upsets you because of the remaining mysteries, Lindelof suggests you look toward Scott for your answers, because he has them.
“Then, of course, for all this talk of unanswered questions or the characters theorizing but not really getting their theories proved or, more importantly, for getting their makers to answer for the condition of the movie, Ridley and I and Jon [Spaihts] all discussed what we felt those answers were and came to agreement on them, so despite whatever slings and arrows come our way, this is not a case of, ‘Well, we didn’t know, so we didn’t bother trying,’” Lindelof said. “We definitely knew, and Ridley decided that the more interesting movie was one where we didn’t explicitly spell that stuff out.”
So because Scott designed the movie to be the way that it is, those questions should drive you want more, just like Shaw at the end of the film, but Lindelof promised that the answers you might be searching for could be hidden inside “Prometheus.”
“I really believe — and this is not shamed hucksterism — that upon multiple viewings of the movie or just entering into conversation with people who have seen it, there are a lot more answers there than people think there are and room for theories, but the movie needed to end in a way that is Shaw still searching,” he said. “She is not satisfied with the answers that she got. I think that’s very indicative, hopefully, if Shaw is supposed to be the audience proxy, they’re supposed to be feeling the same way that she is at the end of the movie.”
For all the “Lost” fans out there, this might all sound like a familiar song and dance, especially coming from Lindelof, and the writer knew he was in for that comparison when he took on Scott’s orders.
“To be completely candid, I knew that I’d eat some s— for that for the rest of my career, if there is no sequel to ‘Prometheus,’ but did it anyway, and had Ridley asked me to do it the other way, I would have done that too,” Lindelof said. “This movie is about realizing his vision. He’s only directed three science-fiction films, and now ‘Prometheus’ is one of them, and if he told me to jump off a bridge, I would.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Prometheus.”
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