Last week, Fox sent the imaginations of genre fans running wild when their announcement of upcoming release dates featured two mystery projects: one based on a Marvel property and another being an unnamed Ridley Scott film for 2016.
We’re still guessing what the superhero movie might be — I’m betting on “X-Force” — but now The Wrap is claiming that the Scott film is, as many theorized, a “Prometheus” sequel and that there’s a new writer on board. “Transcendence” writer Jack Paglen wrote a previous draft, but now Michael Green, one of the men behind “Green Lantern,” has been hired to rewrite and make the sequel more “alien-y.”
It’s that last detail that should have pricked the ears of “Prometheus” defenders and haters alike. The fact that Scott and Damon Lindelof moved away from Jon Spaihts’ more “alien-y” original draft is what ultimately turned a lot of people off to the headier prequel that dealt more with questions about the nature of life and its unknowable origins than xenomorphs and acid spit.
When I spoke with Lindelof in 2012, he explained that the version of “Prometheus” that ended up on the big screen was crafted to be a standalone film, but the concept of a sequel was discussed.
“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.’ “
Above all else, Lindelof made it clear that any sequel to “Prometheus” would take Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and David (Michael Fassbender) even further away from the events of the original “Alien.”
The new details about the follow-up lead me to believe that those early story concepts, which would put Shaw on the trail of the Engineers, have been scrapped in favor of what “Alien” fans had been expecting in the first place. As a fan of “Prometheus,” warts and all, I have to say this is a little disappointing.
With each of his sci-fi movies, Scott has taken a different approach to the genre. “Alien” was a contained horror movie. “Blade Runner” was noir. “Prometheus” dealt with impossibly big questions about existence, and hopefully the sequel will dive deeper into those ideas. We’ve already seen Scott direct extraterrestrials that pop out of chests and eat people, and it’s as awesome now as it was in 1979.
But in 2016, let’s see what else he has to say.
The sequel to “Prometheus” is currently scheduled to hit theaters in March 2016.