A Look at the Version of Prometheus We Almost Saw… Aliens and Chestbursters Included
Damon Lindelof. When you call this guy in to write or polish a script, one thing is certain…. even though it’s a fun enough ride, your film will now contain a lot of headsy stuff which ultimately goes nowhere. *cough* “Lost” *cough* So what did Prometheus look like before he dug in?
Empire online is home to an incredible interview with original Prometheus scribe Jon Spaihts detailing what could have been. Click the link for the whole enchilada. Highlights follow…
“I wrote five different drafts of the script, working with Ridley very closely over about nine months. And even as we were working, we were constantly toying with the closeness of the monsters in the film to the original xenomorph. You can see an interesting balance, even looking at the movies in the Alien franchise, between homage and evolution. In every film you’ll see that the design of the Alien shifts – the shape of the carapace, the shape of the body – and some of that is to with new technology available to realise the monsters, but a lot of is just a director’s desire to do something new. Ridley and I were looking for ways to make the xenomorphs new.
And so he was always pushing for some way in which that Alien biology could have evolved. We tried different paths in that way. We imagined that there might be eight different variations on the xenomorphs – eight different kinds of Alien eggs you might stumble across, eight kinds of slightly different xenomorph creatures that could hatch from them. And maybe even a rapid process of evolution, still ongoing, in these Alien laboratories where these xenomorphs were developed. So Ridley and I were looking for ways to make the xenomorphs new.
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The creature did change in some pretty dramatic ways from draft to draft. But the most dramatic change was the removal of the xenomorph from the film. That was a shift that happened at the same time as I stepped off the film. A lot of that push came from the studio very high up; they were interested in doing something original and not one more franchise film. That really came to a head at the studio – the major push to focus on the new mythology of Prometheus and dial the Aliens as far back as we could came down from the studio.
I did have facehuggers in my original draft. David, as he began to get fascinated by the science of the Engineers, doesn’t deliberately contaminate Holloway with a drop of black liquid. Instead, Holloway hubristically removes his helmet in the chamber, is knocked unconscious, facehugged and wakes up not knowing what had been done to him, and stumbles back into the ship. In my draft, he returns to his cabin, is embraced by Shaw, who is delighted to see him having feared that he had died, and the two of them make love. And it’s while they’re making love that he bursts and dies. So that lovemaking sequence echoed my original lovemaking sequence where he explodes! It was messy.”
Sigh. Thanks, Fox. Good call.
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