Prometheus Screenwriter Damon Lindelof Discusses the Nature of Prequels
04.06.12 by Ryan
The question of how much director Ridley Scott's upcoming sci-fi movie, Prometheus is a prequel to 1979's Alien probably won't end until the movie opens in June. At WonderCon last month, screenwriter Damon Lindelof said that Prometheus would "will hopefully contextualize the original Alien so maybe you know a bit more," but said that a Prometheus sequel would "tangentialize even further away from the original Alien."
According to Scott, Prometheus will have "strands of Alien's DNA", which is clear from the inclusion of the "Space Jockey" creature from the original Alien, but is that enough to call the movie a prequel? The answer isn't cut and dried, and in an interview with Blastr, Lindelof explained why he doesn't generally like prequels and how Prometheus eschews the typical definition.
The thing about a prequel is, as fascinating as it may to watch Anakin turn to the dark side of the Force, there's an inevitability to it. You know when you go in the prequel can only cover A to Y and then Z is gonna be the preexisting material. You can't end it in an exciting or surprising way. You can only end it in the inevitable way. ...
When I went to go see The Thing prequel, for example, I'm assuming this movie is going to be the sequence of events that led up to a dog being infected by the Thing and then being chased by a helicopter across the frozen tundra-because I know then what happens next because I saw The Thing. And that's exactly what it was. On a certain level, you're satisfied because if you're calling a movie a prequel, that's what you're expecting. On another level, you sort of walk out going, "Boy I wish there was a little bit more room for me to not exactly know what I was walking into."
In my opinion, in order to define Prometheus as a prequel, is it set in the Alien universe? ... If you just watch the teaser trailer, and you see how the word Prometheus reveals itself ... or look at the production design, you don't need me to tell you anything.
So then the next question is: Is it a prequel to Alien? To that, I can't really answer the question because my definition of prequel, the A-to-Y definition, I hope it's not. I hope that this movie can be surprising. The ending of this movie; the sequel to Prometheus is not Alien. The sequel to Prometheus, if it does well and people like it, would be another movie that goes off in its own direction, that runs tangential to Alien.
Prometheus follows a group of scientists and explorers Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth Shaw, Idris Elba as Janek, Michael Fassbender as David,Charlize Theron as Meredith Vickers, Sean Harris as Fifield, Rafe Spall as Milburn, Logan Marshall-Green as Charlie Holloway that head to a distant planet in search of the answers to mankind's origins.