Rumor Patrol: Damon Lindelof Rewriting Alien Prequel

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 11th, 2013 at 3:52 am,

Whether you were a fan or not of the way Lost ended (for the record, I’m in the “loved it” camp), you can’t deny the sheer scope and depth that the show had throughout its six-year run. One of those people who was right there from the inception to “The End” was Lost writer and executive producer, Damon Lindelof.

Lindelof has already made the jump from TV to movies with the Jon Favreau-directed Cowboys & Aliens and he’s currently writing the sequel to the Star Trek reboot alongside Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (they also co-wrote Cowboys & Aliens with him). However, Lindelof may be adding another Alien film to his credits.

According to unnamed sources that Deadline has, Lindelof has closed a deal to rewrite the script for the upcoming Alien prequel(s). Director Ridley Scott recently spoke about the prequels, saying that they would take place long before the first Alien (reportedly 30 years before), focusing specifically on “The Space Jockey” scene (shown below) that made a brief appearance in Scott’s original 1979 film.

alien movie still Rumor Patrol: Damon Lindelof Rewriting Alien Prequel

That suggests that although it’s tied to the Alien story we know, the prequel can very much exist as its own entity. And if reports are to be believed, that’s what will happen with Lindelof on board. However, those hoping for the story to tie-in very closely with the Alien mythology we already know, might end up being disappointed as meetings between Lindelof, Scott and the studio apparently sparked a “[interpretation] that could well turn out to be a free-standing science fiction film.”

Does that mean they’ve now found a totally new direction and are trying to distance themselves from the original Alien to play to a wider audience? If so I think that would be a flat-out mistake. They already have a loyal and loving fan base, particularly for the original film (and its arguably superior sequel, Aliens) so they need to play into that. I know this isn’t a reboot, it’s a prequel, but they can’t just ignore what’s been established already.

Having said that, they also can’t afford to pander to fans of the original as they still need to make this prequel appealing and understandable to an audience who may not have seen the original. In the same way as J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot, as well as the recent Predators reboot/sequel, they need to simultaneously stay true to the original but still kick open new doors.

Star Trek Predators Rumor Patrol: Damon Lindelof Rewriting Alien Prequel

Can they do to Alien what they did to Star Trek and Predators?

The script for the Alien prequel was originally written by Jon Spaihts (Passengers), a script that convinced Scott to return as director instead of just producing the film. Lindelof rewriting doesn’t necessarily mean Spaihts’ script was bad but it may simply mean that they just want it refined by a more experienced (not to mention enthusiastic) writer. Lindelof is said to have jumped at the chance to rewrite the prequel because the original Alien was such a big influence on him.

Just as a reminder: For now treat this is a RUMOR until it gets proven true or false from an official source (read: the studio).

Would Lindelof be a good fit? I personally think so – and I’m not biased because of how much of a Lost fan I am (although I can’t deny that adds to my approval). Remember, Lindelof is co-handling the script for two major blockbusters, Cowboys & Aliens and Star Trek 2. I really don’t think he would have been trusted with such projects if he weren’t any good at the (sci-fi) genre.

Although nothing’s official, it’s been speculated that the first Alien prequel will be released in 3D and regular theaters in late 2011, with the second prequel following in 2012.

Source: Deadline

TAGS: Alien, Lost
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  1. It doesn’t matter who they get to write the film. I’m not gonna watch them ruin the alien. They could have James Cameron direct, and I still won’t waste my money on this prequel.

    Seriously, there’s a reason prequels suck. The Star Wars prequels ruined Vader by turning him into a whiney B*****, and the weapon X program was done wasn’t as intense in XO:W as it shown in Singer’s films. Hollywood needs to learn that less is more. The less we know about a character, the more impact it has.

  2. how bout a star trek /aliens crossover?

    • Don’t blame the concept of prequels, the star wars prequels and wolverine were bad because they were bad films. I do agree less is more, hopefully that’s what they’re fine tuning.

  3. i think they should just not make a prequel to Alien, i promise yo that they are going to ruin the movie and the franchise

  4. Nonsense. After the steaming pile that Alien 3 turned out to be, Alien Resurrection was GREAT. There’s no reason that THE ORIGINAL CREATOR of the franchise can’t revisit it and make a very good film. Potentially the best science fiction film of this century so far.

    • To each their own. I though AR was complete trash.

      @” There’s no reason that THE ORIGINAL CREATOR of the franchise can’t revisit it and make a very good film.”

      George Lucas (ORIGINAL CREATOR of Star Wars) came back to direct the prequels, and look how they turned out. Spielberge (ORIGINAL CREATOR of Indy) directed Indy 4, and look how that turned. Just b/c the Scott is bakc on board doesn’t mean swuat. Ridley Scott IMO has made anything good since ‘Alien’. Bladerunner (IMO) has to be one of the most over-rated films to date.

  5. Wow I’ve totally misunderstood this whole effort to bring this property back to life. I was under the impression that Scott himself had something to contribute to the story, that after all these years he’s given the whole subject some thought. Perhaps had conversations with O’Bannon before he died about it, and maybe even Shusett on what he thought about it. Now It’s like a bomb, a rewrite and it’s not even Scott’s material! Did he have any part in writing it?? What, has the guy went broke over the years and he’s forced to actually work now? Is that the only reason he’s doing this? If this is just for a payday, I’m not interested in this. Who could be, it would be a tragic sellout! Someone say it’s not true. Someone call, write, cajole do what ever is necessary to get Scott in front of a camera and explain to us what he hopes to tell us that is worth telling, and exactly why he’s not writing it! I think I need to go lie down now this isn’t shaping up to be a very good day…

  6. Well, seeing that the Alien franchise has been used and abused I think that a prequel to the original horror is the only thing they can do. There is plenty of material regarding the “space jockey” to make it better. Especially in 3D! The only problem is that “Alien” is so perfect. We’ve seen the beast now we are ready to enter it’s hellish alien world! The prequel has to be a compliment to the original and for sure Mr Scott would want the prequel to be as mind blowing/ psychosis inducing as the first. As a fan I don’t care how many writers they get to work out the story and characters. As long as they get it right and avoid the hokey and unbelievable. Just like the cosmonaut “space jockey”, I am wired in and ready to travel beyond the speed of light. Intravenously fed dribbles of geek frenzied information and piloting with that giant telescopic internet looking for spoilers. For sure it’s design and imagery is to be looked forward to; but will it all fit together like a nano-fractal!? With this opportunity… Will this movie be one of the greatest Sci-fi horrors of all time? I just hope that they are aiming for that!

  7. “Will this movie be one of the greatest Sci-fi horrors of all time?”

    You know what they say about too many cooks?!

    Actually one of the best tricks in writing an epic novel is to only describe enough of what your writing about that you engage the readers imagination to fill in the rest of the details to suit each and every individual. So the story becomes allot like a recipe for an experienced cook. IMHO the only way this can equal or exceed the first one is that it will have to have a scene that equals the space Jockey, as well as ask more questions than it answers. You must replace the old mystery with a greater one. That’s how reality is. Ever step in understanding Atomic Physics, for example, has only led to greater mystery.

  8. As a fan, I have the burning desire to know if the Xenomorphs are an accidental discovery by the Space Jockeys/Humans or somehow connected to the Space Jockeys. If they are connected I would expect that the Surreal aspect of that connection to be kept while actually experiencing that universe as far deep the rabbit hole will take it. I imagine that connection a symbiosis of sorts. A symbiosis that is the result or application of the technology that the Space Jockeys have. Maybe the space jockey is also apart of that technology? Looking at the ship itself, it is piloted and apart of the space jockey. All lines converge at its seat/cockpit, that is a long journey space faring environment and a telescopic control apparatus. Maybe even mind controlled? A technology that is designed to travel great distances and speeds, while preserving it’s precious cargo over a great span of time. This makes me question if the Beacon is a warning or a threat. IMHO that there is more to the ship that can be explored and that the Space Jockeys are Not Friendly! Do they have other kinds of ships or environments that us poor humans should not want to explore!? What other kinds of devices and tools they might have? Do they have a hierarchy and religion? Or are they straight from hell? How would they view and treat humans if they were to meet? Would they dissect us or join us with their deity-ies? So many questions!

  9. You can appeal to more people if you only dwell on those transcendent aspects of the story in brief iconic moments. Otherwise you invite those who doubt to scoff. They must not be able to hold the entire concept in other words. It’s what ruined “The Matrix,” writing sequels that quantified and showed everything. Reducing it to kitsch is the danger…

  10. Well I wouldn’t mind a twist, a nice lemon twist that even Night Shyamanlan would be jealous of. Something at least to turn our moral compass around. Perhaps today it is cliche’ to be cliche’? To have one movie in two movies is very bold. I wonder if those two movies will be done at the same time or at least started? Not be just a marketing gimmick. I hope Fox is having tea at mouses house about that burdensome kitsch and not try turning what was Alien into poo!.