Director Ridley Scott’s prequel/spinoff to his revered 1979 sci-fi/horror film Alien, titled Prometheus, split hardcore Alien series fans in 2012… and continues to do so at the time of writing this, three years after the film’s initial release. A Prometheus sequel was confirmed to be in development shortly after the movie was released in theaters, but has yet to start production; meanwhile, Scott has kept himself busy by directing three additional films, including the space adventure The Martian (opening this fall).
Scott has now confirmed what we’ve heard from multiple sources in recent weeks: that Prometheus 2 is his next movie and, by the look of it, should enter principal photography by the first half of 2016.
Empire interviewed Scott and The Martian star Matt Damon about their fast-approaching film, when Scott confirmed that Prometheus 2 is his next project. Here is the relevant excerpt from that report:
They faced another challenge when the film’s release date was brought forward. But according to Damon, the typically fast-working Scott didn’t worry. “Ridley was done with the movie about two weeks after we shot!” he smiles. “I was already on to my next movie!” adds Scott. “I was starting to look for locations for my next movie, which is Prometheus 2.” Back to space so soon?
Prometheus concluded on a note that saw the human scientist Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and damaged, but still functional, android David (Michael Fassbender) taking off to locate the home world of the Engineers – the extraterrestrials that was responsible for creating the human race – in the hope of learning more about who the Engineers are, and why they attempted to wipe out life on Earth. As such, the sequel will use different real-world shooting locations than its predecessor (in order to create the Engineers’ planet), in combination with the expected sound stage filming and use of practical sets that have always been a key element of Scott’s filmography.
Damon Lindelof, who penned the Prometheus screenplay based on the Alien: Engineers script draft by Jon Spaihts, was not involved with writing the sequel; instead, Jake Paglen (Transcendence) wrote the initial Prometheus 2 script draft, before Michael Green (Green Lantern) re-wrote Paglen’s script work. While their combined track record is spotty, the combination of Paglen and Green (arguably) could turn out well for the Prometheus sequel; Paglen is someone who should bring intriguingly speculative sci-fi concepts to the table (resembling those in the first Prometheus), thus allowing Green to focus more on ensuring the film has better developed characters and a more satisfying narrative structure than either Prometheus or Transcendence possessed.
The science-fiction genre is where Scott’s passion lies right now (by his own admission), which likewise bodes well for his efforts as director on the Prometheus sequel. Furthermore, now that the number of main characters has been significantly reduced compared to the original installment – and the narrative trajectory having put the film on course to be all the more disconnected from previous Alien sequels – that should allow Prometheus 2 to focus on the most interesting elements of its predecessor (without any pretense that it’s still serving as a quasi-Alien prologue).
Of course, the Prometheus sequel might even introduce some new ideas that lay the foundation for what Neill Blomkamp has in mind, with his developing Alien 5 project…
Prometheus 2 should begin filming in the first half of 2016; we’ll let you know when it gets an official release date.