After [PROMETHEUS] came out and discussions began about a possible sequel, I was already neck deep in writing and producing TOMORROWLAND with Brad Bird. I have found, unfortunately, that if I take on too many projects at one time, there is a higher probability of those projects sucking. And contrary to popular belief, I do not want anything I work on to suck… The conclusion was obvious — In the best interest of the franchise, it was best to take myself out of the running before I had to suffer the embarrassment of potentially not even being offered it.
… As to whether Ridley and Fox are “freaking out” about me not working on a sequel, well that’s news to me. I retain awesome relationships with both. More importantly, the idea that there aren’t many, MANY writers out there capable of taking the reins is sort of ridiculous. I did not map out a trilogy and then walk when the going got tough. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know me and doesn’t know the truth
If that’s not enough food-for-thought: BD eventually updated its original report with the following excerpt, from an interview Empire conducted with Spaihts, where the screenwriter revealed an Alien prequel trilogy was planned well before Lindelof got involved with the project:
“I did have a plan for multiple films and the conversations I had with Ridley was about a new franchise, from the beginning. We talked about a possible trilogy, or a duology, but more often as a trilogy. And I did have pretty broad notions as to how we were going to get from this world to the original Alien – the baton pass, closing the circle, if you will. So yes, I did have plans for two other films. I came up with an even more twisted sequence than the Medpod, but I cannot tell you what happens…”
So, at the end of the day, what can we say for certain about this situation? Well, it’s obvious that a Prometheus sequel isn’t moving forward as quickly as either Fox studio heads and/or Scott probably wanted, but NOT because a followup (or two) was never part of the original plan. The holdup, it seems, has more to do with figuring out the exact details, since the final minutes of Prometheus left the door wide open for some kind of additional chapter.
The project seems destined to reach the light of day – since Fox surely wants to capitalize on Prometheus‘ $403 million worldwide gross and continued ability to fuel passionate debates – so there’s no reason that fans ought to start freaking out (regardless of whether or not the people working on the sequel are).
Stay tuned for more information on the Prometheus sequel as it becomes available.