20th Century Fox executives announced plans for a Prometheus sequel a couple months after Ridley Scott’s polarizing Alien spinoff/prequel opened in theaters – before then Scott and co-writer Damon Lindelof had spoken openly about where the followup will go story-wise – but progress has slowed in the time since then, what with Lindelof passing to focus his “single-minded” creativity on a separate project (rather than heading back to the Alien-verse right away).
Noomi Rapace (who played Elizabeth Shaw in Prometheus) recently confirmed that she had met with Scott about the followup, saying the filmmaker and a currently-anonymous writer (writers?) are hard at work putting the story together. If a hot-and-fresh rumor is to be believed, then this particular endeavor is proving to be much more difficult than anticipated.
Here is the word straight from the lion’s mouth (in this case, Bloody Disgusting):
Sources close to the sequel have told Bloody Disgusting that the studio and Scott are literally “freaking out” over how to continue the story of Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), and are taking pitches from basically anyone who can crack the story*. While a sequel is nearly inevitable, it definitely puts it in flux, and in a state of jeopardy.
*We expect everyone surrounding the project to deny this story. That’s standard procedure. Don’t believe ‘em.
Two weeks ago, reports emerged about the relentlessly busy Scott mobilizing pre-production on the Moses flick Exodus, so that filming can get underway before this year draws to a close. The filmmaker is known for juggling multiple projects at once – case in point: he’s not finished with post-production on The Counselor just yet – but it sounds as though he’s taking steps to keep busy, rather than waiting to see if the Prometheus sequel comes together in the near future.
However, just because the next Prometheus installment is taking longer to cook than expected, that doesn’t mean Fox and Scott are in full-blown panic mode. Lindelof voiced similar doubts, when /Film asked him on Twitter about what his take on the situation is:
@germainlussier I don't believe Ridley Scott has ever freaked out in his life.— Damon Lindelof (@DamonLindelof) March 27, 2013
Thereafter, Lindelof sent /Film a direct response, addressing the claim in the aforementioned BD report about him skipping on the Prometheus followup being part of the problem – as he played an important role in re-spinning Jon Spaihts’ Alien: Engineers prequel script to serve as the basis for a new movie trilogy (and has now left Fox and Scott “in the dust” to continue the story on their own).
Here is an excerpt from Lindelof’s statement:
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.