June 2012’s Prometheus was Ridley Scott’s return to the sci-fi universe of his original Alien and a particularly divisive summer blockbuster. The prequel (of sorts) grossed over $400 million worldwide on a budget of around $130 million, which wasn’t the massive success 20th Century Fox was hoping for, but enough to justify a sequel.

Ridley Scott’s involvement seemed beyond question – his Scott Free banner was going to be involved, even if Scott ended up producing. Considering Prometheus’ story was the subject of great debate surrounding the film, a big question was whether or not Damon Lindelof – the Lost alumnus who heavily rewrote Jon Spaihts’ original script – would be returning.

Though we’ve known for a while that Lindelof was probably not returning, now we know who might be replacing him: Jack Paglen, the screenwriter whose original sci-fi project Transcendence will be The Dark Knight Rises cinematographer Wally Pfister’s directorial debut, is in talks to pen the as-yet-untitled Prometheus sequel. While Paglen is currently “in talks” to officially join the project, The Wrap believes negotiations will “quickly lead to a deal.”

This is quite a coup for Paglen, whose script for Transcendence reached the 2012 Black List. While the plot details for that movie are being kept under wraps, hiring an up-and-coming writer with a high profile, A-list sci-fi project solidly in development is a clear sign that Fox wants this sequel to go forward.

While we thought Prometheus was pretty excellent, with a host of deep, dark themes running through it which a summer blockbuster crowd usually is not expecting (exploring the nature of evolution, the cycle of destruction and creation, the unknowable nature of God), it definitely had its detractors. Damon Lindelof received a large share of the “blame,” given the immutable fact (pointed out by legendary screenwriter William Goldman) that when Americans go to the movies, they want answers to questions, not more questions. The movie’s wide-open ending and almost perfunctory attempt to connect it to the main through-line of the original Alien series left plenty of question marks.

One thing that was almost universally agreed upon: Ridley Scott’s sure-handed direction was the high point of Prometheus. It seems hard to believe, but that film was Scott’s first foray into science fiction since 1982’s Blade Runner. Scott’s return to the genre he helped define for an entire generation was a big selling point for Prometheus and the fact that he has yet to officially sign on as director of the sequel should give fans pause.

Still, it really does all start on the page. As we’ve pointed out, the filmmakers could’ve easily streamlined the connections between Prometheus and Alien, strengthening the potential for continuing the franchise, which had devolved into a series of uninspired alien-slasher flicks. Injecting some fresh blood into this project might prove to be the best bet, and with the talent drawn to Transcendence (director Pfister, stars Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman and Kate Mara), Paglen might be the mind needed to close some of the gaps in the narrative.

Stay tuned for more details about Prometheus 2.

Source: The Wrap