‘Prometheus’ Deleted Scene Explains Snake-Petting Biologist

Published 3 years ago by , Updated October 3rd, 2012 at 7:34 am,

Prometheus Deleted Scenes Biologist Prometheus Deleted Scene Explains Snake Petting Biologist

Prometheus remains one of the most divisive and discussed films of the year – with good reason. A somewhat mish-mashed combination of heady sci-fi themes and common horror movie tropes, Ridley Scott’s Alien-spinoff film left viewers with as many plothole questions as it did philosophical ones.

There is hope among some that the Prometheus deleted and extended scenes included on the Blu-ray release will help fill in some of the gaps viewers may have had when trying to make sense of the film, or its connection to Alien. While we’ve already touched on some of the extras we’ll be seeing (and what gaps they will/will not fill), today’s never-been-seen clip certainly comes with a hint of purpose behind it.

One of the most criticized, mocked, meme’d and laughed-at moments in Prometheus comes when a biologist named Millburn (Rafe Spall) meets a gruesome gastro-intestinal end after (hilariously, idiotically) trying to pet an alien snake that rises up out of some ominous black goo. That moment played so resoundingly badly in the film that it won Millburn a Screen Rant Summer Movie Award for “Most Idiotic Character.” However, as detailed in the deleted scene above, poor, mocked Millburn had his ending foreshadowed much better in a previous cut of the film.

What was so strange about Millburn’s alien snake petting antics in the film we all saw (besides the obvious danger) was that it seemed so at odds with the character’s prior attitude of apprehension – even when it came to touching  the corpses of the engineer alien. Going from scaredy cat to alien animal adopter in the span of minutes was a pretty contradictory transition.




Here, though, we see that Millburn’s love of animals (be they alien or otherwise) is established much earlier on – foreshadowing the same curiosity and compassion that would later be his undoing, while also better cluing us in to the effect of the black goo, which takes the sort of harmless animal Millburn captures in this deleted scene, and mutates it into the fearsome thing that kills him later.

Knowing that this scene was left on the cutting room floor, one has to wonder just what Ridley Scott and editor Pietro Scalia were doing in post-production? This small moment would’ve brought much more logic, impact and all-around sense to one of the first big kills in the movie; now that we’re aware of this missed connection, one has to wonder, how many more are there just like it… Maybe some of the hate that writer Damon Lindelof took after this movie’s release needs to be rescinded (not that it will, or anything).

Prometheus will be on Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy on October 9, 2012.

Source: MSN

TAGS: Prometheus
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. The more I watch the film the less something like this bothers me. People who are incredibly bright are still imperfect and make mistakes. The perfect analogy I can conjur up for this scene is naturalist Steve Irwin. Irwin was excellent at whate he did, he handled and worked with so many deadly creatures all his life and one freak occurence killed him. He shared the same enthusiasm when working with wildlife that the Millburn character does in the film, often exclaiming things like, “Oh! What a beautiful animal!” It’s unfortunate that there are so many people criticizing an amazing Alien origin story for scenes like this. There is so much more to Prometheus and it is easily my favorite film of 2012. It exceeded my expectations for it, where as “The Dark Knight Rises” did not even meet them.

    • “The perfect analogy I can conjur up for this scene is naturalist Steve Irwin”

      Except thats a terrible analogy.

      1. Irwin was a TV show stuunt nut who was beiing paid to act like a fool in front of the camera,
      most legitimate biologists are not.

      and 2.
      Steve Irwin played around with admittadly dangerous creatures, THAT HE WAS FAMILIAR WITH. And with a backup team present to save his arse if he got himself bit again.

      I dont think even kookoo steve Irwin is stupid enough to attempt to stroke a hissing and obviously hostile alien creature that has never been discovered before while far away from any medical attention.

      I’m sorry buddy, but this movie still stinks and makes no sense!

      • I’ll never understand the premise that a stupid character, or even just a stupid move by a character, automatically makes for a stupid movie.

        I believe the genre you’re into is known as Competence Porn.

        You need to be able to project yourself into a character’s motivations for some of this to work. If that’s not your cup of tea, a lot of movies will fail you. I can imagine this kind of mistake being made in irrational scenarios (encounter on an alien world..)

        There also may have been a hiring mistake in the backstory here. Its not like the xeno-bio job posting was necessarily precedented

    • Bad analogy. First, Irwin was still taking a risk every time he provoked an animal, and the law of averages caught up with him. Second, he was already familiar with the animals he encountered, and he knew full well what they were capable of and what he could get away with. Third, any biologist would have immediately compared the alien’s upright posture to the aggressive posture of a cobra. Obviously everyone in the audience recognized it, and the filmmakers must have intended for us to recognize it as well. So to have the one person in the crew who should have known better than anyone not to provoke an animal that resembled an angry cobra is inexplicable.

  2. Honestly, I didn’t get bothered by this moment. People get irked too much by simple things in movies. Do they understand that it was in the script? The director wanted the audience to say, “No, don’t fool with it!”, just like any movie where someone does something irrational.

    Movies like this are supposed to be suspenseful. Although I expected it to be longer and elaborate more on the “Alien” subplot, it was still a great movie in its own way. Only people who went in looking for plot holes and are always looking to critique something first, rather than enjoy it as entertainment, will be dissatisfied. A great mystery is supposed to leave you with even more mystery. It’s not supposed to be some crappy “Exorcist” or “Halloween” prequel/origins where there’s blood spilled at every corner.

    Now, while it is a vastly different movie than that of “The Avengers” or “The Dark Knight Rises”, I enjoyed it alot more than the former. The bubblegum hunor and a villain that every hero just mauls throughout the movie just doesn’t do it for me. Batman was more cerebral. It’s apples and oranges.

    • “The director wanted the audience to say, “No, don’t fool with it!”, just like any movie where someone does something irrational. ”

      I’m sure thats clever enough to thrill the mind of a 13 year old.

      Who’s never seen a decent movie before.

      But anybody with any taste or common sense is saying “No, this is a really stupid movie!”, just like any syfy channel original programming that caters to the low expectations of ADD fanboy’s.

  3. This clip doesnt help. Who the hell touches a snake

    • Your mother

  4. I thought the deleted scene with Idris Elba talking about how he witnessed the accident at the research facility on Earth explained what seemed like a huge leap in logic of how he suddenly knew the alien ship was a weapons factory.

  5. Uh, nope.

    Finding another different sized worm doesn’t doesn’t explain anything.

    It doesn’t explain were that worm went.

    It doesn’t explain how a worm got into a sealed chamber.

    (How often do you see someone walking around with a live worm stuck to the bottom of their shoe?!)

    It doesn’t explain why he’s pulling that worm out of a pool of black goo.

    And still doesn’t explain trying to pet a hissing hostile creature 10X that size that you’ve never seen before.

    Unless your just going to lay everything at the foot of an encompassing theory of universal stupidity.

    Everybody is actually stupid.

    Cosmic stupidity goo.

    Although I do suspect that that is exactly what lindelof thinks of his audience.
    And he is correct.

    Anyone who considers lindelofs gibberish intelligent is a stupid person.

    Luckily its only a cult of stupidity and not all of us.

    • The worms were already in the soil. This was showcased quite clearly. Once the team entered the room, the containers got activated enter the black goo and it contaminated/mutated the worms, bringing them to “snake” form.

      I couldn’t resist setting you straight due to how you rant about stupidity.

      The irony was too great.

    • AMEN

    • So do we need an explanation of this entire man’s life? The entire evolutionary history? Does the Blu-Ray have to include the worm’s entire genome code? The scientists’ social security number?

      I really don’t get why everyone is asking all of these nitpicky questions. Alien never explained who the space jockey was or where the alien came from, but nobody complained. People acted like complete dimwits in both Alien and Aliens, but nobody complained. Why is everyone determined to jump on this one?!

      • Because Alien doesn’t sell itself as anything other than a horror film. Prometheus consciously wants to ask BIG questions, but not only does it not have answers to them, it doesn’t even know how to ask them without being clunky about it. Pseudo-intellectual gibberish that can only excite schoolchildren on a physics field trip.

      • because it’s not the original, like some people mindlessly attack Star wars episodes I-III, they’re poor movies but not as bad as the internet makes them out to be

  6. Main point is, I don’t think they had any idea what they’d encounter up there.

    Didn’t think it was a genius movie, but I enjoyed it.

    Nobody explained to me why Benjamin Button could grow young, but that didn’t bother me.
    Hell, the main character of Prometheus didn’t know what was going on, why would we?

  7. I’m digging the deleted scenes – but I have to admit: I’m in the minority. I enjoyed the movie. It had issues (and I agree that the Millburn scene was a “WHAT? YOU IDIOT!” moment), but overall I enjoyed myself, and was happy to see it. And the issues I had I was able to use as discussion afterwards – and the fact that we are discussing this means that regardless of your opinion, you were moved (to either love it, like it or hate it) which is more than I can say for most flicks. And no – if I like it, it doesn’t mean I’m an idiot (which some people on here seem to enjoy proclaiming); it means I have an opinion different from yours. Hopefully Scott will be a little better w/ his editing next time. And yes, I am a fan of both him and Lindelof…

  8. I have watched Prometheus a number of times but still come to the conclusion that the film is ordinary run of the mill science fiction fare made out to be something its not! The biologist and geologist are two dunce characters I wouldn’t have on a 300 dollar expedition let alone a trillion dollar one!

    The Biologist touches a creature he believes is harmless forgetting two creatures can look similar but, one is harmless the other deadly! There are plenty of examples of this here on Earth let alone on an Alien planet!

    The Geologist is unluckily killed by the acid blood of the snake creature but his antics in the corridor about not wanting to see giant Aliens and then stomping off beggars belief!! Your employed to work in space on Alien planets so what were you expecting to see? , the smurfs??

    ! Then there’s Peter Weyland who asks the Alien Pilot to make him young again so he can stiff his Daughter out of her inheritance because he wanted a son and had to settle for a machine facsimile !
    What did he think the Alien was going to do?? This meeting is on a par with the idiot biologist’s act of stupidity in believing the snake in the chamber was harmless. Did he think the Alien was some sort of saint sent by God to bless him? He has been a sleep for 2000 years ,is woken up by
    small creatures asking for a favor and is pissed off! Whats hard to understand about that?
    Idiot creatures spend two years in space to ask unknown Aliens for a
    favor without considering they may not be benevolent towards us!

    A story must convince you to go along for the ride and suspend your disbelief if necessary but in the case of Prometheus, it does neither.

    • I agree with everything you just said, and you only named a few of the things real scientest would never do on Earth, let alone in space or on an alien world that are in this movie.

      • You must have remarkable insight into the motivations and behaviors of all human beings.

        Or is it just scientists.. either way, outstanding!

  9. Finding the worm and the shedded skin earlier did nothing to explain why he touched the larger worm. They knew something had killed the engineers so any creature encountered was potentially dangerous. There’s no way anyone with half a brain would’ve gone near it.

    Regarding the comment by, “I hope this is the end now!”, Weyland believed that the Engineers were the creators of humans and that the maps they had left were so that humans could find them. There was no reason for him to suspect that they’d want to kill him and even if he did appreciate the possibility of danger, he was dying anyway and desperate for a cure.

    The thing that bothered me the most was the crew’s repeated disregard for quarantine – taking off the helmets, bringing the head inside and not having it behind a barrier, etc. I still liked the film, though.

  10. @ Ash,
    I can appreciate your comment about Weyland but it smacks of typical human arrogance (dying or not) to expect an Alien life form whose life has been in stasis for 2000 years to automatically bestow regeneration on him
    The film subtext is about relationships and the reason Weyland is secretly on the expedition besides wanting to live longer is because he has no human son to leave his empire to only a daughter who he does not consider worthy!
    The fact the on the earlier video Weyland states that David is the closest thing he will ever come to having a son is an indication that
    while he is successful in business you wouldn’t want to be in his company any longer than you had to!

    The upshot of this trillion dollar adventure is more money should have been spent on hiring people who were competent at there job and so renders this story hard to accept!

    “In Space ,Idiots make you scream!”

  11. I actually really enjoyed the movie. Even when it was over and I had about 10 serious questions. The fact that I STILL google the movie plot to get speculative answers says a lot. To me at least. I also know that a lot of these questions were left un answered for a sequel. So I’ll just have to wait.
    One big question:
    How does the alien go from total organic alien at end of this flic to bio-organice xenomorph in original Alien movies? ANDDD supposedly the original bio mech alien was on a mural in THIS movie. I gotta go back and look for it.

    Anyway. not the BEST movie but I really did like it and it was very thought provoking.

  12. I actually really enjoyed the movie. Even when it was over and I had about 10 serious questions. The fact that I STILL google the movie plot to get speculative answers says a lot. To me at least. I also know that a lot of these questions were left un answered for a sequel. So I’ll just have to wait.
    One big question:
    How does the alien go from total organic alien at end of this flic to bio-mechanical xenomorph in original Alien movies? ANDDD supposedly the original bio mech alien was on a mural in THIS movie. I gotta go back and look for it.

    Anyway. not the BEST movie but I really did like it and it was very thought provoking.

  13. In the original script, Milburn and Fifield still get lost in the temple/hive (*whatever you refer to it as) and end up in the chamber with the big head statue. The difference is, Fifield spots one of the hammerhead worm things and picks it up and starts taunting and teasing Milburn (*the two characters were originally written much differently than how they ended up in the final film) with it and it attacks Milburn and wraps itself around his arm; the rest of the scene plays out like it did in the theatrical version.

    It’s worth noting also that the original script provided a very reasonable explanation as to how the two got lost to begin with.

  14. They both should have been seen getting stoned, before the snake encounter. That could have made some of his daring actions abit more logical.

  15. Okay, will someone please explain how, with all the technical junk the crew has, no one on the ship even notices Milburn and Fifield have separated from the rest, let alone not come back to the ship before the rest arrive? Why do they not try to contact Milburn and Fifield to ask them what’s up? Why doesn’t these technically advanced and exotic suits have monitors so at least the ship’s crew, if not the expedition members, could see where they were at all times? Heck, even the Marines in Alien 2 had monitors that showed their position constantly on a tactical display!

    • Er, Aliens is set about 150 years later, and they do contact the ship – but there’s a big storm remember? You HAVE seen it, yes?

  16. You need this explained to you? Ever watch Stever Irwin?

  17. These posts are hilarious! So many alien fans just tearing this movie apart. The movie was not that bad, and to compare it to a sci fy original…REALLY? Thats garbage and we all know it. The effects alone make this movie worth seeing. But to latch onto one far fetched scene just to hate the movie is ridiculous. The original aliens are so bad compared to this movie the only reason you are such fanboys is because it came out when you were young. Your generation sounds like a bunch of nit picky pansies who critique other people’s work, work you could never do yourselves. Its no wonder todays parents are so terrible.

    • You say that as if this is the ONLY instance of filmmakers ignoring logic, both scientific as well as emotional. This was touted as a cerebral, thought-provoking version of Alien, and instead it contained many of the same old idiotic tropes and cliches that are used in movie after movie after movie after movie. One of which is, “character sticks his hand in a place where the audience knows it doesn’t belong”. Maybe filmmakers think that this creates tension, but after so many repeated depictions, it just makes us roll our eyes.

      • Who touted all that, exactly? I don’t recall the promos making such bold claims

        How much of that, on introspection, amounts to expectations you formed in your own mind (in collusion with swarms of internet analyists)?

  18. I have watched all of the unfortunately deleted scenes in Prometheus and find it very frustrating as these scenes really do round out the story – without them the movie is unnecessarily confusing. What is it with directors and deleting scenes that help to tell the story? Are they too close to see how important they are?

  19. Unfortunately, if it wasn’t in the theater, that’s the first and sometimess only impression one can hope for. I can give the movie props for looking for good, but what they left on the editing room floor, well I underrate the movie on its characterization and presentation and if done for pacing/time constraints . . imo that was a poor decision as it led into more audience conflict that could have been eliminated from the get go.