‘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
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  1. It hard to figure out the justification of deleting a one minute scene

    • If they did use it then they would have to go back to that worm thing that they brought back to the ship. They can’t just take it back with them and then never show it again so I’m guessing that by taking this part out it just made things easier

      • Well, the guy who collected that worm never made it back to the ship anyway, so I imagine that “can of worms” never opened.

    • They should call the theatrical version, Prometheus: Paul W.S. Anderson Edition.

  2. That scene bugged me for awhile. At least it was just editing and not writing by itself.

  3. Lindelof’s problem was the idiotic exposition/text dump Idris Elba’s captain gives mid-movie. Worst scene by far.

  4. Strange for them to cut that, it really does make a lot more sense. Hopefully we’ll get another “Kingdom of Heaven” directors cut of the film.

  5. It’d be very sad to have to say the Directors cut was a good film while the theatrical cut was awful. I can’t imagine all the problems with the film being solved with scenes from the cutting room floor – and if that is the case what the hell ere they thinking?

  6. Ohhh can’t wait to see what other deleted scenes there’ll be. This is why there needs to be a director’s cut. This scene alone improves the movie by at least 5% :)

  7. Why would you cut a one-minute scene? And one that changes a person’s perspective of the character and the film itself?

  8. I really really want a directors cut. So then there will never be one for prometheus?

  9. Still doesn’t really explain why he would want to pet a much bigger one that behaves like a king cobra…

    • Exactly. This changes nothing, and in fact makes the character look like even more of a grade A card-carrying muppet for scrabbling around in unknown muck to actually pick up and handle an unknown organism, regardless of size.

      • Do any of you guys notice the protective suit that he’s wearing? He was feeling safe to do so, that’s why.

        • Then more fool he in my opinion. Even small creatures on Earth can secrete corrosive enzymes; here he’s dealing with an alien lifeform living in an alien substance on an alien world. Besides, looking at it the other way, even if he somehow knew it was 100% benign, who’s to say he wouldn’t have damaged or killed it by removing it from its environment and handling it like that?

          • Yeah, but I’m pretty sure none of those enzymes are strong enough to eat throught a suit that was made to withstand the possibly corrosive atmosphere of alien planets. He had no reason to believe that they had that strong acid as blood/attack mechanism, because that’s a very unlikely scenario (also see the first attempt to cut off the facehugger in Alien for reference).

            Also, most biologists don’t care if they kill a specimen by removing it from its environment. In fact, in many cases some of the first steps of studying a new species are capturing it, killing it and dissecting it.

            • You’re not wrong there, but I’d still say the number one protocol for any biologist encountering life on a planet or moon that isn’t Earth, and so may not be following accepted physiology or behaviour, would be not to assume anything!

                • Hello, time traveler. Please give us a few more details about the protective suits of 2093. You seem to be very familiar with the types of fabrics and layers that they use and what they can and can’t protect its wearer from. At any rate you seem to know more about them than Milburn, who seemed pretty comfortable with the situation before it went wrong. 😉

                  • Um.. yah. You’re right. The suits were made to handle every “known” condition and threat. My bad. How stupid of me to assume the form fitting non hardened suits that could be melted with a flame thrower would be vulnerable to punctures.

                    “who seemed pretty comfortable with the situation before it went wrong…” Perfect hindsight reasoning in the “We’re gonna need a bigger boat” line of thought.

                    • Fire and punctures are two very different things and have nothing to with each other. But yeah, we can assume that a suit that is supposed to be used for the exploration of alien planets and possibly rough terrain has some kind of puncture proofing to prevent damage to the suit from sharp rocks and crystals that you would come into contact with on such a mission.

                    • Fire and punctures are different… fire is the first thing you proof any protective suit from. Your original beef with one cat was that the suit would be proof against some foreign creatures body fluids, so he didn’t have a reason to fear it, but know you’re saying “fire is a different matter.”

                      Cool. LOL. glad the thing didn’t spit fire then.

                    • There is no more reply button below your latest post, so I used this one. 😉

                      Yes, fire is a different matter, in that it is a completely different force than penetration with sharp objects, with completely different characteristics. Sometimes things can protect from one thing pretty well, while they are not very good for others. Take kevlar vests, for example. They stop speeding bullets, but you can still get stabbed trough them with a knife. Besides, when Vickers torched the guy his helmet was open and she blasted him to the face, which killed him. If I recall correctly we didn’t see what the fire did to the actual suit, so that would be irrelevant for the scene in question. We talk about Millburn approaching an animal and not a volcano.

                      The only threats that he had to expect in that situation, judging by his experience and by taking the similar evolutionary development into account (remember the giant human head in that chamber?), were mechanical and biochemical attacks and certainly not fire. And by the character’s behavior we have to assume that Millburn was fully aware of the capabilities of his suit and that he was sure that it would protect him while approaching a creature like that. Otherwise he wouldn’t have done it.

                      That he was wrong is bad luck, but neither plot hole nor bad writing.

                    • Looks like the SC rant guys are tired of our rant and thus have tried to throw a wrench in the convo via deleting the reply button. Alas, adapt and overcome.

                      All I gots’ta say man is that your last reply proved my point. Your original post was that the suit would basically be proof from anything, thus he felt safe to pet the strange thing.

                    • No, that wasn’t my point. My point was that the character Millburn assumed that his suit would keep him safe in that particular situation that everybody goes nuts about, and that assumption was the reason why he did what he did.

                      Furthermore I never said that the suit would protect them from everything. I said that it was supposed to protect explorers from the typical problems that they would encounter on alien planets: i.e. rocky terrain (sharp or pointy objects) and corrosive atmospheres (chemicals or poisons). Both of which would be the only dangers that one would have to expect from an animal. You brought up the fire, not me. It was never part of my original argument and is of complete inconsequence for the scene in question. I would appreciate if you didn’t twist my words. Neither on purpose nor by incomprehension, thank you very much.

  10. I thought for sure you were going so tell us the deleted scene included Millburn sampling some of the geologists “wacky tabacky,” and that would justify his goofy attempt at trying to pet the creepy vagina snake.

  11. Writing mistake or editing mistake isn’t an excuse. The final product was still a huge let down. The theatrical version is the only one that counts. Dark Knight Rises or Prometheus isn’t going to magically get better on blue ray….

    • In the words of one Frank Abagnale, I concur.

      • Hahaha, i love that scene in Catch Me If You Can, “Do you concur?”, brilliant.

    • Who’s talking about The Dark Knight Rises? I thought this was a Prometheus article and there won’t be a director’s cut for TDKR anyway

      • Ten points for not spotting what he was saying, which is that neither film are good, nor will they be ‘fixed’ by a director’s cut.

    • “The Dark Knight Rises” was great in the theatrical release…it doesn’t need a Director’s cut. THIS might have benefitted from some polishing…

  12. blade runner did

    • Well, even the original theatrical release, despite the voice-over by Ford, which neither he nor Ridley wanted to include in the first place, was still a great film.

      Ridley’s tweaks have just improved it.

      The same can’t be said for Prometheus, any editing changes to include scene’s like this would vastly improve it.

      But I’ve gone beyond caring with this film, even if they put scene’s like this back in to show that character’s weren’t complete idiots, they still are idiots who deserved their fate.

      Even as the film was, if the character’s had had any depth whatsoever, if you could have liked them at least, quite frankly I didn’t feel anything for any of them. It was the films biggest failing, and it had a few.

  13. Gooch you are correct there :)

  14. i guess i’m in the monority but i thought the movie was great as is. i also did not need to have everything spoonfed to me though…i was quite capable of figuring out the connection to Alien without Ridley Scott giving a powerpoint presentation at the end of the film. I figured the biologist got high with the other scientist…that was good enough for me.

    • Glad to see I am not the only one that may have been thrown off by the scene, but rolled with it regardless.

    • I too loved the movie. I thought it was great!

    • Perhaps ‘moronity’ would have been a more appropriate typo.

      • Sooooo…are saying we are morons because we liked it?

      • Sorry, that’s what happens when you type on an iphone quickly. Great little play on words though at my expense…i’m sure your friends all high-fived you when you posted it!

    • I thought the spoonfeeding PowerPoint presentation was at the beginning of the film… 😉

    • I loved this movie too.

  15. Hes the anti-indiana jones.
    “I love snakes. Especially alien vagina snakes”

  16. So that’s the way the studio has chosen to sucker people into buying the Blu-Ray? “Hey, you know all of those nagging, unanswered questions and nonsensical plot holes that completely ruined this movie when you paid $15 to see it in the theater? Well, if you just shell out $30 more, you’ll get some deleted scenes that may or may not flesh it out and tie up the loose ends. So, will this be cash or charge?”

    Please. Sir Ridley and that smirking little twit Linedelof aren’t getting any more of my money. Not after what they pulled…

    • Why are you blaming Linedelof for how the movie was edited? I guess Kofi was right… :(

      • How about that this is just one example, and clearly the editor cannot be to blame for it all. Also Lindelof wrote it in the first place, and quite frankly I STILL don’t think it makes any sense for him to approach it so confidently moments after crapping his pants. The film will likely remain one of the most disappointing to ever have had high hopes attached to it, for many a year on my part. I’d warrant that will also be the case for the vast majority of discerning movie goers.

        • Well the fact is that this scene shows Lindelof did indeed write a scene that explained the biologist’s actions, showing his curiosity and interest in finding live organisms, which was one of the most criticized moments in the movie. That should take away at least one gripe people have against Lindelof. And really, there’s a ton more deleted scenes so who knows how much more can be explained once they’re revealed. I think people should keep an open mind at least.

          • Just how much slack are you going to cut this guy? He’s a biologist, we get it, he’s interested in new life forms. The scene STILL doesn’t work either way you cut it. It merely, and that’s a big ‘merely’ lessens just how bad it is.

            • For the sake of wanting to enjoy the movie I’d easily cut him some slack.

        • Well the vast majority of people I have spoken to enjoyed this film very much.

          Anyway, I am not sure why the biologist scene is getting so much flack. His reaction and Kane’s are almost identical, yet I never heard any griping about why Kane walked straight up to an “alien” egg that clearly had movement and stuck his face in front of it.

  17. What I see here is purposeful forced DEMAND for an extended version of Prometheus. This is all about making money, nothing else at all.

  18. Ridley Scott is the king of Director’s cuts. JUST YOU WAIT… JUST YOU WAIT

  19. This didn’t bother me too much. One of the underlying themes of the movie was humanity’s blind optimism and curiosity. This idiotic moment WAS idiotic and for a specific reason: to illustrate just how friggin’ dumb we all are. Same thing for the scene where everyone takes off their helmets. Blind optimism/curiosity.

    • Still waiting to watch that Colonel Kurtz prequel show religiously?

  20. After watching the scene, I still think he’s a giant idiot for petting a king cobra alien, what the hell.

  21. So it wasn’t the actor being play idiotic…it was the director/editor who being idiots to cut that off.

  22. Um.. being an animal lover still doesn’t explain petting a Newly discovered, strange snakelike alien creature.
    I love dogs, but I’m sure as hell not gonna pet a strange dog on the street!
    Still an epic FAIL no matter how you spin it.

  23. Looks like the video link was dynamic and the deleted scene was replaced by some video from a stupid reality TV show.

  24. Now they just have to explain everything else and this movie will become a true classic of science fiction.

  25. Well in defense of ‘Prometheus’ a lot of things are left to the imagination. we see several instances of irrational acts. The scientists doing stupid stuff, getting lost despite having advanced mapping equipment, getting chummy with totally alien creatures, taking off safety gear with only the vaguest of environmental analysis, and running in what appears to be straight lines away from falling objects that intuition should’ve immediately kept them from doing. However in my estimation and experience even the best trained are very capable of making stupid mistakes. I’ve seen fire fighters who are trained to put out fires jump into action with the totally wrong response given the situation and skilled workers make careless assumptions despite strong evidence to contradict those assumptions. Face it some if not most of these characters were inexperienced, bumbling, and scared sh**less at various places in the story. Scott was willing to show that and rely on you to pick it up.

    The problem is we’ve seen so many stories where calm rationality and highly trained, talented people are the only ones allowed to inhabit our Fictional stage. Is that really how things are though? Science Fiction operates under the premise that what’s shown should in principle be interpretable empirically and rationally and the pattern of occurrences must be verisimilar. Now, when things fly in the face of that, people get the strong impression that the person playing with the structure, is well, use your own adjective to describe it…

    • @ Old Man,

      brother, if that’s the soda you have to drink to swallow that bitter pill…
      Me, I’m taking the flick at face value and wishing I could get that Thirty something dollars back.

    • Great post. You could say the same thing in ANY situation where people are unprepared…they panic. People do not think rationally when they panic. Why did so many people just watch the tsunamai in Thailand come at them instead of fleeing to higher ground or a shelter? The human mind cannot comprehend the unimaginable sometimes…I would say the whole day that guy spent on the planet was pretty unimaginable to him. Not everyone is John McClain with a witty remark and perfect solution to a problem…at least not in real life

      I assumed that either the biologist was either a) higher than a kite or b) mentally and physically exhausted from searching for a way out of the temple on an alien planet, causing him to do not think clearly before acting.

      • I’ve got to agree with my2cents here, I really can’t even believe the convoluted explanations you come up with to try and justify the hilariously bad writing.

        This movie isn’t meant as a commentary on the fragility of the human mind. Since the scientists are hand picked to go on an intergalactic space mission we must assume they’re pretty capable professionals. @Lord Bloodraven how does assuming he was high make it anymore plausible? Why would they send such a buffoon half way round the galaxy?!

        A film should earn your admiration, once you start apologising for it by inventing absurd explanations for all it’s lazy plot devices you really need to just admit the film sucked and you gave it a free pass because you creamed your pants over the trailer.

      • I’ve got to agree with my2cents here, I really can’t even believe the convoluted explanations you come up with to try and justify the hilariously bad writing.

        This movie isn’t meant as a commentary on the fragility of the human mind. Since the scientists are hand picked to go on an intergalactic space mission we must assume they’re pretty capable professionals. @Lord Bloodraven how does assuming he was high make it anymore plausible? Why would they send such a buffoon half way round the galaxy?!
        A film should earn your admiration, once you start apologising for it by inventing absurd explanations for all it’s lazy plot devices you really need to just admit the film sucked and you gave it a free pass because you creamed your pants over the trailer.

      • I’ve got to agree with my2cents here, I really can’t even believe the convoluted explanations you come up with to try and justify the hilariously bad writing.
        This movie isn’t meant as a commentary on the fragility of the human mind. Since the scientists are hand picked to go on an intergalactic space mission we must assume they’re pretty capable professionals. @Lord Bloodraven how does assuming he was high make it anymore plausible? Why would they send such a buffoon half way round the galaxy?!
        A film should earn your admiration, once you start apologising for it by inventing absurd explanations for all it’s lazy plot devices you really need to just admit the film sucked and you gave it a free pass because you creamed your pants over the trailer.

        • Apologies for the multi post. Piece of s*** iPhone!

        • Wow and I thought I was pretty cynical about the movie industry. I still stand by my experiences.

          ” Why would they send such a buffoon half way round the galaxy?!”

          Because he had a high IQ and came with good credentials. Perhaps the venture was under some pressure to get on with the mission as well. The funder was dieing after all.

          Knew a guy way smarter than me who passed by a big control panel every day that had a button with a warning above it saying “Do Not Push.” Well one day his curiosity got the best of him and he pushed it.. Took the whole complex down. People in meetings in the building got upset. More meetings were held over it. Someone got in trouble! You know what? The person who did that got put in a situation where he had to recover power and get out of the mess he got himself into and he learned something few knew because no one else was willing to take that risk. Sometimes even the smartest will do that. You want a high profile equivalent to what happened in the movie? Just consider the Shuttle Challenger explosion. A room full of talented, experienced, highly qualified people who were bitterly divided about whether to launch a high profile expensive ship full of highly talented dedicated Astronauts and one civilian teacher.

          All I’m saying is if you live long enough and you’re lucky enough to have a rich enough life experience, You’re going to hear and see some truly crazy crap and it will all be true…

  26. I had my own theory worked out about this guy. At a young age he had a beautiful pet snake given to him by his father. When his parents divorced his father, without saying anything, took the snake never to be seen again. All young Millburn wanted was to pet the snake just one more time…I mean it was kind of obvious that that’s what happened..

  27. maybe its just easier to say that Ridley scott doesnt understand character development & depth as we’d like to believe. Or maybe its too easy for director to get lost in his own movie that he overlooks the details