Ridley Scott Refused ‘Prometheus’ Director’s Cut; Original Script Details Revealed

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Prometheus Directors Cut Refused Original Script Ridley Scott Refused Prometheus Directors Cut; Original Script Details Revealed

It seems enough time has passed to discuss Ridley Scott’s Alien quasi-prequel Prometheus without sending fans and critics into a frenzy. There’s no question the film left more questions unanswered than the most loyal Alien fans had hoped, but Ridley Scott hasn’t apologized for telling the story he chose to.

Scott is apparently so committed to Prometheus remaining as is that he outright refused to assemble a ‘Director’s Cut,’ despite Fox’s request. Although not everyone had issues with the story Prometheus told, a few new details from the original script hint at what direction the film was originally going to take.

We’ve previously posed our own opinions on how a few simple changes to Prometheus would have made the film a true Alien prequel, and delivered on the promises that its marketing arguably made. Though the connection between Alien and Prometheus is apparent on a broader level, the upcoming Blu-ray being advertised with the tagline that ‘Questions Will Be Answered‘ suggests that even those behind the film are conceding that too many elements were left unclear.

During a press event for the Blu-ray and DVD release of Prometheus (hat tip to BleedingCool for coverage), the question of a possible Prometheus: Director’s Cut was posed to Charles De Lauzirika, who headed up the production of the release’s ‘making of’ segments. De Lauzirika replied that Fox had requested Scott create an extended cut incorporating the more than 30 minutes of deleted scenes back into the film, which the director refused. His reasoning: he had made the film he wanted to, and all cut content was left out for a reason.

Prometheus Ridley Scott Charlize Theron Ridley Scott Refused Prometheus Directors Cut; Original Script Details Revealed

The deleted or extended scenes we’ve gotten our hands on have helped flesh out characters and themes, so Scott’s refusal is sure to aggravate some fans. But if Scott had freedom to make Prometheus as he saw fit, then perhaps his most devoted fans should be the ones resisting a Director’s Cut, as the pressure appears to be coming from Fox directly (think of all the ‘definitive edition’ sales!).

Prometheus may have been conceived as a direct prequel, but Scott maintains that “there’s no real link” tying the character(s) from one to the other, although the upcoming sequel could be burdened with that responsibility. The DVD and Blu-ray may offer a clearer picture of how the original script of Prometheus would have made the link evident.

In an interview with Empire, original screenwriter Jon Spaihts explained what portions of his script had been cut, and which were modified when Damon Lindelof (Lost) joined production. One of the film’s most memorable sequences was apparently what earned Spaihts the job in the first place: the medpod scene.

“One of the things I realised was that we hadn’t seen anyone survive a classic Alien chest bursting. And I was really intrigued by the notion that a character might be infected by the parasite and know that it was coming, know they had a timeframe of a few hours, and that we would have set up previously a nearly omnipotent medical device, designed to extend life for explorers in foreign places. Our heroine would have a short time to get to the machine and extract the thing inside her. It was a very gory sequence and it plays out very much like the sequence in the film. The main difference is in choreography. At the end of the sequence as I first conceived it, the heroine manages to get the creature extracted from her and it is expelled from the pod and she’s sealed inside, whereas in the final film it goes the other way [...] She sees the thing growing in the cabin outside and even killing people. So by the time she emerges from the pod eight hours later, the thing is abroad in the ship and big enough to be a huge danger.”

Prometheus Noomi Rapace Ridley Scott Refused Prometheus Directors Cut; Original Script Details Revealed

A total lack of Xenomorphs in what is ostensibly an Alien movie was a nagging issue among fans, but oddly enough, Spaihts claims “a lot of that push came from the studio very high up” in an effort to make something fresh, not “one more franchise film.” It’s not every day that a studio urges filmmakers to not repeat the formula or characters from a successful franchise, so perhaps it’s worth re-examining the film in the light of Scott’s commitment to what was cut and kept, and Fox’s wish to make something unbound from canon.

What do you fans of Prometheus think? Did Fox do the right thing by honoring Ridley Scott’s vision? Even without a Director’s Cut, the Blu-ray and DVD come with five hours of behind-the-scenes insights and interviews. That’s more than enough time for Scott and company to explain the ambiguity.

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Prometheus is available on Blu-ray and DVD as of today, October 9, 2012.

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Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: BleedingCool, Empire

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TAGS: alien, prometheus

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  1. Prometheus was good but a Director’s Cut would be appareciated.

    • The Guys over at weylandinvestors are doing a Directors cut or something similar with all the deleted scenes ! Could be interesting I guess !

    • I agree on both counts – the film WAS good and a Director’s Cut WOULD be appreciated. I really do not go along with the idea that this was not enough of a prequel and that it did not provide enough answers. Before this film we had no idea who or what the space jockey was and how he and his ship crashed on that moon. Now we can certainly postulate a good theory – I don’t think it really needs to be spelt out letter for letter!

      Love it or not, we just don’t get Sci-Fi of this quality anymore, and I’m really glad Prometheus was made – it was beautiful to look at, challenging intellectually and it DID provide us with the ability to construct educated theories about what came before and after.

      BK’s original review was pretty much spot-on for me. I don’t get the desperate need for painting-by-numbers answers that people seem to crave.

      • I have to thank you, so here it is: Thank you. Great statement.

      • +!, this is so true!

      • Agree

  2. I liked the film, even though it wasn’t great. So I think a Director’s Cut would be awesome.

  3. They could just make an extended cut. I loved how the alien quadrilogy had an alternative cut for each movie and I was hoping they would continue this trend.

    Only two were directors cuts (the first two) with the others being extended / assembly cuts. I guess it doesn’t make a difference from Ridleys point of view as he probably wants his edit to stay definitive. Still, there’s hope for some fan to do it themselves once all the deleted scenes are made available.

  4. Well with the idea of a possible sequel. Maybe he’s afraid it would ruin or contradict his plans for prometheus 2. I think it would be better to wait and see if anything is coming next. It left it with a cliffhanger, and i want to see more story.

  5. I feel like all the answers are already there in the movie, and there are some that i’m sure will be answered in future sequels. That said, i wouldn’t mind seeing a directors cut, but only if Ridley actually wanted to do it.

  6. Prometheus was much worse than all the Alien vs Predator films combined. Ridley should have asked Cameron for some pointers seeing he has no idea what he was doing. Cameron made a better film than him, the difference saying he understood the story more and was able to bring new life to it. With Ridley coming back to the franchise everything was doomed to begin with, I think we could have guessed Ridley was going to bring some new age crap into the franchise similar to what Disney did with Tron Legacy. He should followed the original formula but instead steered off into many new directions and wild ideas that have never been referenced or referred too adding the confusion of what movie your watching when it’s clearly also trying to be an Aliens movie at once. Alien vs Predator did a better job on recreating the actual film creature itself and the actions it causes. Prometheus was just another terribly slow and boring Sci-Fi flick, I think most of the trailers instantly gave away the plot line. Asides having a good cast even the script couldn’t save it.

    • I quite literally disagree with every single point you make and believe the opposite is true! Still, that’s what’s so great about everyone having an opinion right?

    • I’m amazed at how vehemently I disagree with everytnig you’ve posted on this site, that I’ve read.

      • Sorry, not you Wayne. I mean J.S.

  7. This all sounds like hype to me. Fox doesn’t need a director to cut the movie. If they want to add the scenes back in, just do it. It can be called the extended special edition and then they can call the theatrical version the director’s cut. -Since that is apparently exactly what it is.

  8. i think all movies should at some stage get a DC version either in theatres or on dvd (not just bluray). it will allow viewers to truly experience the movie the way the director intended it to be viewed and in most cases give us more insight on characters etc (like in avengers).

  9. Watched the DVD today, this film is more awesome and I have caught things I missed in the theater!

  10. More awesome than the first time I watched it!

    • I thought it was great, but I am very glad I did not see it in cinemas.

      On my first watch I re-watched the opening scene like 3 times, and only made it halfway through, time permitting. The next night I started again from the beginning and got probably two-thirds the way through. But the third night I started from halfway, huzzah, and finally got it finished. Gave me plenty of time to ponder, that’s for sure.

      No doubt I would have hated it at the cinema.

  11. Prometheus answered more questions than people realize.

    A sequel will have audiences exclaiming, “Oh, so that’s why”

    • Questions such as…?

  12. Prometheus is pure sci-fi, some people just don’t get it, I loved this film, I saw it twice in the theatre but I thought after the second time it all seemed to come together, yes it’s odd at times but for it’s one of the those films where you also have to think for yourself, and what I find funny is that for a film that is supposedly rubbish, it’s has to be one of the most talked about movies of the year! I hope they leave it as it is, then expand on the next one, IMO Prometheus is a Sci-Fi masterpiece.

    • People sometimes talk a lot about huge, miserable failures and massive disappointments. That’s people thinking for themselves, as you say, instead of deciding to “just chill” as you also say.

  13. Just watched on blu-ray, even better than the theater viewing. I wish people would chill. This was a great movie the way Sir Ridley Scott intended is fine by me. It’s not like he’s Lucas for God’s sake! I’d rather see a sequal or two that tie into Alien rather than the tie in be in the first prequal. Carry on Sir Ridley Scott! I for one love Prometheus. Traces of Alien DNA yes sir!

    • By gum, by golly, a lot of people aren’t George Lucas.

  14. I suspect that Ridley Scott refused a directors cut because the studio probably didn’t allow him to do what he wanted from the beginning. His thought process is probably “F– you and why should I do it all over again when I could’ve done it the way I wanted from the start.”

    • You’ve missed the point – the film, as released, IS his directors cut. He refused to do an “extended edition”, or a RE-cut. He has earned the right to have “final cut” on all his films – it IS the way he wanted from the start.

  15. I think it’s funny how many arguments for Prometheus being a crap film involve there not being answers to the questions it raises. I’m pretty sure that the whole point of the film was that there ARE no answers to satisfy mankind… only death for those whose reach exceeds their grasp.

    I’m pretty sure that anyone who knows the legend of Prometheus, which this film is not-so-subtly named after, would have caught on to this. Seriously… people gripe about the guy petting the alien-snake. The real logic fail was Weyland naming his ship that.

    • I firmly agree. Though I will continue to gripe about the snake.

  16. Love it, like it or hate the film….Ridley Scott was satisfied with what went in the theatrical cut. Maybe it had to deal in terms of pace. But what baffles me is that the “fans” response is that they’d rather see that 30 minutes back into the film. There is no guarantee that the addition would be for better or for worse.

    Even James Cameron didn’t put back “all” the deleted scenes back in his DC cut of Aliens. Also, if it wasn’t for a deleted scene in ‘Alien’, ‘Aliens’ would have been much different.

    • Actually, James Cameron said the extended cut of Aliens is the film he wanted to show, but the studios wanted it shorter. It’s actually stated in the introduction of the Aliens Quadriology Set.

  17. Why not? He’s already released 17.958 cuts of Blade Runner. Refusal to admit his cut was…frustrating?

  18. Sorry but could someone explain me what’s the difference between director’s cut and releasing it without the director’s cut. And without the director’s cut will it still have the 30 minutes of deleted scenes?

    • A Director’s Cut usually is the version of a film that the director (Ridley Scott in this case) intended. But sometimes the studio dictates changes to the theatrical release for different reasons. Maybe a film is too long and cutting it shorter allows for more showings per day in the theaters. Or it’s too violent/raunchy and gets cut down to achieve a lower rating for a broader audience. There might be other reasons, but these two are the most common, and of course making more money is the goal of these.

      When that happens a home release on DVD/Blu-ray often sees a Director’s Cut with the restored vision of the director. That’s because the ratings and the length of the movie aren’t much of a concern anymore on the home video market and because it openes up new audiences (more money!).

      In this case, however, it seems like the theatrical cut is also the Director’s Cut, so according to Ridley Scott there is no need to release a different version. That means that the deleted scenes are on the disc as bonus material, but that they are not incorporated into the movie. You need to watch them separately.

      • Well said.

      • Yes, well said. But you forgot that some directors have also earned the right to “final cut” – that is, they’ve established that they can make good films, and have a clause written into their contract that says that they can release their films as they see fit, and don’t have to listen to what the studio dictates.
        I believe Nolan had final cut on Inception, for example. Terry Gilliam did NOT have final cut on the theatrical release of Brazil – and the studio butchered it.

        • Indeed, and then of course there are Extended-Editions such as LOTR – a whole other ball game really, where both theatrical and extended editions essentially were the director’s cut, tailored toward the different mediums, with the director and studio seeing eye to eye.

        • I didn’t forget it, I just didn’t know. ;)

          Thanks for that info.

  19. “in an effort to make something fresh, not “one more franchise film.” THEN WHY CALL IT A PREQUEL IDIOTS!!!!!! they could just say its in the same universe as alien but nothing todo with it , Prometheus was good , good acting nice action but it let me down it was overhyped and i expected more !

  20. I loved this movie, and I loved how so much was unanswered, it’s been long overdue that we get that actual feeling like REAL space exploration is. I also love how the movie was one way and one tiny thing led to the entire Alien franchise. Except #4 and AVP. Those don’t exist to me. Terrible.

    I hope they make a sequel, if possible. Just don’t let it be ruined like the latter of the Alien franchise. We certainly don’t need an engineer vs. Predator movie………………….. Predator sucks. Plain and simple.

  21. To be honest, the deleted scenes add very little and embarrass the ‘Engineer’ even more by allowing him to speak (Jason Statham talking in a made up language, minus the cockney). It was never the ideas that bothered me, or the death of Christ allegories, or the references to mythological Gods, or the spurious connection to Alien (I didn’t need the early version of the Xenomorph) but the utterly generic execution of it all. Towards the end, it became a contest to see essentially who the dumbest character in the movie was. That was why the movie was such a let down for myself. No one will ever have the right to deny Ridley’s place in the list of all time great Directors. He is (or should that be was?) also a master of construction and architecture. I see none of the latter in Prometheus.

    It’s a genuine shame, because the ideas presented in the movie are genuinely worth debating.

  22. I hope the sequel just goes weirder and pushes a few limits and isn’t just a link piece to tie up loose ends. I’d like about half an hour more material than in the first film as there may not be so much need to justify the characters in the environment as they have already been setup. Anyway I’m hoping it will be more expansive as an origins story for the enginners and the xenomorphs. Ridley promised more and he needs to deliver what he promised.

  23. it’s all rubbish, this version will be released, everyone will buy it, then a few months down the line a directors cut will be released

  24. Aren’t they making two more films? They can answer the questions with them. Scott’s a good director, and if he is happy with this film, as is, then we have to trust his vision and wait for the remaining films.

  25. Didn’t really like Prometheus… and wanted to like it so bad.

    I’d love to see a director’s cut for that reason… Director cuts usually end up being better than the theatrical cuts (at least the ones I’ve seen).

  26. I’d like a translation of what David and the last Engineer said to each other (including the full 2 pages of dialogue Lindelof alluded to). David is the key to everything. He knew way more than everyone thought he did, including Weyland.

  27. Loved it, allusions were part of the charm.

    Going in knowing a few things made it thoroughly enjoyable, in particular, hearing how Ridley Scott was not a fan of how 2, 3, and 4 kept rehashing the xenomorphs and how he saw them as just a piece of a much larger puzzle and couldn’t understand the continued fixation with them.

    My main gripe was the ‘petting the snake’ scene, and imho, the scene that was cut which apparently helped explain it indicates some pretty poor quality control? What were they thinking?!

    Besides that, no real need for a director’s cut, just get to the sequel already!

  28. Here’s a twist…

    When you get the DVD… Watch all of the Deleted scenes FIRST! Then the movie… ~Stark

  29. People want a better movie not a directors cut. Prometheus was very disappointing and then people started demanding a directors cut to “fix” it. People just need to live with it, especially the small vocal majority. Directors cut will explain nothing, you got pretty much all the deleted scenes on the bluray, they added nothing, so what is going to be in this hypothetical directors cut ? Hours of landscapes of Island ?

    • Better!? You mean beaten into this dead thing called workmanship or craftsmanship? It’s art not a gizmo you surf the net on, it’s suppose to be the vision of the artist. Like I said years ago, if Ridley explains the Space Jockey he should replace the mystery with even greater mysteries and questions and he’s done that. Life often gives with one hand while taking with the other. I know it’s depressing but it’s our lot in life. Besides, some things just aren’t for everybody. Maybe Ridley can’t stand something most take for granted, like a good hot Pastrami on Rye with some whole grain Mustard and a Pickle on the side…

      • Sorry what you wrote makes little sense. Why do people want a directors cut again ? Ridley never explained the Space Jockey, he totally reconned it, Space Jockeys are 15 feet tall not 7 ft. I don’t want answers, i want a film that is not filled with rampant stupidity. Prometheus offers nothing, it’s just a origin story to a franchise nothing more.

        People don’t want a directors cut to spoon feed them, they want a directors cut that makes it less of a flawed film. If fans are happy with Prometheus then why are they so vocal about a directors cut ? Should they not be content with what they got already ?