Prometheus 2: The Future of the Alien Franchise
When Prometheus was released in the summer of 2012 fans and critics had high hopes for what this film would bring to the beloved Alien franchise.
Questions of the origin of the Alien, who the Space Jockeys were and the events that occurred on Planet LV-426 prior to the first Alien film filled internet dashboards and YouTube videos.
After seeing the film I personally had nothing to say. This was the first time after seeing a film I was quiet and felt no need to discuss the events which I’d just seen. I didn’t know what to say.
Was I disappointed? At the time no.
Was I overly excited? Not sure.
With the film itself, I was confused. I didn’t know what to make of it. Prometheus brought some new ideas and creatures into this beloved universe, but at the same time it threw various unfulfilled plot-lines and confusion towards me. A large amount of it was the lack of chemistry and interaction between cast members and the audience. Strong characters were created, yes, but not enough interaction occurred where the audience could develop a strong connection to them. An additional observation of mine: many questions were left open-ended.
After viewing this film in theaters, numerous times might I add, I got my hands on the original script for Prometheus, (The original draft was titled Alien: Engineers, crafted by screenplay writer John Spaihts). This script consisted of a dark tone the original Alien film had and brought new life to this franchise.
The script not only brought a familiar tone to the film, it also brought unanswered questions to light that have been circulating for years among fans, including new forms of the beloved Xenomorph (the Alien itself). This script was strong, it wasn’t perfect, no script is. A few minor fixes here and there would have made Alien: Engineers (The title Prometheus suits it better) a great movie. The greatest part would have been the fact of this story line was a planned out for future installments.
The Alien franchise itself is a perfect example of what to do/what not to do with a film series. The earlier films, Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986), branched out the franchise with strong storytelling and memorable characters. These films also introduced new ways of creating special effects for the film industry; the illusion of what a viewer claimed to have seen compared to what was actually there.
Alien 3 (1992) and Alien Resurrection (1997) were a step down from the first two films mainly for the reason of productions errors and mixed decisions on how to continue the film series. Killing off important characters and creating plots that deteriorated the main story line led to negative reactions from the critics and the fan base. With these and spin off films such as Alien vs Predator (2004 & 2007), the Alien franchise became diluted and lost.
Prometheus (2012) was a step back into the right direction by bringing back Director Sir Ridley Scott (who directed the first Alien film) and to focus on the origins of the Space Jockey. The film was originally supposed to be a direct prequel to the first Alien film. This prequel would continue further with sequels focusing on the prequel story. After choices made by the 20th Century Fox, Sir Ridley Scott and new screenwriter Damon Lindelof, the idea of a direct prequel slowly faded; the focus of creating a film with a different story but took place in the same universe as the Alien series began to grow.
The film was a financial success but caused controversy with fans and received mixed reviews from critics. The main mixed reviews were focused on major plot holes with the film, lack of character development and bringing questions to play that were never answered. A large reaction from the fans was the fact of the film being marketed as an direct Alien prequel. This led to confusion with fans and critics of what this film was supposed to be.
With the announcement of a Prometheus sequel being released in theaters March 2016, fans and critics are looking forward to seeing which direction this new installment will go.
Below are basic suggestions of how to strengthen the story line of Prometheus and to bridge a solid connection recognizable to fans and critics to the original Alien films.
1. Bring Yutani into play
Prometheus takes place before the merge of the Weyland and Yutani Corporations. To bring Yutani into play the Yutani Corporation somehow needs to get to Planet LV-223 (the planet Prometheus took place on). One idea could be that one of the workers on the Prometheus-Weyland expedition was also a spy for Yutani. From there the spy could have given the mapping system to Yutani prior to Weyland reaching the Planet of LV-223. They would arrive a few weeks later to discover the aftermath of the Prometheus crashing and would also have to encounter the Deacon Alien seen at the end of Prometheus. This would also be a great introductory for Yutani to discover what else lies on the Planet of LV-223.
To bring new ideas and subject matter, Yutani should have an android of their own. Perhaps the first of its kind that is brought on this expedition; it doesn’t have to be “perfect” as David was. This android can have a few glitches which can resonate into the story and the risk the safety of these new characters.
2. Hint upon the origin of the Xenomorph (Alien), but do not divulge
Keep the mysterious factor. Show different Aliens that would eventually evolve into the one from the original film but don’t show the actual Alien itself. Present more creatures as we saw in Prometheus and use DNA from the Alien: Engineers script. This would be a great moment to introduce new types of Aliens to the franchise. Revamp the horror tone that terrified audiences back in 1979 when Alien was released.
3. Cast Interaction
Cast interaction towards each other and the audience is vital for a film. Introducing characters and letting their stories play out helps the audience develop a connection with them. An error with Prometheus was a majority of the characters were not properly introduced. Their screen time only mattered when the characters fell to their demise. More time is needed for these characters to interact with others around them and the situations they face.
Alien had a slow start purposely for the audience to become familiar with the characters. The characters had small interactions to show they were real people and had enough screen time to prepare the audience for the events that were to unfold.
4. Shaw and David’s travel to the Engineer’s home world/David Threat
Shaw and David’s travel to the Engineer home world needs to be an adventure within itself. This would be a precise moment for Shaw and David to become more acquainted with each other and discuss the possibilities of what they are about to uncover. Discussing the events of Prometheus would help develop the characters and that these Engineers are not all what they seem.
Include the possibility of David as a threat in this sequel. David created some of the incidents in the Prometheus and is now seen as a threat to Shaw. Having more encounters with David and showing what his intentions is a great story arc that will come into play if Shaw is in danger.
5. More discovery of what went loose on the Planet LV-223 and killed all those engineers
The tomb seen in Prometheus was never unveiled, only mentioned to be a tomb. Returning to the tomb and unlocking it would be a great discovery. Yutani could be the ones that unlock this tomb and perhaps unleash something far beyond the likes we’ve seen before.
The discovery of what piled up all the dead Engineers in the Prometheus would help set the horror tone factor. Even if the creature has been dead for a while, it can still bring tension on the screen. If the Yutani crew discovers this dead/alive creature it also brings up the fact that there’s a high possibility that more than one was created. This would work well if the Yutani crew unlocked more holograms in the Engineer space ship to see the full story of what went wrong and seeing what creatures were released upon the Engineers.
6. Shaw and David accidentally bring a threat to Engineer home world
The threat of an alien life form existing on the ship Shaw and David are currently flying to the Engineer home world is a high possibility. The Engineer ship that crashed in Prometheus carried thousands of silver canisters which held a Black Liquid which David previously infected Dr. Holloway (Shaw’s lover and work partner) with.
The effects of the black liquid deteriorate complex organism cells which eventually leads to death, as seen with Dr. Holloway. While simple organism exposed to the black liquid are mutated as seen in Prometheus. Small planetary worms were mutated into the Hammerpede creatures that killed a member of the Prometheus crew.
With this put into perspective, Shaw and David could be on a ship with thousands of those silver canisters. Another possibility is that each Engineer ship on LV-223 had different shipments in their cargo hold. From this another assumption can be made that something entirely different we’ve never seen is in the ship’s cargo hold.
7. No Alien Queen
The Alien Queen as seen in Aliens and Alien Resurrection would not be a desired choice to put in the new film due to the story already taking place. The Queen is the breeder for the original Alien species. For the new creatures shown in Prometheus, it was specified that the Alien Queen has no direct connection to these new creatures and would only bring plot holes within this new story line.
Bringing in a new creature that shares similar DNA with the Alien Queen would help bring a more appropriate approach to this film. A new creature could help introduce the concept of different sex organisms as seen with humans which could further lead into small connections to creatures from the original Alien films.
8. Fixing plot holes from first film and don’t repeat simple mistakes
A main focus for the upcoming sequel is to take safety measures Prometheus did not. This new film should show a professional crew handling somewhat similar situations the first crew faced in Prometheus. If this new crew was mainly military yet had a small group of expeditionary members, this could help bring the concept of how precautions are handled.
Alien encounters could be handled with proper technology and quarantine items; also weapons brought on the expedition for safety. A good mix of military power against scientific researchers could help create an inner conflict with the crew. This could lead into acceptable errors of judgment that were made by indirect communication. Yutani’s potential role in the next film could fill this plot hole.
These are only a few of many ideas that could take place upon the Prometheus Sequel story line. With this new film being released, fans and critics alike can possibly look forward to a film that will bring back the original tone of the first two Alien films and also bring new memorable movie moments for film viewers to appreciate in years to come.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
I feel like what people wanted was a new story that wasn’t as “Alien-y”. A story about the origins of human-kind and evolution on Earth. Not all these half-assed attempts at tying in the Alien franchise.
Hopefully it won’t be as convoluted as the first. It the only movie where afterwards I had to go online to understand plot points. Not to mention how stupid some of the characters were
A lot of criticism about this on the net. I don’t really understand why people call the film out for leaving questions unanswered, the entire premise of the film is where did we come from/why are we here? You’re not going to tie all that up nicely in 2 hours, hence the sequel. Scott would not be attached to this sequel and would not of got involved with the project in the first place if he didn’t have faith in the story, I have faith in him as a director. The idea that the writers best known credit is the Green Lantern is obviously quite worrying, but let’s wait until we see/hear more about this project before jumping to conclusions.
Prometheus wasn’t a movie for everybody. The problem with most moviegoers now is that they expect to get all the answers from a movie. They want to be spoon fed and not have to come up with their own theories and possibilities for the either plot holes or the storylines that are left to be explored in future films. I loved Prometheus because I don’t like having every single answer presented to me on a platter. The movie opened up massive existential questions and a lot of other dilemmas that Scott has gone on record many times to explain would be touched upon in a sequel, but even if a sequel wasn’t happening, I love being able to come up with my own answers and theories about things and talk with my friends about it to hear theirs. I’m not saying that people who like all the answers upfront have something wrong with them, but Prometheus wasn’t really made for them.
Was it as good as Alien or Aliens? Not even close. Was it as bad as Alien 3 or Alien: Resurrection? Not even close again. It was a very middle of the road film that had a rabid fan base to please who expected a true prequel to Alien when Scott was more interested in exploring other ideas hence why the film went through a rewrite to distance itself from those aspects. In my opinion the original script was far better and nailed the tone everyone was wanting but what we got wasn’t a bad movie by any means. There are a few dumb moments in there sure but concepts at play and the doors it opened are fairly interesting. This clearly isn’t a movie that is meant to stand on its own as it is part of a much larger story.
You sound like a very reasonable and conciliatory person.
Man I was hoping the sequel to Prometheus would be out sooner than 2016. I would actually prefer a Bladerunner remake with Hugh Jackman as Deckard.
I don’t think they’re making a Blade Runner remake. Ridley Scott is discussing a sequel to Blade Runner with Harrison Ford hopefully returning.
That was a good read. I hope we start to see the links between Prometheus and the Alien franchise a bit more in the next one.
Definitely liked Prometheus but I couldn’t help feeling lost when the curtains closed on the movie. As you said I wasn’t disappointed but I wasn’t really excited either. It left me wondering what I had just watched and how to make sense of it. Even after multiple viewings I’m still left feeling there’s a major piece missing. Hopefully the sequel can bring exactly that.
I recommend reading the original script, Alien:Engineers. It’s a direct Alien prequel but a fun read.
Also I’m hoping with the sequel that it makes certain elements in the Alien franchise connected as I stated above. Not ruining anything from the first two Alien films but giving nods to certain elements.
While there are some interesting ideas you bring to the mix, I’ve lost hope in seeing anything good come out of this franchise. Prometheus’ problems lay in the storytelling, and Ridley Scott just can’t seem to tell a good story anymore – how did he manage to screw up The Counsellor? As long as he’s attached to the franchise I’m sure that the films will look beautiful but lack that key ingredient of humanity a good science fiction film needs.
Prometheus wasn’t all that good but i watched the movie two times and it entertained me. I admit im interested in a sequel because i want to know more about those Engineers what their home planet is like and why they think of us as a failed experiment.
First 2 movies were the best 3 sucked 4 sucked now Prometheus had moments of greatness but the story holes sucked not tying into the first alien movie all that well if they had just called it lv-426 it would of been fine. But I guess Prometheus was invisioned as a trilogy itself so if the next links up to alien better then im down love me some alien movies
Prometheus had very questionable subtext. The whole idea of the scientist figure holding onto the cross as a faith symbol for her further exploration of the aliens was very problematic. What does the christian religion have to do with the pursuit of aliens? Answer – Nothing.
Alien and Aliens is one of those rare movies I can watch both, one right after the other.
They are such different movies, one was the “Queen Mother” of sci-fi horror and the other was one of the better space action movies of the ’80s and proved James Cameron to be the top action director of a generation. I love watching em back to back too, and it’s such a switch up, and interesting how each director handled the material.
I think the movie and Scott took a chance at linking contemporary social theory with some evolutionist and creationist ideas within the Alien’s film universe. That led to many confusions and assumptions by its fan base and the general public but also worked to pull in complex possibilities for further development and integration. The movie wasn’t bad as a science fiction piece and I think we should wait for the sequel to answer some of those questions and create more with the same philosofic and ethic nuance.
I am certainly interested to see what happens in the sequel. Not so much for the thrill of the plot, as much as I am hoping to see an actual bridge between Prometheus and Alien. I feel as though there are WAY too may unanswered questions and plot holes in the predecessor. Hopefully, the holes will be fixed. I’d like to see more allusions to Alien in the Prometheus sequel so the story can come full circle. Furthermore, hopefully the dialog, logic, continuity, and structure will be better suited for a sci-fy action movie that cannot hold a candle to the original.
I will probably watch the sequel, as the first had just enough elements to keep me interested, but after repeated viewings, it doesn’t really hold up for me. The idiotic scientists, the complete disregard of the actual Space Jockey from the first film, and the fact that Rapace’s character was able to spring and get punched in the gut immediately after receiving an abortion were all simple fixes, and I wonder how someone didn’t catch them at some point during production.
I agree with your views and opinions on what they should do with the next film. I also had the same reaction to the first prometheus. I found the film overall entertaining, but nothing to go running around telling people to go see it. I can only assume it left most viewers scratching their heads.
The author seems to be confused as to what “Prometheus” was trying to do as a story. Their ‘suggestions’ are nothing more that requests to incorporate elements from previous Alien films. They request that the actual Xenomorph from the first Alien be kept secret – well, that doesn’t do much good when we’re explaining where they came from and how they were created. The author, in addition to other reviewers I’ve read, seem unable to divide the genre of “Prometheus” from its predecessors. The first Alien was a horror film set in space. The second was a battle epic set in space. The latter films do degrade, on this I agree with the author. But “Prometheus” is a cut and dry Sci-Fi film. They raise philosophical and scientific questions and explore them. You’re not supposed to be on the edge of your seat in Alien-esque anticipation – you’re supposed to leave thinking about the film and entertain discussions about it, which is something the author admits they did not do. I find that to be fairly telling. This reads as nothing more than a disappointed fanboy more wrapped up in trivia than the bigger picture.
The idea of the Yutani Corporation having its own android would be fantastic! Especially if they had different AI development, it could be a whole expanded context that takes David’s fascination with human behavior (i.e. Lawrence of Arabia and Peter O’Toole) and pits it against something different. Artificial Intelligence as relates to evolution of technical machines.
Prometheus served as a great (at least in my mind) introduction to a potentially vibrant new franchise. What I’m looking for in the sequel is a continued expansion of the expansive mythology that was teased in the first film. A major concern (and frustration) coming out of “Prometheus” for a lot of viewers was that it was too mysterious and brought up too many questions for its own good. While I see the concern, I feel like the payoff that will inevitably come in the sequel(s) will be tremendous and I’m anxious to see what they are.
Prometheus was a good movie of course the way the scientist characters were written to get the plot running was not effective, the way Theron died, the amazing recovery of a caesarian operation, scientists making rookie mistakes, etc…. The movie wanted to create an intelligent plot but with too many illogical situations.
Good article, but honestly, I was incredibly impressed by Promethius. I do not share your feeling that the characters were too dull or underrepresented. I think overpowering the movie with too much character sequences would have made the film seem more amateur, while having more quieter sequences and sophisticated imagery (instead of dialogue) offers a disturbingly intricate way of telling the story.
The best option, I think, is to recreate the franchise for the new movie. Ignoring the bombs, we have Alien (creepy, slow-moving — till-the-end — Gothic horror), then Aliens (military action flick with monsters), Prometheus (weird, cryptic, disturbing, and to me all about the symbolism of the evil “parent” to humanity). Prometheus II should take yet another direction. OK, it could backfire; but it could win big, too.
Get a gripping story with gripping characters, put it in that universe, and make sure monsters are involved — and (unlike Terminator and Terminator II, say) make sure it’s not the SAME gripping story with the same gripping characters!
I had higher hopes for the first movie. This was a good read with well-developed tips for the sequel. Hopefully the sequel will have a clear and nicely flowing plot; I felt the first had many plot points that were convoluted and relatively difficult to understand or completely unnecessary altogether. I higher hopes for the first movie. This was a good read
I had higher hopes for the first movie. This was a good read with well-developed tips for the sequel. Hopefully the sequel will have a clear and nicely flowing plot; I felt the first had many plot points that were convoluted and relatively difficult to understand or completely unnecessary altogether.
I agree with everything that you’ve said here. Aliens was my favorite movie from the franchise, largely due to the outstanding cast. In addition to everything that you’ve laid out in the article above I would also like to see the relationship between the Xenomorphs and the Predators explored in greater detail. Although AVP got a lot of negative feedback, I actually enjoyed that installment and felt that it answered the question raised by the very first Alien film…how did the Company know that these Aliens existed? They sent the crew from the Nostromo there to find this creature after all. However, I was severely disappointed in the sequel, Requiem. What should have been a kick-ass film considering that an Alien which had gestated inside of a Predator should have been a creature to be reckoned with, the mediocre acting and poor cinematography ruined the experience for me. Anyway, I’d love for the franchises to explore a possible relationship between the Predators and the Engineers as well. If I’m not mistaken the derelict spacecraft on LV 426 where the crew of the Nostromo originally discovered the Alien eggs bears a remarkable resemblance to the Engineer’s spacecraft from Prometheus. There are so many, many great things that could be done with these franchises and I look forward to seeing more of both, keeping my fingers crossed that “they” don’t screw it up…lol.Sir Ridley Scott did a phenomenal job with the original Alien film, with a cast of both known and unknown actors, but let’s not forget what else Aliens had that the other films didn’t…James Cameron. Enough said.