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.