When Sir Ridley Scott’s Prometheus ended – and stop there if you haven’t seen the movie yet – Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and the head of David the android (Michael Fassbender) were piloting a ship to find the original Engineers and question them about their plans to wipe humanity off the face of the Earth. It seemed to cleanly set up a sequel… only sources close to Scott’s camp are saying he doesn’t know what should happen next in the story and execs at 20th Century Fox are “freaking out.”

That’s the rumor shared by Bloody Disgusting, which quotes a source saying that the pre-production on a possible Prometheus sequel has the movie “in flux, and in a state of jeopardy.” Providing a little backstory, the site notes that Jon Spaihts’ initial treatment for Prometheus was supposed to lead directly to Scott’s Alien, with the ship that crashes being the Space Jockey craft that Ripley discovers later. But Fox execs, as the rumor goes, didn’t want only one potential Alien prequel, and Damon Lindelof was brought in to reprogram the Prometheus script to become a possible trilogy.

But that’s where the story fractures. BD does have a quote from Spaihts that says he and Scott did discuss the possibility of a trilogy, and the screenwriter had “pretty broad notes” as to how the new movies would connect to Alien. “The baton pass,” he calls it. “Closing the circle, if you will.”

Instead, Lindelof left the circle open … then left the franchise altogether. The Lost writer announced a few months ago that he would not be back to pen the Prometheus sequel, leaving the next step to a new screenwriter. And as Spaihts has said, that creates difficulties:
“That shot of the ship flying at the end offers a lot of creative ways to play with this,” he said. “But it feels like it brackets you into the search for the Engineer homeworld and home civilization. That’s an interesting challenge.”

Of course, Lindelof has a different take on the matter. As this news story was coming together, Lindelof sent an email to Slash Film explaining what's going on behind the scenes of the possible sequel:
“The unglamorous truth is this: During the creative process of Prometheus, all involved (that includes Fox and Ridley) had a strong desire for this film to launch off in its own way so that by the end, it would not connect directly to the original Alien, but instead run parallel to it. This is something that I talked about many, many times in the press burst around the release of the movie. As you probably remember, there was a lot of interest as to whether Prometheus was a “prequel” — the answer was, “Yes. Sort of. But if there was a sequel to Prometheus, it would not be Alien.”

Taking the strong foundation that Jon Spaihts had already written, I worked on the script to this end — and yes, during that process, Ridley did occasionally riff on what he felt might happen next as Shaw and David’s Head ventured off of LV-223 in search of wherever The Engineers had come from.

After the movie came out and discussions began about a possible sequel, I was already neck deep in writing and producing Tomorrowland with Brad Bird. I have found, unfortunately, that if I take on too many projects at one time, there is a higher probability of those projects sucking. And contrary to popular belief, I do not want anything I work on to suck. I really don’t. I care about these stories deeply — not just as a writer, but as a fan. It might not always feel that way to the audience, but I swear to God it is true. It also so happens that Ridley was about to embark on directing his next movie, The Counselor, and had another one, Child 44 lined up right behind it. The conclusion was obvious — In the best interest of the franchise, it was best to take myself out of the running before I had to suffer the embarrassment of potentially not even being offered it.

And that it is the complete (if not somewhat boring) truth.”

As to the state of Fox in preparation of a Prometheus sequel, Lindelof had little to add because he says he’s out of the process … but he denies the fact that him leaving the universe has anything to do with the uncertainty possibly facing a Prometheus sequel.

This is a lot to digest. Fox continues hammering out plans for a Prometheus sequel, and the right screenwriter could build on the foundation Lindelof and Spaihts left for them. We’ll see what happens, but this is an interesting bit of back and forth on a project that’s not 100% guaranteed to happen at this point.
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