The way that Sir Ridley Scott’s Prometheus ended, audiences and fans of the storyline expected to see and hear more from Noomi Rapace’s character, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw. She and David (Michael Fassbender), the android, set off on a fact-finding mission to uncover the Engineers to seek out why they wanted to destroy humanity. Only, Alien: Covenant took a handful of left turns, focusing on a new crew, and Dr. Shaw was sidelined. She appeared briefly in Alien: Covenant as a corpse being used by David for experiments, but a new interview reveals that there were other plans for Rapace before all was changed.
Creature designer Carlos Huante, in a conversation with HN Entertainment, spoke at length about alternate plans for Alien: Covenant in the run up to production. A lot of the changes seemed to focus on David, and how he would be used, because Michael Fassbender’s availability to the production became an issue. And in an early version of the story, there was a lot more story between David and Elizabeth, as Huante explains:
In the first version of what was called Paradise/Prometheus 2, Shaw was alive. They find her, and she’s been hiding from David the whole time and she helps them escape. … I think it was a studio call as to why she didn’t return. What a shame. So in the first version of Covenant called Paradise, she was hiding in the catacombs from David under the city and the story was that on her trip to the homeworld, she got lonely and she had David hanging outside the ship, she didn’t want anything to do with him. But she still had to talk to him. Eventually, she ends up bringing his body in and reattaching him as they become friends during this trip. He ends up having affection for her in a friendship way.
This would track with the type of story that we assumed we were going to get in a Prometheus sequel, tentatively titled Paradise at the time of pre-production. It would pit David and Elizabeth against the Engineers – who they blamed for the attack they had to endure in Prometheus. They hoped to discover the motives behind the actions of the Engineer they woke up in Prometheus. And Carlos Huante has insight into what might have happened if the Paradise storyline played out. He elaborates:
They end up going to the city and that’s when David looks at her and tells that story. ‘Do you trust me, do you trust that I love you and everything I’m going to do from this point on is because of you and that’s all to protect you’… She looks at him and says, ‘Okay, yes I do.’ So then he turns around and kills all the Engineers on the planet. It’s his own twisted way of vengeance for her, he kills the planet. She is like, ‘Hey, I wanted to talk to these people’ but too late the whole planet is polluted now and everyone on the planet dies.
Some of this is covered in a Prometheus prologue that was released:
And more of it just gets swept under the rug of “development,” as it differs from what was shown in Alien: Covenant. Sir Ridley Scott hasn’t given up on this storyline. He talks of new movies in this saga that he wants to complete, so who knows if Noomi Rapace will get a chance to shine in one of these movies again. Stranger things have happened.