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Damon Lindelof Won't Write 'Prometheus' Sequel and Explains Why

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December 20, 2012
Source: Collider

Damon Lindelof / Prometheus / Ridley Scott

Just that headline alone is likely giving some cinephiles a sigh of relief. However, I don't think all the problems with the script for Prometheus came from Damon Lindelof. Sure, if you go read the original script that Jon Spaihts wrote (it's easy to find online), a lot was changed. But Lindelof was hired to rewrite it, so he did his job, and after that it's the fault of the producers and director Ridley Scott for not recognizing that the script might not have been up to snuff. So when it comes to the sequel, Lindelof won't be attempting to redeem himself as he flat out told Collider that he would not be writing the developing sequel. Read on!

In fact, Lindelof talked at great length about why he decided not to write the sequel:

Ridley [Scott] and I talked at great length during the story process of the first movie about what subsequent movies would be if Prometheus were to be successful. And I think that the movie ended in a very specific way that hinted at, or strongly implied that there were going to be continuing adventures worthy of writing stories. What those stories would be would not necessarily usurp or transcend the 'Alien' franchise as we saw it because we know that the Nostromo hasn’t come along yet. So the idea was to set up a universe that… Is it a prequel? Okay. If that’s what we want to call it, sure. But the sequel to this movie is not Alien. The sequel to this movie is this other thing.

So Ridley and I talked about what that other thing might be, and he was excited about doing it. But then I think what ended up happening was that the movie came out, and there was a reaction to the movie. And I got really wrapped up in ['Star Trek Into Darkness'] and really wrapped up in this movie that I’m producing and writing with Brad Bird. And I have a TV project that I was really passionate about.  idley and I had a meeting after Prometheus came out where we started talking again about where this journey would go. And in that meeting I said to him, unfortunately, before he could ask me and go through the discomfort of whether he was going to ask me or not… It’s sort of like having a date where you’re letting the other person know, 'I’m in another relationship.'  So I can’t tell you that he asked me and I said no. But I did communicate to him that I was working on these other things.

So there's no telling if Scott wanted Lindelof to takeover writing duties completely this time, but he at least talked with the filmmaker about where this new story in the Alien universe should go. And Lindelof is very much aware of the criticism he's received for Prometheus when he says, "Much to the delight of all the fanboys, I don’t see myself being involved in Prometheus-er.” Frankly, I'd like to see what Lindelof could have done with the expectations being much lower now that Prometheus didn't really land the way most excited parties wanted it to in the end, but that's just me. Maybe Spaihts will write the sequel? Stay tuned.

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Reader Feedback - 41 Comments

1

After having read the original script I can see I'm happy to see him go. I'm not going to sit here and bash him because he possess talents I can only dream of. But as a lover of this Alien franchise, I'm ecstatic for this move.

Matthew on Dec 20, 2012

2

Coward. He should have stayed on and try to prove he's not a hack.He has potential .All he need is to loose that stupid J.J.Abrams philosophy about teasing the audience and start actually writing some material with actual substance and ground his work in real mechanics of story writing like character development and story arcs and stuff and not just write prolonged teasers. I guess it's easier to just run.

talkin'outtamyass on Dec 20, 2012

3

Ehhhhhhh... I'm fine with him running.

si1ver on Dec 20, 2012

4

..he should stick with one thing and perfect his writing not run around ruining other peoples work..lets hope he finally learned from his mistakes..

anotherdouchebagwithopinions on Dec 21, 2012

5

All I want is the sequel, so please get it going, with or without Lindelof.

Isildur_of_Numenor on Dec 20, 2012

6

That was nice, but really we all know it was because everyone disliked PROMETHEUS.

DAVIDPD on Dec 20, 2012

7

i liked Prometheus, therefore they are doing this movie for me...

Jericho on Dec 20, 2012

8

Everyone [read: in general]

DAVIDPD on Dec 20, 2012

9

i see a little sarcasm passes you quickly...

Jericho on Dec 20, 2012

10

Indeed.

DAVIDPD on Dec 20, 2012

11

You liked Prometheus so they got rid of its writer for you? You didn't read the article before responding to the comments, did you?

Richie G on Dec 20, 2012

12

Maybe you WANT to like it, but you DIDN'T like it, it was shit. Accept that and be true to yourself man!

Lagoya on Dec 20, 2012

13

🙂

robthom on Dec 24, 2012

14

I never watched Lost so I never related to my friends hatred of this guy, so thank you Lindelof for bringing me closer to my friends after Prometheus. Seriously though, I really enjoyed Star Trek and I'll be in the Que for the next one. The Prometheus sequel, however, is another question. Lets just say this MIGHT be good news

Richie G on Dec 20, 2012

15

It just seemed over complicated as a story, with a lot of vagueness going on. Maybe folk wouldn't have been so angry if Lindelof wasn't such a smug bastard in interviews, he was showing off a lot, well, I suppose Ridley was too, like they'd re-invented cinema or something. As a visual experience it was really quite an amazing movie, but it was let down by the plot-holes. From what I've read though, that could be down to the studio wanting changes too. I was pretty down on Lindelof. Pretty much since the end of Lost, but I'm not sure he was fully to blame for the Frankenstein's monster that was Prometheus. Weirdly though as much as I said I disliked it, it probably was one of the best cinematic experiences I've had in years.

Carpola on Dec 20, 2012

16

Very well said. I feel the same

conradthegreat on Dec 20, 2012

17

I agree. The visuals were beautiful and the score was amazing. It provoked interesting thoughts. But I didn't feel the audience had any connection with the characters, there were gaping plot-holes/dangling plot-threads, the characters were stupid/uninteresting/2-dimensional/did stupid things purely to move along the story and they didn't give a satisfying ending (or saved it for the sequel).

si1ver on Dec 20, 2012

18

..and the science of supposedly SCIENCE fiction movie was as usually flawed..oh hollywood,y u so hollywood?

anotherdouchebagwithopinions on Dec 21, 2012

19

This is why I am going in to film so I can try and fix Hollywoods mistakes.. hopefully

haliegh on Jan 26, 2013

20

Everyone wants to blame Lindelof for what they didn't like about Prometheus. It's not like Mr. Ridley Scott had 0 input and approval of how the film went down. LOST was a fantastic show that Lindelof was heavily involved in. Considering that Scott has a history of making movies that are 'good, not great' in my opinion...I'm much more inclined to think this is just as much his fault. If the film had been perfect, everyone would have been raving about how 'Ridley Scott delivered' yet it was a letdown in some eyes and nobody wants to blame the Director? Give me a break.

Chris Groves on Dec 20, 2012

21

the first season of lost was great - after lindelof and cuse took over - the show tanked.

beevis on Dec 20, 2012

22

I respectfully disagree...as far as the many live action non-comedy shows I've tried to watch, nothing has captivated me like Lost, and no show has had a better series finale than Lost.

Chris Groves on Dec 20, 2012

23

well, we REALLY disagree on this.....but, that's ok - there is certainly nothing wrong with each of us having our own opinion. thanks for the reply.

beevis on Dec 20, 2012

24

I'm not sure why everyone was so hard on Prometheus. I really enjoyed it, and it had my gears spinning for days after. I recognize that there were some plot holes but they did not hurt the movie for me. Can someone here please tell me why the film got such a bad wrap? I have not read the alterante script. But I don't really see the point since the movie is made and we can't undo it. All in all, I think Ridley did a good job with his project. Maybe this is simular to StarWars where we all hate Lucas for ruining his own films. IDK. It's not like I'm a huge Alien franchise fan-boy. I loved Ridley's original but the James Cameron sequels are their own thing to me. I thought StarTrek was really well done. I also really like Lost seasons 1-3. After that it was ABC stretching it out for as much profit as they could bleed from it. So I can't really hate on Lindelof for that. To each his own. We all have different taste. I'm a fan of Lindelof's work.... but if you are not, please tell me why. I really don't get it.

Ian Pullens on Dec 20, 2012

25

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x1YuvUQFJ0

Cody W on Dec 20, 2012

26

The only thing Prometheus did for me was not make me want to eat afterwards.

Rain Spider on Dec 20, 2012

27

Lindelhoff ruined Prometheus!

Geoff on Dec 20, 2012

28

so, lindelof is saying he can't ruin the sequel because he's busy ruining other movies.....how does this guy keep getting work?

beevis on Dec 20, 2012

29

Hollywood.It's easier to market hacks who are well known to the public then risk loosing money with unknown writers.

anotherdouchebagwithopinions on Dec 21, 2012

30

Thank god, this dude just writes questions and then never gives an answer. Im not just talking about lost either, prometheus was a steaming pile of unanswered questions one after the other.

Cody W on Dec 20, 2012

31

Prometheus sucked. Period.

ff on Dec 20, 2012

32

I don't think it sucked, it just wasn't very good. Like we all know, it was beautifully shot and had a very "Sci-fi" feel to it, but the final project came out flat overall. They just asked too many questions and didn't even think about the answers let alone address them.

conradthegreat on Dec 20, 2012

33

i thought prometheus was good, the first half in particular. the second half seemed rushed. that said, i did feel a little cheated by the ending. leaving things wide open like that works for tv, because you just have to wait a week for the next episode, but for films, the buzz and excitement kinda dies pretty quickly. i think films should stand alone. put everything you got into making a classic and don't settle for less. when it it's all set and done, and if there is demand, then expand on it. i'm not a fan of the approach of planning out multiple films in advance. makes you feel like you're watching an unfinished story and thus, an unfinished film. that was really my only major gripe with prometheus. so as long as the sequel is more definitive, less vague and aimless, regardless who's involved, i'll be happy.

Nathan D on Dec 20, 2012

34

Good one Nathan. I had my best cinema experience of 2012 with this one. I like it when they leave enough room for my imagination. Is this not how it should be? I get the feeling that many people wants everything explained and technically described? I haven't notices any holes in the script (other than usual "time lapsing"), nothing. I'd like to know if it is more than just religious people feeling insulted by the idea that perhaps there's something else out there creating...

Magnus Månsson on Dec 22, 2012

35

Good. I cant stand the hack of a writer Damon Lindelof. I had a feeling it would be a mess once he got the job to re-write it. Lost was such garbage writing. Unfortunately it gave him credibility. Lets see, we'll make up shit as we go.

Jim Dawkins on Dec 20, 2012

36

I hate it when writers make it up as they go...

si1ver on Dec 20, 2012

37

Bring in a Nolan.

Landfill on Dec 22, 2012

38

Prometheus was the biggest cinematographic let down I could have ever imagined from one of the greatest commercial directors of all times. Its countless, ridiculous and mind-numbingly stupid contradictions upset me and disappointed me to the point I got completely uninterested to a sequel. And now I'm off to watch Alien again, trying to forget that turkey of Prometheus.

Alex C. on Dec 22, 2012

39

"But Lindelof was hired to rewrite it, so he did his job, and after that it's the fault of the producers and director Ridley Scott for not recognizing that the script might not have been up to snuff." Agreed. ridley was the enabler. But that doesn't change the fact that lindelof is an absolutely terrible writer. Thats apparent just by reading his rewrite thats available online by itself, and even more so when comparing it to its source. Thats just a bald fact. It also doesn't help that the only thing that arguable works in prometheus is ridley's visuals, which seems on the surface to deflect some of his responsibility for its faults. But I agree, prometheus is the movie that ultimately stands as documented proof that ridley cannot, (and never really could) tell the difference between a bad script and shinola.

robthom on Dec 24, 2012

40

i swear, people just dont like thinking, they just want everything handed to them. i liked the fact that some things were left unanswered in Prometheus, forcing me to actually use my brain to come to conclusions. yes, the plot had some holes and the dialog wasnt great, but i think the story and concept was VERY imaginative and interesting, and i think it was executed pretty damn well... not to mention the absolutely astonishing visuals. honestly, i dont care who writes the sequel, as long as its as good as the first one.

Jake on Jan 4, 2013

41

> i swear, people just dont like thinking, they just > want everything handed to them. There are plenty of peoplewho actually sat down, thought about this film, saw all the inconsistencies, all the unexplained and ultimately inexplicable character motivations and the paradoxes in logic, and then have the deal with idiots who have the nerve to say "well, you didn't like the movie because you didn't THINK about it". It's you that didn't think about the film. That's the only reason you mindlessly, and I mean that literally, defend it.

fuzzywzhe on Feb 5, 2013

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