Rumors: 'Dredd' & 'Prometheus' Sci-Fi Sequels Stalled in Development
Prometheus, we have a problem. Though the news stories about both of these projects are separate, they're coincidentally worth discussing together with the same issue - they're both R-rated sci-fi movies from 2012, which anyone in Hollywood will tell you is a very hard sell. While we heard in February from Prometheus star Noomi Rapace that a sequel was still in active development, there's a story on another site today about how the project is in big trouble, and the studio is "freaking out". Additionally, a producer on the Karl Urban Dredd last year mentioned in a Reddit AMA recently that there isn't much hope for a sequel at this point.
I'm a very big fan of Dredd, and most of the sci-fi films from 2012, even Prometheus despite story problems. I'd love to see them make a sequel and continue the story with another one, answering more questions, but apparently that's exactly the trouble. Our friends at Bloody-Disgusting have posted a scoop today about Prometheus stating that the studio is "freaking out" about developing the sequel, mostly because writer Damon Lindelof left. Their story reveals details about how Fox apparently hired Lindelof as a bigger name to "clean up" the script since they "didn't trust screenwriter Jon Spaihts enough". They explain where it's at:
"Lindelof transformed Prometheus into a 'trilogy', thus stripping the first film's conclusion of any meaning and setting Ridley and Fox up for disaster. This disaster was perpetuated when Lindelof announced he wouldn't be penning the sequel. So, in short, the guy who convinced the filmmakers to make a trilogy, left them in the dust…
Sources close to the sequel have told Bloody Disgusting that the studio and Scott are literally 'freaking out' over how to continue the story of Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), and are taking pitches from basically anyone who can crack the story*. While a sequel is nearly inevitable, it definitely puts it in flux, and in a state of jeopardy."
They made sure to add that, "We expect everyone surrounding the project to deny this story. That's standard procedure. Don't believe ’em." Which is why all of this is just a rumor, and anything could happen. They could find a new writer tomorrow, get an idea, and cover this all up by the end of the week. Same thing with Dredd - production could come together, the studio could find some money or independent financiers, and we could get a sequel in a few years. Speaking of Dredd, why is it in trouble? Well, it just didn't perform that well at the box office - barely earning ~$35 million globally on a $50 million (really?) budget. That, combined with other mediocre R-rated sci-fi/thriller performers, means it's struggling to get going as well.
Thanks to a tip via Live for Films, producer Adi Shankar mentioned a few key quotes during his Reddit Ask-Me-Anything session. One of the first questions he was asked: "I loved Dredd. Will it have a sequel?" His answer: "Probably not. But I am working on a Dredd short in the vein of #DirtyLaundry … you're actually the first person to know about this." He goes on to answer / explain a few details during the AMA:
Thank you. If DREDD becomes a cult hit it will be awesome. Last September was a terrible month … DREDD bombed and then LOOPER became a massive hit a week later!
Nothing against LOOPER! I think Rian Johnson is a genius and I think Joseph Gordon Levitt will become his generation's Matt Damon. Ram Bergman, the movie's real producer, is one of the nicest guys in Hollywood. I would tell you how I really felt about the movie's financier James D. Stern but I think I'd get into trouble … However, most importantly I loved watching Looper.
"I saw it in theaters because I heard it was gritty and violent." I wish more movie goers said that.
I agree with you on the deserving a trilogy part … well at least I'm working on a Dredd short …
it's because the movie totally bombed & R-rated movies are a tough sell to begin with.
the problem is a scifi project is intrinsically more expensive that a walking & talking movie … Veronica Mars only raised $2mil … which is a lot of money but not nearly enough to make a good sci-fi movie.
For his full comments and the discussions, visit Reddit. Any other time someone would ask him about a sequel, he would just answer with "I'm making a Dredd short film." So it sounds like, at the moment, no Dredd sequel, but definitely a Dredd short film ("in the vein of #DirtyLaundry" - Thomas Jane's short which you can watch here). This is unfortunate news to hear for both projects, because I really wanted to see sequels from both of these. But, again, as every exec in Hollywood will tell you, "R-rated movies are a tough sell to begin with." It's hard to get audiences into the theater, and even if you do, they may hate the movie.
We don't expect to hear updates or clarification on any of this, but unfortunately it sounds like both of these sci-fi sequels are off the table for now, unless something happens. It's very like Fox is trying to find someone who can develop a take on a Prometheus sequel, and when/if that happens, they'll probably move forward.
Update! There's more on Prometheus that we felt was worth adding, since it comes straight from one of the people called out - Damon Lindelof. The writer/producer/showrunner engaged in a conversation with SlashFilm today about the exact article above, and wrote them a nice email explaining the entire situation, at least from his perspective. "I did not map out a trilogy and then walk when the going got tough. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't know me and doesn't know the truth." He explains why he left before the sequel:
"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."
For the rest from Lindelof, including about production and early work on the first Prometheus script with Spaihts, see SlashFilm. "More importantly, the idea that there aren't many, MANY writers out there capable of taking the reins is sort of ridiculous," he says. "As to whether Ridley and Fox are 'freaking out' about me not working on a sequel, well that's news to me. I retain awesome relationships with both." Indeed, so be it.
Reader Feedback - 35 Comments
Horrible news. I LOVED Dredd and even with all the problems in Prometheus, I didn't let it ruin the movie for me. I still enjoyed it and it was visionally beautiful. I was hoping for sequels to both films. Hope it can work out in the end.
IamSlave on Mar 27, 2013
Shame, I would have loved to see Prometheus getting into more interesting territory, but yeah I guess Lindelof killed it with his stupid ending. This guy doesn't deserve another job. He had one of the best director, one of the best mythology to work with and he ruined the film. Seriously.
Roger on Mar 27, 2013
No, the trolls and retarded bloggers ruined it convincing him not to return. Idiots. Lindelof always had a plan.
rsrf on Mar 27, 2013
Oh yeah, don't blame Ridley Scott...the f'cking DIRECTOR of the movie. I find it convenient that people blame Brett Ratner for inheriting a rushed mess of a film with X-Men: The Last Stand, and blame all of it's problems on him...but then look at a film like Prometheus, where Scott was very much in control from the start...and want to make excuses as to why it was a let down and how it wasn't his fault.
Chris Groves on Mar 27, 2013
Why they make not Dredd in a (R-rated) TV-Series by a Station like HBO or Starz? It's a shame sometime that good movies make not enough money . Most is the promotion for the movies bad! Like by John Carter or Dredd or Solomon Kane! Hope we see some Sequels of this movies!!
Andy43 on Mar 27, 2013
Promotion wasn't to blame for those movies bombing. Stop trotting out that excuse, it's tired.
$126191 on Mar 27, 2013
In the case of Dredd it def was, I went expecting something completely different then what I saw, Dredd was so underrated.
Cody W on Mar 27, 2013
In the case of Dredd it most certainly was the horrible marketing/promotion of it. It was done rather poorly to say the least.
IamSlave on Mar 30, 2013
No horse, just the way it was. I didn't even know there was a Dredd film being made until it was revealed at one of the comic conventions. Then it didn't get much mainstream coverage until its release. Hell, I didn't even get back in the States in time to see it.
Sean Millon on Apr 12, 2013
I'm all for a Dredd HBO series, in the right hands that could be great. Didn't Dredd do great in dvd/bluray sales? I thought I read that somewhere, I thought that would help in the way of getting another movie but I guess not.
IamSlave on Mar 30, 2013
Can't wait for the Prometheus Sequel! I think Lindelof is now on the black list!
Andy43 on Mar 27, 2013
I say we find the guy and ring his neck till he tells us the rest of the story
Christopher Philip Cinquegrano on Mar 27, 2013
Judging on the trailers which made Dredd look like The Raid: Redemption (which I hated) I didn't see it, but after all of the hype for it on this site and others I may soon... I'm really hoping Prometheus 2 happens, I was a huge fan of it... I know this isn't the point, but, "Veronica Mars only raised $2 mil... which is a lot of money but not nearly enough to make a good sci-fi movie." What? Many great sci-fi movies were made for $2 mil or less!!! Many great action movies were made for $2 mil or less!!! Primer, El Mariachi, Pi, most of Cronenberg's earlier stuff, Moon was $5, but still, Death Race 2000, Time Bandits, Eraserhead, Cube... The list goes on and on...
Greg dinskisk on Mar 27, 2013
The Raid was awesome, I refused to use the ": Redemption" bollox added by marketing tools to 'appeal' to western audiences, berks. Ignoring that, the only similarities between Dredd and The Raid are the setting and their R-Rated violence, they're telling different tales, it's unfortunate to compare the two.
El_MUERkO on Mar 27, 2013
Maybe a Kickstarter campaign for Dredd? How hard can it be to raise 50 million dollar? Er...
Boiler Bro Joe on Mar 27, 2013
I would totally support that. I'm sure there's plenty of fans out there to raise at least part of that, and studio backing for the rest should be possible, considering the DVD sales going well (and it's not even out yet in most of Europe).
Kreon on Mar 28, 2013
I want a Dredd trilogy so bad! Prometheus was all right.
Nielsen700 on Mar 27, 2013
I'm glad there will be no sequel to Dredd, it was garbage lol. Linear story and zero character development plus his helmet and bike looked shit, his grimace also looked forced in every scene. I have to say the Stallone version was just more 'fun'.
Lagoya on Mar 27, 2013
Sigh... "Zero character devolpment"... Judge Cassandra Anderson is one of the best characters in recent years, the journey she takes from naive rookie to being dissapointed in herself but still accepted by Dredd is some of the best stuff I'v seen in a charcter in years. If you didn't see it then you don't deserve it.
carl on Mar 27, 2013
Right on Joe. And that's the purpose of the character. That Dredd's world view is moved if only a centimeter by Anderson feels like a mile. She's a mutant and she's wearing the uniform even if she's a fail, but yet he makes her a pass. The hollywood nonsense is probaply a lack of tacked on love attempt between Anderson and Dredd.
carl on Mar 27, 2013
The idea that Ridley is freaking out because Lindeloff jumped is nothing short of preposterous. If he jumped then there would be serious cause for concern. Prometheus was the best looking film last year by some considerable distance, apart from some poor dialogue and rushed editing to produce a shorter cut was my only disappointment. It should have been a three hours film to really immerse into the universe. It made over $430m worldwide so the R rating is totally irrelevant.
Macatae on Mar 27, 2013
i saw Prometheus really late and didn't understand the hate it received. that's not to say it's perfect, as you point out, but i thought Scott created a believable parallel storyline to the Alien franchise that had me hooked, Fassbender was outstanding, and it did look just *stunning*. i'd love to have seen a longer cut in theatres and would welcome a return to that universe. do we really believe Fox would base a go-no go decision on whether they have access to Lindelof's writing rather than Scott's directing? mind you, this *is* Fox..
son_et_lumiere on Mar 27, 2013
The script was bad. The characters acted in dumb ways, contrary to their supposed skills. The story made little sense. It was full of plot holes. But it looked pretty.
$126191 on Mar 27, 2013
fair enough: i don't agree with all of that, but do with some. and all your points relate to the script in some way, which again makes you wonder why Fox is (allegedly) so upset Lindelof is not coming back.
son_et_lumiere on Mar 28, 2013
If I don't get a Prometheus sequel years will stream down my face. That's a promise.
Jon Odishaw on Mar 27, 2013
apart from the awesome visuals and an outstanding performance by Fassbender, 'Prometheus' was a terrible, terrible mess... especially if you compare it to 'Alien', it was a total failure... I can't remember the last time, when I was so disappointed from a movie... it did pretty good in the box office though, especially for an r-rated flick... still can't believe that the studio skipped 'At the Mountains of Madness' by DelToro for that crap... an in my opinion it's almost a complete failure on the scriptwriting side and that Ridley said 'yes' to that... 'Dredd' was in my opinion the best movie of 2012 (aside with 'Amour' and yes, I know these are VERY different movies)... I loved practically everything about it... too bad it bombed that badly... I'd like very much to see a sequel to 'Dredd', though as mentioned below a 'Dredd'-TV-show produced by HBO or AMC would be an awesome idea too... that Lindelof is too lazy or to scared to write his whole 'Prometheus'-trilogy doesn't surprise me at all... I guess it's the same for him with 'Lost': building up a big world/a big story, but never thought it through till the end and how everything would turn out in a satisfying and logical way... I hope one day the 'Alien'-franchise will live again, but without 'Prometheus' or any sequel-crap to that total mess...
Buckaroo Banzai on Mar 27, 2013
LOL. No surprise there. The guy raised so many questions without any intentions to answer them or complete them that he bounced quick and sabotaged them all. Should've went with Spaihts' original ALIEN related draft. Matta' fact - might as well give Spaihts another shot at just writing his own shit for the sequel
lolllllers on Mar 27, 2013
I never understood how the trilogy was supposed to continue. Shaw and the head are on an engineer's ship going somewhere... Where are the other characters supposed to come from? It was a massive undertaking to launch the Prometheus. Was there a Prometheus 2 secretly following them? Unlikely. Prometheus was so ineffective as a film or Alien prequel. Can someone just write a really good Alien 5 script with a new bunch of characters and make it, damn it?
SV7 on Mar 27, 2013
Dredd bombed because it was badly marketed and released in a window unsuited to it's premise. "Dredd 3D" makes it looks like a sci-fi action version of the comedy horror Shark variety. Whoever added 3D to Dredd should be slapped to death. It's a good movie and deserves a sequel but wont get one because someone in production/distribution is a fucking bellend.
El_MUERkO on Mar 27, 2013
I'll never believe that all of the woes of Prometheus should be shoved onto Lindelof. It's not like Ridley Scott, a supposedly great director, just gave the guy a blank check to do whatever the hell he wanted without monitoring it...and if he DID, then he is not in fact a great director.
Chris Groves on Mar 27, 2013
Pick up a pencil and paper and give us a great Sci-Fi Prometheus sequel. It NEEDS one, we NEED one.
Neda on Mar 27, 2013
Just guessing here, but a sequel to Dredd would be about how some of the judges got corrupted. As that has never happened in the comicbook?
David Banner on Mar 28, 2013
I'm not sure about that, that they would build more on it; they should really, I know my Brittish friends who happen to be hardcore Dredd fans fipped at the movietheater when we saw that they were indeed "corrupted". Strange choice, strange choice.
Mac Danzig on Mar 29, 2013
What kind of world do we live in where Ghost Rider gets a sequel and Dredd gets thrown out? How did Boondock Saints get a sequel? It did horribly in theaters (because it is an awful movie) but was a cult hit on DVD so it got an awful sequel.
Naes on Apr 1, 2013
Dredd was a dissapointment for me because it felt like a really low budget film. I am a huge Dredd comic fan, and I could not feel Megacity 1 anywhere or the technology that surrounds Dredds stories. Dredd shoud be futuristic. It needs a huge production budget. And Lindelof... you suck. After what you did in Lost that you still get paid for writing amazes me. I kind of liked Prometheus, but we all know that it got more holes than a Swiss cheese.
George on Apr 4, 2013
Sorry, no commenting is allowed at this time.