Damon Lindelof

The end of Ridley Scott‘s Prometheus is just the beginning of a new story. As Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) flies up into space it’s obvious that the prequel (of sorts) to Alien has more ground to cover. Some of the film’s questions were answered by the time the credits rolled, but many were not. The unresolved story points became a topic in criticisms levied at the film.

Further answers seem likely to come in the form of a sequel. While Prometheus wasn’t the gargantuan blockbuster many thought it would be, the director, screenwriter, and star all confirmed a follow-up has long been discussed and is currently in-development. That’s where things have sat for the past few months.

Now a report says Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox are “freaking out” trying to figure out how to continue the franchise. They’re reportedly “taking pitches from basically anyone who can crack the story,” and blame for the problems is placed squarely on the shoulders of screenwriter Damon Lindelof. The report says Lindelof came on board, altered Jon Spaihts‘ original script from a one-shot to a trilogy and then abandoned the franchise to work on Star Trek Into Darkness and Tomorrowland.

I asked Lindelof about this accusation on Twitter, and he responded with a long e-mail. You can read that below, along with a few other thoughts. Read More »

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Universal really, really wants their The Mummy reboot to work. Last spring, the studio set Prometheus co-writer Jon Spaihts to pen a modern-day reboot of the classic franchise. Now, they’re bringing in some extra help in the form of Hunger Games scribe Billy Ray.

While it’s pretty typical for a high-profile tentpole pic to go through multiple writers, this is a special case. Ray isn’t doing a rewrite of Spaihts’ script. Instead, he’s putting together a totally separate screenplay with an unrelated storyline. You know, just in case the other one totally sucks. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Once again, it’s time to tip my hat to Prometheus for having a particular longevity online. Whether you loved the film or hated it, or had very mixed emotions (perhaps relating to the beautiful cinematography versus the particular actions and motivations of the characters) there’s no question that Ridley Scott‘s vague Alien prequel remains a viable topic of conversation months after its release.

And now you can read the version that might have been. It was only a few days ago that a fake version of a Damon Lindelof draft was being sent out to editors in a lame trolling attempt, so the first reaction to this early draft of what became Prometheus was skepticism. But the author has verified it, so now you can examine the early DNA of the movie that traced the early DNA of Alien, and of humanity.

And, as a bonus, you can also see early effects tests for a Ridley Scott movie that didn’t happen: his version of Richard Matheson‘s I Am Legend. Read More »

Another big Blu-ray mystery has been solved this week. After months of speculation over what Ridley Scott would include on the Blu-ray release of Prometheus, the final list of features has been revealed. There isn’t a specific set of deleted scenes, though 10 minutes of them have already leaked online, but there will be an alternate opening and ending, as well as director commentary by Scott and screenwriter commentary by Jon Spaiths and Damon Lindelof. All in all, there will be over seven hours of bonus features. It’ll be released October 9.

After the jump, check out the full listing of features and box art. Read More »

When Universal first remade The Mummy with Brendan Fraser in the late ’90s, the franchise retained the period setting of the original film. That ended up being the right decision as the remade Mummy franchise spawned multiple sequels, spin-offs and was a runaway hit at almost every turn. It has since gone cold, however, and with the help of producers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Prometheus co-writer Jon Spaihts, Universal hope to breathe life into the walking dead one more time.

The trio has now settled on a director to make the movie: Len Wiseman, who recently remade Total Recall with Colin Farrell. This time though, The Mummy will have a modern setting. Read more after the jump. Read More »

The reviews thus far:

This review contains mild spoilers. Major spoilers have been saved for the end, and cannot be seen unless highlighted.

There just has to be something meaningful under the surface. Right?

When the spectacle is this detailed and carefully composed, and the mythology this intriguing, and the caliber of the cast this impressive, how disappointing would it be to find out that Prometheus indulges mindless escapism no more rewarding than that of a Michael Bay film?

If only. I could forgive “disappointing”, so long as the mindless escapism on offer were willing to commit to the part (see: Aliens). But there’s a key difference between a silly sci-fi affair like Prometheus and that of the Transformers variety: Michael Bay knows exactly what he wants his films to be, and doesn’t insult viewers by pretending that they’re anything more. He doesn’t allude to a higher purpose when presenting his particular brand of sensory assault, and then refuse to pull back the curtain when it comes time to reveal what that higher purpose is.

Prometheus may seem like more sophisticated fare, with a promise of greater significance deeply entrenched in the oft-mentioned subject matter (i.e., uncovering the origin of human life), but the movie utterly fails at tying its ideas and its monstrous happenings together. Despite feigning interest in probing life’s most pertinent mysteries, the film has nothing to say. It asks — literally asks, aloud — weighty questions without any interest in exploring the answers. The film expects you to do the heavy lifting, as though it should be rewarded for even daring to ask the questions to begin with. What is the meaning of life? Where do we come from? Why do we believe what we believe? What makes us human? What drives us to find the answers to these questions? Read More »

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Note: Prometheus opens Friday June 8 so this review only contains minor spoilers included in early trailers. A more in-depth, spoiler filled discussion will be posted after wide release.

With Prometheus, director Ridley Scott gives audiences almost too much of what they want in a big budget 3D sci-fi film. There’s an incredible spaceship, a bombastic score, kick-ass women, android humor, chills, thrills and gore. You name it and Prometheus probably has it. It also has mysterious connections to Alien, the groundbreaking film that Scott released in 1979. (Though I’d say this “informs” that movie rather than relating to it directly.)

Add that all up and you have a very intense, entertaining movie that tries to be all things at once and suffers for it. The laser beam focus of Alien is gone. Prometheus is just the laser beams. But they’re well worth watching. Read More »

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci‘s Cowboys & Aliens may not have been much of a hit, but things haven’t soured between the pair and Universal. The studio has signed a two-year first-look deal with the studio, and they’re now part of the new version of The Mummy that Prometheus writer Jon Spaihts is putting together with producer Sean Daniel.

There’s something else interesting in the announcement of the deal, however: Kurtzman and Orci are the latest producers to take part in developing and producing a new Van Helsing, with Tom Cruise producing alongside them and currently attached to star. Actually, we should make that “still attached to star,” as Cruise has been a part of Van Helsing for a couple years now; the project just hasn’t had any big public profile for a while. Read More »

I think I’m at the point where I have to stop watching new Prometheus materials. With last night’s long international trailer, the footage cut into new clips seems to have tipped from suggestive to all-out demonstrative. In other words, Fox is ready to show much more of Ridley Scott‘s hand. I’d rather see that in the full film, and so I’m shutting down my own viewing for now.

But I know there are many who want to see all they can. And so here’s the latest in Prometheus marketing: a featurette similar to one we ran last week. This time, the focus isn’t on how awesome Ridley Scott is, but more on what he and screenwriters Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof came up with for the film. Check it out below, and if the paragraph above isn’t warning enough, beware slight spoilers. Read More »