Shortly after my last blog post, Ridley Scott finally confirmed what we all wanted to hear during press rounds to promote his latest move; The Martian, that Prometheus 2 will indeed be his next film. He has already been location scouting with possible filming possibilities including Australia, Canada and the UK for a start date locked in for early 2016. I simply cannot wait for this and despite the initial film being something of a beautiful looking mess, the possibilities for the sequel and further connections to the Alien universe are mouthwatering.
It seems Scott is well aware of audience frustration from Prometheus and has already teased that key questions left over from the original will be answered, or at least addressed with the sequel.
"It starts off with a very grand idea - or grand question really. Who are they and why did they create such evil biology and bacteriology? And (in creating) to protect themselves from what? So the questions are answered there, or rather, beginning to be answered in Prometheus 2."
I'd certainly love to be a fly on the wall in Ridley Scott's writing room over the next few months. We saw a glimpse of it in the excellent Furious Gods documentary on the Prometheus Blu-Ray DVD with spotlights illuminating a room filled with storyboards and concept artwork whilst Scott, his production designer Arthur Max, and other key subordinates sat around drinking red wine and discussing the various aspects of what will make up the movie. The last we heard was that Michael Green had rewritten initial drafts from Jack Palagan and that over 15 differing revisions of the screenplay are said to exist. With Naoomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender already signed on and ready to go, we can hopefully expect the first additions to the new cast over the next several months.
We already know one arc of the film will take Dr. Elizabeth Shaw and the remainder of David 8 to 'Paradise' in the Juggernaut, which is said to be the Engineers' home world and the polar opposite of what we expect 'paradise' to be. But what else can we expect? It seems a safe bet to assume that the Weyland Corporation will conduct some sort of investigation into the fate of the Prometheus mission and the disappearance of its founder, Sir Peter. Will the company return to LV-223? This aspect has already been explored in the 'Fire and Stone' comic book series which allegedly forms part of a massively rebooted canon that also includes Titan's new Alien trilogy of novels, Alien Isolation and of course Neil Blomkamp's upcoming, untitled Alien 5 project. Discussion of the comic book is for another time but it did explore the interesting notion of the leaked Engineer 'accelerant' terraforming the entire planet and transforming it into a very different place compared to the barren, lifeless rock that was depicted in the first Prometheus movie. I wouldn't be surprised if a rescue mission is launched by the company to LV-223 and from there they pick up the telemetry data of Shaw's Juggernaut and follow it to the Engineer's homeworld.
One thing I hope they clarify is just where LV-223 is in relation to LV-426. Fire and Stone says they are literally neighbours, but if this turns out to be the case then some massive explanations are needed to explain why LV-223 was never re-visited during the first four Alien films and why Weyland-Yutani spent 57 years not doing very much after the Nostromo was destroyed. Another plot titbit I expect this new film to address is the emergency of the Yutani Corporation and their inevitable merge into Weyland Yutani. With Sir Peter Weyland and his daughter Meredith Vickers dead and gone, the Weyland Corporation will be more vulnerable than ever to a takeover.
I don't believe Ridley is fibbing when he says Prometheus 2 will not feature the Xenomorph, but as I said earlier the announcement of Blomkamp's film now releases Scott from that pressure of having to include it. But I do hope the new creatures are much more creative than the quite frankly awful Trilobite. He has spoken before that any Prometheus sequel would move further away from Alien, but that the third, or possibly even forth film would eventually connect with the Alien franchise and explain just what exactly the Xenomorph is.
"It won't be in the next one. It will be in the one after this one or maybe even a forth film before we get back to the Alien franchise."
In his DVD commentary track for Alien included in the original Legacy collection, Scott said he always maintained he saw the derelict ship as some kind of battle cruiser transporting biological weapons of mass destruction, the weapons of course being the eggs. Now all these years later it is pleasing to see he still follows that sentiment,
"The whole point of Prometheus was to 'explain the how and why of the creation of the Alien itself. I always thought of the Alien as kind of a piece of bacterial warfare. I always thought that that original ship, which I call the Croissant, was a battleship, holding these biomechanoid creatures that were all about destruction."
Exciting times await...