Friday, 9 October 2015
Prometheus 2 now called Alien: Paradise Lost, numerous sequels still to come and a connection to Ellen Ripley!
Sir Ridley Scott has been continuing to spill the beans during his promotional trail for The Martian and in an interview with heyuguys.com, he revealed the film will not carry on the Prometheus name but instead revert back to Alien with the sub-heading of Paradise Lost. Now this is quite a bombshell and not to mention a little perplexing considering Scott's long fought desire and push to differentiate Prometheus from Alien and make the former its own separate franchise, albeit one that he freely admits takes place in the same universe. Can we have a new Alien film without the actual alien being in it, 'That goose is cooked' - remember?
Paradise Lost is a reference to a 17th century poem written by John Milton and deals with the fall of mankind and the temptations of Adam and Eve. This poem is referenced directly in the first Prometheus film when a young Elizabeth Shaw has a conversation with her father during her dreams in cryosleep, dreams which of course were being monitored without permission by David.
I think it's quite a jarring title and would be better simply as 'Paradise Lost'. I see no reason why the Alien moniker needs to be in there unless it's a Fox enforced thing to garner more interest or perhaps the name has something to do with Neil Blomkamp's project which I am now sure will not be titled Alien 5 but Alien: something something...
Heyuguys later caught up with Scott again when he arrived for the première of The Martian and he offered this clarification on the film's title.
"Well, because we're heading back to why and how and when the beast was invented, we'll go back to the into the back door of the very first Alien that I did thirty years ago."
Wait? Does this mean we will be exploring the origins of H.R. Giger's xenomorph after all? Thanks to the folks over at empireonline.com, it sounds as though we will...
"I think I have to go again. We will see who made it, and why. That's what's interesting."
Given his previous comments about this sequel, it seems that somewhere along the line, someone or something has convinced Sir Rid to have a change of heart about not going back to his original creature. He also reiterated that his vision for Alien: Paradise Lost seems to be the very same premise when he first cooked up potential sequel ideas to his original classic years ago, long before James Cameron came along. I'm very much in agreement with Scott here and believe the notion that the alien was created as a biological weapon, rather than a naturally occurring organism.
"Years ago, I kept mulling over what Alien 2 could be. I was fiddling around with some ideas. I was always fascinated with why this thing (the xenomorph) would be made, by whom, and for what purpose? The planet it was on - and I was looking at the dark side of the moon - would be called Paradise. Paradise is a very ominous word..."
One thing I am less keen on, was Scott's next and quite unexpected revelation...
"In a way it is Prometheus 2. It's exactly the same story. But it was always in the works to be called that (Alien: Paradise Lost). Is Prometheus actually taking us off course from where I'm going, which is actually backing into the first Alien... I've even got connections with Ripley (in this), but I'm not telling you what."
One thing that has always bothered me with the Alien franchise is the lack of belief from key parties involved that the series can stand on its own two feet without Sigourney Weaver or Ripley. In 2014 Titan Books released a trilogy of new Alien novels that tied into the official canon. The first book, Out of the Shadows, by Tim Lebbon, was on the whole a very enjoyable romp and concerned the discovery of an alien nest deep underneath the surface of LV-178. But for me what harmed that particular story was the forced inclusion of Ellen Ripley, something that according to Lebbon had to be done on the insistence of 20th Century Fox. We also had the superb Alien: Isolation from Creative Assembly which for me is the greatest Alien video game ever made, but again we had to have that connection to Ripley by playing as her daughter, Amanda. Whilst I enjoyed both these stories very much, they would have worked perfectly well without the Ripley angle I have to say.
What Ridley Scott has in mind here, I'm unsure at this stage. With the first Prometheus taking place 30 years before the events of Alien, I'm wondering if we are going to meet a relative of Ripley or perhaps if the Paradise planet is so far away and Shaw spends a large amount of time in suspended animation, things really will go full circle and Shaw will bump into Ripley 8 far into the future. I admit the latter option seems unlikely, especially as Scott has further sequels planned. I guess we'll have to just wait and see.