Ruffled feathers at the London premiere of PROMETHEUS? A little bird told me so – but I’m not at liberty to disclose.
You decide via accounts direct from the screenwriters’ mouths…
TIME talked to Damon Lindelof about rethinking Prometheus’ alien appeal, working with director Ridley Scott, and the fine art of allowing moviegoers to connect the dots – via http://boxmag.wordpress.com/:
TIME: I’m trying to put myself in your shoes. This has to be incredibly stressful, to step into a franchise as storied as Alien and be asked to breathe new life into it. Were you intimidated?
Damon Lindelof: Oh yeah. Are you kidding me? It adds a tremendous amount of pressure. I came in cold from the outside, and when I first read Jon Spaihts’ draft, I sent in a draft to Ridley (Scott), and I said: ‘I think there’s some really great ideas here, but almost a little too much Alien…too much cowbell.’ So I stripped almost all of it out, chucked it out entirely, and then I looked at the tent poles in the film, where we would need those elements to come back, and put back just the right amount. It’s almost like if you go to a U2 show, what songs do they have to play to give the U2 experience? If I leave the concert and they haven’t played ‘With or Without You,’ I’m going to be ticked. There are certain songs that have to be on that set list, and it’s the same when you’re talking about an Alien film: Do you need to see a xenomorph bursting out of the human body? And how do we do it in a way that you haven’t seen before? It’s sort of like playing ‘With or Without You’ but bringing B.B. King on stage and mixing it up with an African drum circle so that it’s a familiar tune, but a whole different song.
Edward Douglas for http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/ interviews Jon Spaihts:
Shock: I know Damon Lindelof came in eventually to work on the screenplay, so did he keep the same story and pump up the dialogue? What were some of his contributions?
Jon Spaihts: His main contribution honestly is something I can’t talk about. He shifted the center of gravity of the story a little bit in ways I can’t be specific about without giving too much away. He worked on a few shifts in the mythology, and then inevitably worked to touch on a lot of other things, so wrote a lot of new dialogue to the scenes and modified a few of the character relationships in very interesting ways. It is still very much the story I wrote to begin with, with my cast of characters, my structure and big set pieces. There’s a lot of new work in there, there’s a lot of Damon in it, but it’s still very much a lot of me.
The key to the contradiction (otherwise know in script writing circles as: development hell) lies in these lines:
Lindelof: So I stripped almost all of it out, chucked it out entirely, and then I looked at the tent poles in the film, where we would need those elements to come back, and put back just the right amount.
Spaihts: His main contribution honestly is something I can’t talk about… but it’s still very much a lot of me.