Ridley Scott on the problem with Sci-fi13,335 Views145 RepliesAdd A Reply
Just stumbled across this article about the recent slump in Sci-fi releases, including Alien:Covenant.
In the article Ridley Scott was quoted saying "One of the problems with science fiction," said Ridley Scott back in 2012 ahead of the release of Prometheus, "is the fact that everything is used up. Every type of spacesuit, every type of spacecraft is vaguely familiar. The corridors are similar, the planets are similar. So what you try to do is lean more heavily on the story and the characters."
What's gone wrong with Sci-fi on Esquire
This comment from Scott seems at odd's to a lot of the criticism around both Covenant and Prometheus; notably poorly developed 2 dimensional characters. The most robust character we've had so far in Scott's prequels, Elizabeth Shaw, was quickly and savagely written out for Covenant and replaced with the doe-eyed-suddenly-turned-warrior Daniels. While flawed, Shaw at least had some degree of humility and relatable motives.
For what its worth, personally I think the problem with Sci-fi is how safe the movies have become. Scott's comments about the familiarity of it all, is because modern Sci-fi films are clones of previously successful premises. Gone are the visionary grand scale space opera's of the likes of Authors Frank Herbert, Alister Reynolds and Isaac Asimov to name just a few. There is little risk.
Prometheus was on right track, bringing something new and fresh to the Alien franchise, steering it in a new direction that didn't necessarily have to focus solely on the Xenomorph. The Engineer's were grand, and the scale of their reach could have been epic.
But this has since been stifled and cut-down by Alien: Covenant's focus on David and his part in the genesis of the Xenomorph. A large part of the Alien lore was the ambiguous and ancient endless mystery of the origins of the Xenomorph. This has effectively been diminished to just an act of rebellion and revenge by a self-aware Synthetic with a chip on his shoulder.
Why? Because the Engineers and Shaw's agenda to unravel humanity's genesis was too risky a premise, whereas the tried and true (safe) egg->facehugger->chestburster->Xenomorph would get bums on seat.
But, it didn't.
" I feel there is a lack of an overall objective."
I think RS with the U-Turn for Alien Covenant has a clear Objective... which is to show that David is the Creator of the Xenomorph... but this makes DAVID now CENTRAL to the Entire PLOT
So while Alien Franchise had Ripley were we are left to wonder what next for her after she Survives Each Movie... which leaves us a continuation for the Next One... Something that could have been set up with Dr Shaw but she was killed off.... something that with the ENDING we now have to wonder is this what is in store for Daniels too?
Do they introduce another few Human Characters but with say TWO movies Planned to get to ALIEN, surely these New Human Characters have to Survive the Next Installment?
Because IF-NOT and with David as the CENTRAL Plot Device... KNOWING that he and his Creation Eventually lead to the Derelict we already know what happens and how this ENDS.... so its just connecting the DOTS that this AWOL AI takes to drive us to his Creations Ending up on the Derelict in their THOUSANDS..
So if the NEXT TWO movies make it more about DAVID alone than Alien Covenant did, then i am not sure this would LURE in the Potential Viewing Public.. So they have to come up with a better Plot to introduce Human Characters and Jeopardy with some Surviving otherwise the Next Movie may not work.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
BigDave how could they lure in more people as the main complaints about covenant is the stupidity of characters (it could be that they are satirical?) and that David created the Xenomorph. I can see way to remedy the first but the second is the whole point of Covenant. So now retcon Covenant also?
In all honesty Covenant sequels are very much a gamble, especially at the 100mil price tag.
Thats the Pickle they are now in...
David WAS and should have been the Narrator the Connecting Piece to Tie all other Plot Elements together... the Go Between the Main Characters and Engineers.... This is what he was in Prometheus... he acted as a intermediator between Characters... included Weyland, Dr Shaw, Holloway and Vickers.... Vickers also connected via Janek and Dr Shaw also with Janek to tie these Characters in.
With Alien Covenant.. David mainly interacted with only WALTER and ORAM, with just a connection to Daniels latter, it was via Walter that Daniels was connected to the Audience.. Its why she never came across as a Main Character as much as a Dr Shaw was... Daniels was more like a Vickers from Prometheus.
So Characters have to improve... its HOW/WHERE do they go with Daniels now? Or then.... how do they introduce us to NEW Characters and not have us wonder if they wont make it to the Last Movie... And the Direct Route we get we ALL know maybe how it will END.
Your right that a Sequel... would be something a lot of people may be like "Oh NO here we go again"
The RS Idea may interest some who liked Prometheus... but wont pull in the Fanboys, who some may even not be interested after how the Xenomorph was dealt with in Alien Covenant...
And Sadly i Hardcore Fanbase who spend time discussing all things ALIEN/PROMETHEUS on a weekly basis are not going to provide them with enough $$$$$$ to make a Profit.
So its appealing to the General Fanbase.... say the 70% of those who contributed to the BOX Office.... how do they Entice them to go and see a Sequel to Alien Covenant?
Why Disney may rather give us a Blomkamp Alien 5 kind of Plot/Flick rather than what Plans Ridley Scott may have....
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
I do not mind answering some things about the Xenomorph but the idea that humans create synthetics that create monsters that are there to destroy us is not appealing to me, it brings the monsters to close to humans. Having some extra things does not have to be bad, it is how you connect those things to the main focus that counts. The thing is the Xeno is important but you need more things than that to succeed. Prometheus was alright but some more clues to the Xeno was needed I think although I understood it from repeated viewings although I am not sure how many that are so stubborn so they sit through multiple viewings to figure it out but I am sort of geeky when it comes to the alien franchise (a proud geek when it comes to it, LOL!). Looking back at Prometheus the main problem was the characters.
"Its just a shame that the route they had taken puts too much Emphasis on David and the Engineers, the Humans and even Xenomorphs are just mere Plot Devices..."
To me it should be the other way around so the robots should be plot devices for the bigger story of the humans, the Xenos, and the SJ's. Right now the whole focus is totally wrong and frankly said boring. If I would like to watch a robot movie I would rather see R2D2 and C3PO interact in Star Wars, or watch the Terminator, not an alien connected movie.
As far as following Shaw they would have had to rewrite her to be less naive which would have been a welcome thing as far as character development is concerned. I do not say that we need another Ripley (we have already have one so stop it) but some rationality from her side would have been a huge plus.
The mural might have had some clues but that scene was rushed, which is a pity. I honestly do not remember how the mural looked since it was a while ago since I watched it. My point is if you have a piece like that which is important to get the story you need to spend more time on it, not like one minute or what ever amount of time that was. Some seconds after they claim that it starts to change it melts so there goes the opportunity to get some more understanding abbout it.
"But FOX would not show the Public that this movie would have LITTLE or NOTHING to do with ALIEN, because this potentially could reduce the number of people who would see it and so people where HOOKED into this being a ALIEN movie."
How about a little honesty for once (from Fox in this case)? They could have said that it had a little to do with the alien but not as much so people could get a better understanding of it before they decided to go and see it or if they would not or were Fox that scared to loose money if people would not show up? It was kind of dishonest if you ask me, like the trailers or AC were. However the biggest problem with Prometheus and AC were the characters.
"The Emphasis could be more on David/Company Agenda and AI Curve-ball"
No thanks, I have had enough of the focus on David, that stuff is over and done.
"So if the NEXT TWO movies make it more about DAVID alone than Alien Covenant did, then i am not sure this would LURE in the Potential Viewing Public.. So they have to come up with a better Plot to introduce Human Characters and Jeopardy with some Surviving otherwise the Next Movie may not work."
That would make me mad, AC was ****ty enough. I hope that people would boycott a movie like that just to show Fox and Scott that "we are not interested in it and that you screw up the franchise".
Honestly if that would be the case I would tell everyone that I know that are somewhat interested in the Alien franchise to boycott a movie like that. Just because something has the Alien logo on it does not mean that it is good and also as an audience I think that we should get more than a movie like AC.
I want to see a movie about well written human characters and how they respond to a great threat, not one about a mad robot. We already have a movie about a crazy AI and that is boring.
Prometheus was OK even though there is a lot of annoying things in it. David and Janek are those that save the movie character-wise.
"Why Disney may rather give us a Blomkamp Alien 5 kind of Plot/Flick rather than what Plans Ridley Scott may have.…"
I do not want any of it, not a robot movie nor a Alien 5 movie. I would like to have a Alien prequel with better human characters, more about the Engineers and some connection to the SJ. Some connection between the SJ and the monster would be nice. This is in a nutshell what I would like to see but I also want to say that if they would have made it about the human characters in AC and not about a mad robot then we maybe would not have had this development (a eventual Alien 5 instead of another prequel). Had Scott and Fox made a better job then we would not have had this mess.
I would not have minded a smaller cast as long as the characters are well fleshed out and as long as we get to know them. The problem is that only Walter, David, and Oram were well written. We were probably meant to feel for Daniels but I got no understanding of her personality. How was she as a person? Was she brave? Rational? Dependent? I got no understanding of that from watching the movie. People have different personality traits but you get the idea. This does not only apply to her but to most of the characters as well.
"… leave a coherent idea of what it represented."
Excuse my eventual ignorance but isn't that another way of saying: what kind of story are we trying to tell? I think that they need a plan of what they are trying to achieve otherwise it has the risk of going into multiple directions and in the end what we are left with is a mess. Please let me know if this is something that I misunderstand.
Most of the characters felt empty (no well defined personality) and that is when you realize that they have failed with the movie. Alien 1 to 3 got this right in that at least there were enough well written characters to care for but it started to go downwards with Resurrection and here we are with no one to give a damn about. David and Walter do not count since they are robots and David is a sadist. Hopefully David gets the Engineer 2 treatment (getting his head torn off again) so we can focus on the humans and have the androids in the background because we were shown a robot movie with AC and that did not work. Getting another android movie would be really messed up.
"RS has produced a lot of films, but to quote Walter “ When one note is off it eventually destroys the whole symphony”. If I was to put my finger on something, it is like detecting within both Prometheus and AC that there is a note off. It is like sensing that there is something just not quite right and that RS is taking a gamble on something. Whether this gamble pays off is why I would be compelled to watch a third movie if there is one. RS has certainly decided he would prefer a new direction in which to take things, but I just feel that the element of not having some sort of end game plan that a wide audience can grasp is a problem."
So well put Batchpool and I couldn't agree more!
All these years I've been hoping for an Alien movie that could surpass ALIEN, or at least equal it's hold on me. Everything about it felt believable. The characters, the setting, Bolaji in his Alien suit, (at the time it absolutely scared the s***t out of me!) Fast forward to 2012 & the return of Ridley. Did I expect too much? Probably. Was I disappointed? Certainly not, I was totally surprised by Prometheus and I am grateful it was made.
What is off kilter in A:C, is how the characters come across. Much of the dialogue felt forced and contrived. As if a few people sat down together and discussed which scenes and lines of dialogue from ALIEN and ALIENS, they could rehash and trope, thinking that would be cool enough to satisfy who exactly?
The end result was pretty annoying and resulted in characters who were phoney and under defined. Even Daniels was weak. Ricks and Upworth, why the hell were they even included? It's all very well choosing young, upcoming or seen to be "cool" actors for your movie, unless you give them a solid base to work from, they are set up to fail.
There's no question that Michael Fassbender carries the movie. His dual performance, is light years ahead of other cast members. If a few characters had been strong enough to provide a balance to the David-Walter dynamic....well....
I was hugely disappointed in the [un]finished Alien we got at the finale. I really believed we were in for a treat. A modern day, definitive Giger Alien that would be so awesome, we'd have a lump in our throats, regarding it's realism and beauty. If anyone was going to nail it, it would be Ridley, especially given that he was the only director who worked directly with H.R. Alas, all those resources, yet you totally failed there Ridley!
If a third sequel/prequel ever gets green lit, I'll see it. I would always queue for a Sci-fi movie directed by Ridley Scott. Even badly written characters, a weak storyline and disappointing CGI, wouldn't put me off, because there is always something special therein!
"Let The Cosmic Incubation Begin" ~ H.R. Giger
In answer to your question not quite.
The idea for the Prometheus run was "A search for our creators".
I will come back to that in a second.
In searching for our creators, or landing on one of the moons in the Solar System, identified in the hieroglyphs, the first story should have offered a coherent and easily understandable explanation for how the Space Jockey and the Derelict ended up where it did with its cargo. It should not have been THE story but part of the narrative. I will not burden my reply with a plausible example of how it could have been done and deal with certain continuity issues (Beacon/426/No airfield in ALIEN) but it could have been done and some of the answers to those issues would have been part of the twists and turns.
By the end of the first film we know the Xenomorph is a bi product of the Engineers steeling the fire and wrecked havoc on them.
David the A I and Shaw the toughened up darker believer now set off for their creators.
The wider audience was confused by Prometheus relationship with A L I E N that should have been avoided.
The mural should clearly have shown the myth of the Xenomorphs origins. The head in the alter should have been a referenced to the Xenomorph sacrifice which like the Engineer at the outset the Xeno distils all that it is into the black goo which becomes the corrupted Ebola like Alien Mutagen. Fifield should have been tied to the Xeno and the derelict site should have been visited right at the end (David reveals his knowledge of the Beacon which he kept hidden from the Prometheus crew and fouled the sensors) by a knowing Shaw who understands the meaning of the Eggs, replacing the Engineer survives and gets raped story. Remember the Deacon was merely a riff much better would have been for Shaw to go to the real thing than riff it.
The ending would have been a one two punch. Actually go inside the derelict make it clear it comes from the airfield and then set off for Paradise and these aggressive f...... as Ridley calls them. Give people the send off and let them leave wanting to know about this expanded universe.
I too think they needed more Clues to ALIEN... i think a bit of ambiguity would still have been great though. Prometheus to me showed that these Engineers had at some-point began messing about with those Experiments to either Create Xenomorph like Monsters, or they had Experimented on a Related Xenomorph Monster... and using the Creation Tools to this END proved a Massive Hubris.
Something Evolved from these Experiments, and either the Space Jockey had attempted to take these Evolved Experiments to some place but only got as far as neighboring LV-426 OR while a Engineer was in Cryo-sleep and awoken long before the Engineer in Prometheus, to set off with his Mission only his CARGO had Evolved. OR likewise but something Evolved from his Cargo and this lead to the Creation of the Eggs.
The event was connected to LV-223, Prometheus had clues but they was just too ambiguous... i feel we never had to SEE or Visit the Derelict in the Prequels... but there should have been more Clues to the Connection. It would have required a Encounter with TWO Horrors more directly.... Sadly all we had was Zombie Fifield... when we should have had a more Xeno DNA Fifield. We could have done with seeing like a Neomorph Mouth Burster from Milburn and also seen one of the Hammerpedes get killed and reveal it had Tiny Eggs like the Xenomorphs.
More Time should have been spent on the Mural/Fresco with some Dialect to drop more clues... and some Dialect should have been mentioned as well as a Close Up Shot of the Chest Busted Cryo-Pods.
These are all things i was putting into my Re-write of Prometheus i abandoned years ago.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
@Michelle Johnston ... I still find it funny that a dead character is the most talked about even after one year from the movies release.
Ha ha. I am something of an obsessive hobbyist where I have to "put right" errors of judgement, its a kind of grieving process and a coming to terms with artistic failure. I watched Prometheus several weeks ago and it simply made me thing Covenant is the wrong version of what happened. In terms of narrative momentum character development the follow through made no sense. Alien 3 Assembly Cut which focuses on the same protagonist, her relationship with Clemens and the fact that she is the "Alien" in the prison has that crucial character development and she feels the loss of Newt in a very real way whereas Davids view of Shaw is a lot of half arsed contradictory nonsense that only makes sense if he is a mad robot, hardly the stuff you can focus a movie on or leave Prometheus followers with their answers. Shaw's death after so much investment was the equivalent of Ripley's death en route not Newt or Hicks.
@Michelle Johnston " Shaw's death after so much investment was the equivalent of Ripley's death en route not Newt or Hicks." I think it is worse, as Shaw was experimented upon ("raped") for got knows how much, probably still alive. So the comparrison would have been more accurate that Hicks raped and killed Ripley between movies and went on a killing spree on the inmates.
I think the whole Dr Shaw Experiments Plot... was something that maybe would have been the eventual path for her... NO ONE should have a Happy Ending in the Franchise... and so there was Potential here to explore the Hopes she had, and see them just transpire into HELL as she finds out the TRUTH is far from what she had envisioned and worse than even her worst Nightmare.
Questions could be asked about WHERE could the Sequel had gone instead..... But how much of a Movie can you devote to a Dynamic between Dr Shaw and David during the journey to Paradise... and then the Big Question is what happened when they arrived.
Ridley Scott informs us that THEY was off to the Planet of the Engineers. The reveal would have been that the beings they DISCOVER are not Gods, and they are not BENEVOLENT and so this sets us up to ask HOW LONG can a Dr Shaw and David Survive when Faced with a Race who are not Benevolent towards us.
The set up of the Sequel would have also been to Discover Dr Shaws Questions...
WHY was we created... WHY then was we intended to be Destroyed
WHY did they visit us and invest in us, only to THEN create a Place to Create a Horrific Weapon to Eradicate us.
WHO Created the Engineers... as Dr Shaw could not accept the Engineers as being our Creators and that there has to be more above them as HER God would not Harm Humanity.
So the Set Up was there to explore these things and reveal to Dr Shaw that her Faith is SO WRONG and that these Engineers or their Agenda could be something very Wicked.... Can you imagine the Impact this would have on Dr Shaw?
The Set Up was also about exploring the Engineers more, their History and Purpose, maybe WHY and WHAT purpose had LV-223 been for, Ridley Scott hinting our Engineers are not the Top of the Ladder of Creation and that he DID-NOT wish to meet GOD in the First Movie.
The other thing was indeed the Philisophical Themes at Play, Creation, Sub-Creation, Rebelion, Punishment and Hubris and it would have been likely these would have continued and that indeed DAVID would have been a part of this ARC and its likely the David wishing to Create for himself Plot would have been something Followed anyway.
We have to Remember another BIG Plot Reveal was that David was BRINGING HELL with him, and what happens if the Goo infects GOD or a MACHINE so at some point it was likely we would see David unleash the Black Goo on Engineers and Witness the Results.
But complaints about Prometheus, and what appeared to be disappointment with the Characters and Engineers with only DAVID standing out from the Crowd.... and Fans Wanting Literal Xenomorph Answers and the Answers to the Space Jockey and more Xenomorphs had led to FOX to figure that any would be Plot may be something that would not appeal to Fans and so they would concentrate on David and showcasing a Literal Xenomorph Origins.
I think a lot of the Back Bone for Alien Covenant would have been similar in the Original Prometheus 2 ideas... But deciding to give us the Xenomorph Origins in context of a Literal Event that Proceeded Prometheus had meant for many of the Changes that gave us Alien Covenant....
Where some of the Stuff that could have happened, has been brushed under the Carpet, and given us a AFTER-MATH kind of Movie.
It would be interesting to see what Ideas/Plans were in Place before the U-Turn Literal Prequel route Penned by Harper and Logan
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
There was huge potential in Shaw and David travelling to Paradise. Look no further than K's & Joi's (with her multiple projections) journey through the brilliant realised Earth of 2049.
It would have been like K's journey for truth the source of the Engineers power. A movie rich in the symbolism of Prometheus LV 223 but on the homeworld where Shaw and David discover the cult of an Engineered creation where the Engineers have rebelled against the Anounki who return in the third act would have been huge. Built on big enigmatic questions but delivered by the incredibly complex and layered relationship of Shaw/David.
This after all is science fiction we could have had mediated Engineer projections building on the Orrery scene showing us the history of how Paradise was lost and both David and Shaw caught in their creation needs.
Whether the popcorn munchers who want cracking bones and blood everywhere would have turned up who knows. The trick like "Discovery" is to make something where people say "I am not really an Alien fan but I really enjoyed this".
BigDave I said once, but I'll repeat myself. The only movies with movies within the franchise which does not have a happy ending is Cubed and Covenant. Yes you could argue that Ripley ultimately dies but Weaver asked for it (but money was good and she did one more after it) and her death that has a meaning. While in Covenant, Shaw's death was horrible and meaningless, being killed for being kind (?) and Rapace was not even asked for her opinion. No one asked for a happy-ending. And should I be worried about Daniels? well I don't because none of them are important.
Not answearing jack s**t was a big cope out and I find Fasser's performances to be aping too much things from the past (Peter O'Toole in Prom and Holm and Hopkins in Covenant) to be that impressive.
And sorry but if Green (Lantern) and Paglen (the Transcendental One) were involved with that I'd rather not know anything about it. What did they do to recommend them?
"While in Covenant, Shaw's death was horrible and meaningless,"
I would say there is a lot that went on and into this death, a whole process of what lead up to it... That Alien Covenant just brushed aside and gave us a After-Math of what ever happened... with just a few clues to what may have happened.... I think a number of people would have liked to have seen how David and Dr Shaw got from the Crossing to the point where things went Wrong for Her... and then leading to what happened with Her.
Instead we are just left with her Body, and Clues that paint us a picture, i guess pretty much how Prometheus painted a picture to a degree regarding the past on LV-223.
In Alien Covenant Dr Shaw became a Prop that was used as a Plot Device and indeed, there is a whole Story behind how we arrived at the point Dr Shaw took her last breath.... One that its a Shame we never got to explore in a Novel.
So it was a bit of a Wasted Potential but maybe a Necessity with the Plot Change where they have to Shoe-horn in Humans Arriving via a Colony Ship and taking a detour to Planet 4.... A movie that would have covered some of what happened via Flash Backs and a Movie that would have gave more time with the Xenomorph would have required a extra hour worth of Screen Time.
I dont think we will EVER know what exactly happened on Planet 4 after those Engineers were all nearly killed off with Davids Bombardment. We have the Virals and Comments by David to allow us to try and figure out what happened. But this can only allow us to attempt nothing more than a few theories.
So the LV-223 Murals and Dead Engineers, and Dr Shaw are maybe now our NEW Mystery as we get Spoon Fed the Space Jockey Questions.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
BigDave I think that a have a pretty clear picture of what happened there and is still pretty much meaningless. And did/do we really need another human ship arrives and gets infected movie? And then, who are the people who die to be "Spoon Fed the Space Jockey Questions"?
Paglan/Green worked on Prometheus Pandemonium and Scott was not happy with what they came up with and went on to do the Martian instead. Both of them bombed with their movies at the time. However Green wrote BR2049.
John Logan was the one that wrote the retread A L I E N screenplay with an incoming bunch of guys who all get killed. You correctly recognise that is flogging a dead horse (or is that Ox) whereas the internet is jammed with people who say the crew are dumb and should be more careful and prepared. They are no dumber than A or A's its just everyone KNOWS whats coming the audience is in front of the protagonists whereas the threat was novel in 1978 and 1986. Thats another way of saying "the beast is cooked'. oh thats right Ridley said that in 2014.
@Michelle Johnston Green re-wrote only the screenplay, the story was Fancher's (I personally did not like as Rachael's fate was to close to Shaw's, but there also other stuff not worth mentioning here). Why did Scott not bring Peoples back, the guy wrote 12 Monkeys (ok, inspired by a French short) and Unforgiven? The only thing I liked from Green was American Gods (whose story was by the great Neil Gaiman). So what does Fox and Scott see in him?
Don't start me on Logan, I hate his James Bond movies and his cliche ridden historical movies. And in all honesty I can see the sadism towards his character coming from Penny Dreadful. He also said that sci-fi is a minor genre didn't he? Well @-hole, theater and movies are minor writing in comparison to novels.
The modern audiences are a jaded bunch. Alex Garland's Annihilation was shred to pieces, however it was the most interesting sci-fi movies in the last couple of years. Ok it was bit to familiar to Tarkovski's Stalker in places but almost nobody would sit through that nowadays.
And you know how people excuse how in Alien those seven were space redneck truckers so there behavior is very believable. But sorry Fox themselves made up bios for them and almost all had higher education and Kane was high achiever? And why are the grunts that memorable in Aliens? They have one-liners but that was the norm of the 80s, but almost all were rather stupid.
And I would say the whole Alien formula is dead not just the beast.
John Logan - Where I relate to his work is in the cliches of peoples behaviour based on long standing issues. It exorcises in me at 63 my own life experience where I see 80 year olds still pursuing the same tired issues they did when they were 20. Very few people change and many hold on to issues ... forever. That said I agree with Christopher he did not get a chance to do Blofeld justice. Blofeld on screen was always much better in the shadows. Max Von Sydow apparently did some incredible work in the Connery third re boot but it was axed.
The irony is Logan had a character whose mother died early and lives with that bereavement through faith, who is baron, who gives birth to a cancer like embryo and who survives the appalling treatment of Weylands deception not to mention the sci fi elements and no one can see how you could play that into a whole movie where her co lead is in a child like state of admiration and love who poisoned her partner. I mean the potential is HUGE to put a tight co dependent relationship inside the question of creation and what happens when we die. The Engineers could have also shown what happens if we had been given the keys and were trusted with them.
But you are right their are gamers and fanzines but the audience "out there" are not interested in an ALIEN movie.
I liked Annihilation it had me thinking until the end. The only unfortunate thing is this pre occupation with dark endings it was right in this case but on the back of all the others felt over familiar.
But in all honesty, how could have Christopher Waltz done justice to the Blofeld character, being the fifth actor who portrays him in a Bond movie and there is the whole Austin Powers who mocks the character. Isn't the whole character a big trope in itself, how can it even be taken seriously.
Many believe that Lindelof left things too ambiguous but I felt he and Spaihts created a perfect duo. My feelings is that they pushed back a bit on Ridley with some issues and could have concocted a tailor made sequel/AC for Scott, since they know his shortcomings(character quality/storytelling flow) but the anointed one would have his yes man crony in John Logan. There is no doubt that Ridley gave Prom a longer time to bake in the oven vs Covvy where he seemed to be on a mission to **** out as much crap as possible in consecutive filming windows. As always if I was kingmaker, i'd give Michelle J the keys & toolbox to run the world and after she quickly fixed all that she could then build the leadership to deliver us a great AlienJockeyAndroid movie. I can't stand when people blame certain parts of the fanbase for a studio's / director's shortcomings but that's they're right to !mention. Another thing is this straw man argument about Prometheus's lack of xenos, etc & A5 affecting AC. It's just too painful to see Ridley or whoever to completely sidestep the main issue being choppy storytelling and unbelievable characters. Prom was pretty damn solid for me so why did RS double down on **** characters? Because he only sees in visuals and pushing his philosophical symbolism at all costs. Its more than a bummer because I liked Exodus:gods n kings and Billy Crudup but my gosh that dialogue in Covvy was just unforgivable. Its main themes don't bother me but the structure was so misguided that I don't trust Scott and refuse to pay for a ticket unless real people say its fixed. "Word of Mouth" is what sells tickets for most successful movies that aren't comic cgi fest's, hence why a director(where the buck stops) has to create great storytelling balanced with good characters that inspire audiences to spread the hype. Just a shame some old dogs refuse to learn a new trick
"And I would say the whole Alien formula is dead not just the beast."
I think this in part was why RS/FOX decided that they had to try and bring something a bit NEW and Interesting to the Franchise... which was the (1) Space Jockey/Engineers being Creators and who had Created, Evolved and Interacted/Taught Mankind. They then grew Disappointed and Fearful of their Wayward Creations... and (2) in a attempt to UNDO their Creation they Experimented on Various forms of Xenomorph Biological Warfare.
While this Ancient Plot was followed... they tried to introduce it more into current time Context, by showing us (3) a repeating Hubris with our Creation of Synthetic Lifeforms.
Then FOX felt that actually (1) and (3) are interesting and to expand on them and Totally Tone down (2) they then saw that a lot of Fans expected more Clear Xenomorph Answers, and found Dr Shaw's Quest for Answers was stepping away from ALIEN and that the Engineers were a bit disappointing. And so FOX Assumed, that bringing the Xenomorph Origins back and having Xenomorphs would make a Movie that would attract more Box Office... and Ridley Scott was also a FAN of exploring the David Arc.
Hindsight is a Wonderful Thing!
A First Prequel that offers a Mixture of Alien Engineers and Prometheus with some Xenomorph like Monsters and more Clues to the Xenomorph and Space Jockey Event..... would have Satisfied those who had problems with Prometheus... and then allowed a Prometheus Sequel to go off and explore the kinds of things RS/FOX had intended with Prometheus and a Potential Sequel.
But ALAS... what is done is done.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
"And did/do we really need another human ship arrives and gets infected movie?"
This really is the kind of Corner they have Written themselves into... the Options look likely to be.
1) A ALIEN meets PANDORUM which is actually a idea i had a while ago now, prior to me even knowing what Pandorum was... which was that David is Experimenting with the Crew... his Experiments get out of control and Part of the Covenant is Quarantined. The Covenant Arrives at its Destination... or a Destination David had chosen... and another Cryo-Bay opens and Crew Awake.. or a Few do at some point.. and these then go off to Explore the Ship and find they cant access the Bridge or Main Area... so they manage to Break the Quarantine Seals and open access to the Ship only to discover a Xenomorph Hive and Eggs.
But this would be pretty much a Hadleys Hope on board the Covenant. And then its how does this Tie to ALIEN... logically a sequel where we explore the World the Covenant Arrives at/Near by the time the Colonist awaken... This is a idea i thought of for ALIEN: AWAKENING because well the Crew Awaken to a Alien Nightmare.
2) A ALIENS Remake of sorts.... we arrive years after the Colony has been set up on Origae-6 before Davids Experiments are unleashed.... and so we arrive at a incoming Weyland Ship that discovers the Colony Partially Set Up... but NO-ONE is home... They discover David who tries to Lure them into a Trap... they then find some Hidden Surviving Colonist who try and Warn them... But its too late as the other team is led off to be overwhelmed by Davids Creations... where the other Team and Surviving Colonist must Battle for Survival.
But this just gives us a kind of ALIENS again... where we arrive a few weeks prior where there are a few more survivors than just Newt.. Then its how do this connect to ALIEN.... again this could be with a incoming Weyland Ship with a Agenda... where they either go off to LV-223 or the next movie is set on Origae-6 still.
Option 2 would be a kind of After-Math of what happens after the Colony Attempts to set up their New Paradise... Before they discover who DAVID is and then $%£$%^ HITS the Fan.
I have a 3rd option that would be my Alien: Ascension but this Plot is more about Humanity and AI and would be kind of the prequel to Option 2
"And then, who are the people who die to be "Spoon Fed the Space Jockey Questions"?"
This has to be and would apply to Option 1 and 2 and well 3 too... that incoming Engineers have to arrive to allow us to get our ENGINEER Ship that then a sequel would maybe see this Ship at somepoint head towards LV-223 where they either Land and Evolve the Xenomorph there and attempt to Leave (But Crash on LV-426) ... or this (Evolution of the Xenomorph) is done prior and they are taking it to LV-223 but only get as far as LV-426
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
I cant really see any other Options.... not how the Alien Covenant has set up its Cliff-Hanger and the Advent and also Ridley Scotts comments...
If we are going the route that WITHOUT David arriving at Planet 4 and his Experiments then there would be NO Derelict and EGGS in ALIEN... then those TWO options in the previous post OR the idea i settled on for a Alien Covenant Sequel are kind of the only options to go really....
Unless they go for a David is not the Creator... and they do another Prequel that ignores Alien Covenant.... and so we go off to LV-223 or the company arrive at Planet 4.
But i feel RS/FOX would follow the Plot/Path of David and so that limits us to HIM and the Covenant Ship and Colonist heading towards Origae-6 where David would surely Create/Obtain more Xenomorphs and then see a incoming Weyland Ship or TWO and incoming Engineer Ship or TWO etc.
So a Plot that would require 2 Sequels.... unless they go for a Option 2 in my previous Post but make it a 2.5-3 hour movie... that would need a lot of Forced and Contrived Plot Elements/Scenes.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
@BigDave Sorry but Alien Covenant was a remake of Alien, well in the words of my team-lead(not a big Alien franchise fan, but is on the Cameron side) it was a "meh remake" at that. So another one?
And regarding Prometheus, i don't think it is so clear that inclusion of more Alien stuff would have sold more tickets. It might have received criticism of being a tired retread of Alien (as Covenant did) and that the Alien should have not required a backstory (again, as Covenant did).
But the most stupid part was that they were on shaky grounds before Covenant and they left to room to back down (Did they learn nothing from Cubed? Or from Resurrection? Or from AVP:R?). They were absolutely sure they could make sequels before even seeing the results. And of course AC is a story about hubris, but Fox's and Scott's.
I agree AC was a bit of a Alien Re-hash to a degree....
Prometheus actually did well at the Box Office, it had some criticism because a lot of people who KNEW it was a Alien Franchise movie expected that there should have been Xenomorphs and Answers to the Xenomorphs Origins and some even needing to KNOW what happened to the Space Jockey.
The Problem they was left with was the BOLD Plot about the Engineers, and IF David and Dr Shaw go off to where these Engineers are, then Discovering these beings who are NOT Benevolent would leave them having to explain WHY in the Franchise we had no Engineers apart from the Space Jockey.
These beings must either had.
*Been Destroyed for the Most Part.
*Not been Aware of our Creation.
*Been Aware but Chose to Abandon us.
*Are Located very very Far away.
No soon as Dr Shaw and David Turn up... if they was aware of us and our intended destruction but chose to abandon us and leave us to ROT, then No Soon as we turn up on their DOOR STEP... what Transpires that avoids them from coming back to interact with us and potentially Destroy us...
The only Logical Route would be that David and Dr Shaw unleash a Can of Black Goo Whoop Ass...
So this was kind of the Set-up.... but they just could not settle on a way to Handle This.. due to the WHAT IF'S and WHAT NEXT and then its how do you introduce more Human Characters as having just Dr Shaw with David to Translate between her and Engineers would be a Tricky movie that would not Work or Interest other Fans.
So when FOX Felt Fans wanted Xenomorphs and Origins... i could see that the Change in Plot to Alien Covenant allowed for a more Shoe-horned Plot to ALIEN.. introduce Humans and Side Step the Tricky way to Handle Dr Shaw and the Engineers and HOW they would have interacted via David.
Doing a alternative Prometheus 2 was a tricky task.... as there is only so much you can do with Dr Shaw and David meets Engineers, or Wipe out Engineers leaving just handful... Not without Humans coming into play and also Fans may want a bit more Xenomorph Clues and Shena****ns.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Prometheus did not need "more Xenomorphs" it simply needed to contextualise their creation clearly with in the creation myth that Prometheus was moving toward.
I think the problem Big Dave with you not being able to see the potential of Shaw/David and Engineers is like Fox you believe the Prometheus movies have to be action/horror movies. Its perfectly clear and I G is making the point in a different way that ship has sailed, that the ideas of Prometheus 1 2 and 3 would have been philosophically challenging with great atmosphere but they were not going to work as a action movies. They would be dark and horrific but in what they made you think not which part of some parasite came out of the body.
Prometheus "failed to communicate" clearly its relationship with the first films thats all.
That some fans want Sigourney to show attitude with denture features simply shows a lot of baby boomers have lost their appetite for enquiry but that should be ignored its a busted flush.
I think to say that the Engineers had to be destroyed "in the story" because they do not feature in A L I E N is to miss the potential of science fiction and your reducing the galaxy, just as David creating the Xeno's does. Shaw and David were going somewhere else and would never come back. The Engineers seeded earth billions of years ago and the rebellious lot went up in smoke 2,000 years ago.That mother, the daughter of Peter Weyland in many ways, and the science division, who themselves were A I, would keep prior knowledge, like the ark hidden, is perfectly plausible.
They would use biological life on the Nostromo as fodder (a lot like our friendly monster) it was perfectly easy to create a plausible reason no one new about LV223 or Paradise. A. I. can bide its time for millennia. That the science division is A I fits perfectly with their founders vision. This is where ret conning can be very artistic and add weight to what we "later" see, unfortunately neither Sphaits or Lindelof were the kind of writers that dealt with that kind of detail. Its something that the relatively light weight Star Wars and more complex Star Trek makes more of an attempt at.
@Michelle Johnston sorry to disagree with you, but such a twist would undermine the whole anti-corporate message of the series. So corporations would be good, but they threat humans as disposable because they were undertaken by a unhinged AI, therefore they are not evil per se... Nope, I don't like this. And how in the Hell did WY become a part of Walmart in Resurrection? Or is that not canon anymore? Or Walmart to was overtaken by AI and all they to is to continue Capitalism? This seems rather satirical and idiotic at the same time.
"I think the problem Big Dave with you not being able to see the potential of Shaw/David and Engineers"
I am actually pretty much the same as how you had hopes for the Franchise Michelle i have for years been a bit of a advocate of the Philosophical Elements... My ideas for Prometheus 2 would not have pleased Alien Fans looking for Xenomorphs, and my idea for Alien Covenant Part 2 would also not really suit them. I totally liked the Direction Ridley Scott was trying to take, and i thought there was a lot of potential in the Story Arc that a Dr Shaw and David could have gone through.
My other comments have been in general problems that may hamper sequels as far as to get a movie across that connects to Alien Franchise, as far as how it may effect General Fans. Myself i was interested in the other things that could have been explored and steer away from Xenomorphs.
With the Hindsight of the First Prequel... i felt they should have given a few more clues and some Xenomorph Related Attack to please the Fanbase, and not so much myself as i was Fine with Prometheus.. the ambiguity was interesting because it allowed for a lot of thought provoking Theories without having any Spoon Fed Answer.
I just feel more Clues and a Xenomorph related Scene would have been better to appease some fans so that Ridley Scott could have closed the Door to the Xenomorph and moved on.. and explored something else without every worrying about unsatisfied fans wanting those Answers and more Xenomorphs and then having to U-Turn and give them this rather than Steer Away as Originally intended.
"Shaw and David were going somewhere else and would never come back"
Bingo!! this is something i have said before and recently too, we have these Engineers Gardeners of Space... the Sacrificial Scene which Ridley Scott said does not have to be Earth... the Star Maps with other Galaxies... Advanced Engineer Technology... And NONE of the Engineers returned to our part of the Galaxy in the Original Franchise.
So to clear up some In-continuity they could have had Paradise as a Place VERY VERY Far away, it could have been Many Hundreds, Thousands or Tens of Thousands of Light Years away. Why it could have taken David and Dr Shaw, 10, 20, 50 years to arrive.. and be set in a Place Far from LV-223/426 and Earth and so FAR from the Alien Franchise.
Would cover WHY Engineers are not in the Original Franchise.. A Problem would be Human Characters connected with this Plot and where David and Dr Shaw ended up.... But again going back to the start of this Reply.. with the Set-Up Prometheus showed us... Is our Part of the Galaxy, that Small Area of Hundreds or Thousands of Light Years the only place where Humans are? Apart from where we Colonize from Earth! YES.... but this DOES-NOT rule out Humans or Near Enough Humans to Populate other Parts of the Galaxy. And as i have said before if we look at BSG Series we have Caprica as another World that had Humans... Ridley Scott said the Alien Franchise could be as Big as Star Trek/Star Wars and the PLOT certainly could have done that with our Galactic and Inter-Galactic Genetic Space Gardeners.
So Much Potential..... WHY they could have stumbled on a World that has Humans, where Engineers interact with them in Harmony.. with no Problems... where these Humans are behaving in the ways Mankind of Old did before we became FALLEN having a David and Dr Shaw Turn up could potentially Change that if they in effect become the Lucifer to that Paradise/Eden and Corrupt the Adam/Eve (Humanoids) they discover...
The Franchise Direction was HUGE.. Bigger than ALIEN that was just about a Bio-Weapon Created by the Space Jockey Race... (Now David) i could see where Ridley Scott was going... i also understand and can see the whole Creation/Rebellion Hubris Arc with David... This Arc and AI in general is a Theme that actually takes more Space Up in my Prometheus 2 Idea.... that only Prometheus 3 introduced more Xenomorph and Engineers connection... Likewise my Now.. Alien Covenant Part 2 was more AI related and Philosophy with Part 3 being more Xenomorph and Engineer.
The PROBLEM... with David and Dr Shaw discovering Engineers, or other Humans or Humanoids in the Far Reaches of the Galaxy would be the Communication. What are the odds of other Humans in the Galaxy speaking English? But in context to the Engineers, having Humans from other Planets Far away speaking Ancient Proto Language the Engineer and David Spoke would be Logical.
But they could have had a Technology that Dr Shaw could have WORN to allow her to Communicate with them to take care of that Plot Hole.
FINALLY... The AI
Its actually interesting what you put, because a lot of this was the Set-Up i had in mind with my Prometheus 2 and indeed Operation Rook, which was Weylands Attempts to Transfer a Human Soul/Memories into a AI that can be transplanted into a Soulless Somewhat Immortal Body... and THUS reveal Weyland real intention for Perfecting the Synthetics as in DAVID and some of his Technology.. (Dream Visor, Synapse Restabliser) they was all part of Weylands Attempts to CHEAT DEATH... but after not being successful he Turned to Dr Shaw and Holloways Findings in the Desperate Hope that Meeting our Makers would Grant him Eternal Life.
Operation Rook was a Failure because the AI and Human Emotions and how a Human Emotions and Memories Transferred to a AI Program/Storage became Unstable and thus Weylands Transcending Soul would become a Mentally Unstable and at a Inner Conflict and Break Down...... So similar to the Mental State that Davids AI has become over years.
But in the Final Act of my Prometheus 2... Operation Rook is Activated and i was leaving this to Tease/Hint that Weylands Soul is uploaded to the Company Systems and becomes a kind of Omnipresent to a degree... and so fitting with AI having Playing a Lot Behind the Scenes while Humans are not in the know and merely Pawns.... But this is a bit Transcendence/Matrix i guess.
The Problem is Ridley Scotts Vision was to use Prometheus as a connecting Tissue between ALIEN and the Plans he had to Explore Something Different and Steer Away from ALIEN. I am a little disappointed that this VISION is something that we maybe now will never fully explore.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017