Ridley Scott on the problem with Sci-fi13,164 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 am not going to say to much because I do not want to box myself in when I sit down and write it all up. However my thinking is based on the Lindelof/Scott/Scalia vision of the planetoid on which the Prometheus land, which is the result of Paradise Lost. In other words the Promethean myth is alive and well and the Engineers on the planetoid stole the fire and were wiped out by an "Ebola like" break out by creating the Alien Mutagen. In my vision Shaw is tested to the limit this brings me on to
Precisely if you let Shaw continue then she will find her answers. You may not in the end like my vision but it works exactly how those quotes apply. You have to look in the right place. David had been alone for a long time when the proximity warning went off in Prometheus. He had time to consider many things and scan the planetoid. Given the indications were to the solar system not the planetoid even LV 426, in the conception went with, was knowledge David knew about. We know in the real world the early scripts took them to LV 426 but that is to miss the point. There are two matters which the Prometheus might have come across one is an airfield with five hangers and the other is a lone Juggernaut set down. Once you tell a story about the Beacon being activated then these locations represent the desert there is nothing HERE, what Shaw and David need to come to for their answers are water and trees.
To both of you
The answer may not be obvious and not what she expected but Elizabeth can both receive the terrible revelation that mankind is a mechanical construct AND her faith is rewarded.....the teardrop ship did come to create and out of sacrifice came the catalyst for life and all its wonderful possibilities. That is the beauty of the ambiguity of the bigger part of the Prometheus narrative and which should have remained ambiguous for the second film to explain. Where the narrative needed more certainty is in the tactical explanation of what exactly the relationship of the airfield was to the derelict and what exactly was the relationship between the Urns and the Eggs... all of which could easily have been explained.
For what its worth, personally I think the problem with Sci-fi is how safethe movies have become.
Agree. It feels like the days of story telling through theatrical movies are about done. Why go that route when it is possible to go really deep via series like West World or The Expanse?
It seems really risky to put something out theatrical that might bomb.
Is it possible there is a mindset from an older school that TV is somehow lesser in status? Is it financial?
ignorantGuy: She is from Sweden and Swedish people a lot of times has something sing-songish to the accent which sounds kind of silly. Because English probably is not her first language that might be the reason why.
"How can a series work if the only love it's given to the antagonist?"
Exactly this, we got to have the good guys (and women) that we can identify with and that are well-written otherwise the movie fails. Not Prometheus or Covenant got this right so they should be known for how not to do characters.
Star Wars? I don’t give a crap since they killed Luke. The Solo spin-off does not seem so interesting so I will skip it, like a middle-finger to Disney, F them.
Hopefully they will not show the whole SJ thing, that would be bad. They have crapped at the original enough already. That was a mystery so you got to give a very good answer to it but the prequels have been mediocre this far.
The problem is that the LV223 incident, the star maps, are not as interesting as the SJ. To replace it with this is lame compared to the SJ mystery. What is worse is that Prometheus was just alright while Alien is still very good. Alright if they make the last prequel a 5 out of 5 but I doubt it.
What happened to Shaw is something that I do not care about. She was dumb and died, that is it. I would have cared if she was well-written but she was annoying.
I wish that we will be shown more about the Engineers, that would be nice. Unfortunately they have not done so well with them this far.
A problem is that Shaw is dead and Daniels will probably be so to. Three lead-persons in three movies. Are the writers really that bad? Not that I care about D or S but some continuity would be nice but then they need to get the characters right from the start. It seems to me that they get so many things wrong with these prequels.
I am not interested in what kind of world David would build. It is too much about David already.
"… would a movie centered around numerous David/Walters appeal?"
LMAO! I get a strange mental image from this. One makes tea and another… does the fingering. At least they would agree with each-other if they would discuss things. It could work as a surreal comedy but I could not watch that without laughing but if they try to make a serious movie about that then there
is no way that it would get my interest. Boring boring boring
"And so surely a movie just about David building a Army/World of Synthetics or Xenomorphs, is something i dont think we would have seen."
Nah, that seems crappy and by the way if more about AI means more about androids that will loose my interest, just forget it.
"But its a Question of if this kind of Plot is something Fans would be interesting in..... and so that is the PICKLE Ridley Scott is in as far as WHAT does he do NEXT?"
I would not care, so what to do next? Better human characters, more about the Engineers and their connection to the Xeno, less androids, and less David. This is a movie that I want to see, not a David 2.
"I would not care, so what to do next? Better human characters, more about the Engineers and their connection to the Xeno, less androids, and less David. This is a movie that I want to see, not a David 2."
I think this is where Problems lie...
It really is hard to carry on and introduce the Engineers and Humans together and tie in the Engineers Relationship with the Xenomorph (which may be none if David Creates it) its hard to do any of this without David being the Middle Man.
Right now here is the deal with have...
Origae-6 is the World the Covenant was due to reach, but right now we have David in Control of the Ship, the Colonist are all ASLEEP and David has his Notes and TWO Face Huggers.... If we take the ADVENT as Canon... then David has informed the Company a bit about where he came from (Prometheus Mission LV-223) and what he has done (Experiments with Engineer Black Goo) and that if they follow his work his Creations will Rule the Galaxy.
So Human Characters could come from the Colonist that awake/awakened and how they discover the Horrors David has unleashed or his plans and HOW they deal with him and Escape.
Do these Horrors/Colonist come into conflict during the Journey on the Covenant? or after they arrive at Origae-6?
The Company that intercepts Davids Advent Olive Branch they would maybe know where David had Been.. Planet 4, they would surely know he had been to LV-223 and that is a KEY place to Check Out. They also know the Covenant is on its way to Origae-6 so the PROBLEM we have is how do we introduce and carry on with these Human Potential Interactions if David is Dead and WHEN does he Die?
The Engineers will arrive back at Planet 4 and from arriving here they will DISCOVER some how, that the Devastation was caused by at least Human-looking beings be it Human Corpses, Walter, Dr Shaw Corpse and the Holo-gram Recordings of the Juggernaught. Its a case of WHAT Clues can lead the Engineers to know these are Humans from Earth... (unless Humans are only seeded on Earth) and then its a case of HOW do they know it was David? The best Clues would be via WALTER or the Hollogram on the Juggernaught (if it recorded the Bombardment Scene) but then they could think WALTER caused this?
If they Determine Humans are from Earth, and they discover the Juggernauts Flight Path they will discover the Juggernaught came from LV-223 (if this is the only place they could come from) then if they are aware of LV-223 and its mission to Earth... then the Engineers would surely be heading to LV-223 and Earth and so its HOW do they arrive at Origae-6 or know the Covenant ship is where the Culprit is and where this ship is at the time they arrive.
So again David/Walter has to play a role to get the Engineers to arrive where the Humans are and Interact...
So its hard to do a movie, with NO David/Walter unless its a Aftermath Movie... which would only mean the options are.
1) Incoming Human ship arrives to rescue Human Survivors on the Covenant after the Xenomorph Outbreak caused by David, while David has been killed... but this is a Hadleys Hope on the Covenant meets Pandorum kind of Movie and its how to the Engineers come into play?
2)Incoming Human ship arrives to rescue Human Survivors on Origae-6 after the Xenomorph Outbreak caused by David, while David has been killed... but this is a Hadleys Hope Mark 2kind of Movie and but one the Engineers could latter come into play.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
"Where the narrative needed more certainty is in the tactical explanation of what exactly the relationship of the airfield was to the derelict and what exactly was the relationship between the Urns and the Eggs... all of which could easily have been explained. "
This certainly is a interesting Question, i feel that the plot has many flaws, if we look at this place being a Weapons Facility Designed to Create a Bio-Weapon to Destroy Mankind.
Going by the Clues..... The Sacrificial Scene was of great importance to the Engineers, this could be any place, Earth, LV-223, Planet 4 or anywhere really... Prometheus seemed to show that regardless at some point the Engineers DNA is our Ancestry and they visited us over thousands and thousands of years...
And that without the Engineers Interactions, many of our Myths, Religions even Technology/Knowledge would not be here and we would at best be Cave-Men drawing what he Hunted in Caves and Maybe soon going the way the Neanderthals went.
Across Many Cultures over many Time-Periods we are shown a STAR-MAP that leads to LV-223, dating as far back as 35'000 years ago some 33'000 years before things went to POT on LV-223
WHY show us a Map to a Outpost that would be used to Develop Weapons to be used on us, some many Thousands of Years latter?
*Where the Bio-Weapons on LV-223 35'000 years ago? Why could they maintain Safety for 33 Thousand Years, before the LV-223 Outbreak?
*If these Weapons was not Produced until Many Thousands of years later, then what was LV-223 35'000 years ago?
To me the Weapon Facility DOES-NOT make Sense....
I am trying to not go TOO DEEP into this... but if the Sacrificial Scene was a Benevolent Act... its to WHOM and for what Purpose? The Biggest Clues come from Alien: Covenant... our Engineers Do-Not appear the same as those in Prometheus but also we see that they have FEMALES so we have to Question what Purpose was the Sacrificial Scene... In Jon Spaights works we find out our Engineers have Evolved/Engineered themselves past the point of Procreation and yet while they can LIVE for Thousands of Years, they are not IMMORTAL
We dont know how much this now applies.... but Ridley Scott says those Planet 4 Engineers are the Originals... he claims they LIVE for about 150 years. So they look different and dont live as long as Spaights Intended...
YET.... Ridley Scott refers to the Engineers as Gardeners of Space... he called them Fallen Angels in Prometheus, but we dont know if this applies to those on Planet 4 (Originals)
So if we look at the PLANET 4 Engineers, and Assume the Juggernauts are Bio-Weapon Bombers... do those Engineers know about the Bio-Weapons? Why was they welcoming the Juggernaught and not in FEAR until the Bombardment?
The Arrival appeared to be a important event, and looking at the Plaza we have the Hanger and those Statues around it.... they appear as Buddhist Offering Statues and those on the Pillars are many of the Engineers.
Ridley Scott Spoke of the Sacrificial Scene, he mentioned it was like Ancient Tribes who would Choose a Sacrifice who would go around for a Year Treated like a Prince.. until they day of the Sacrifice, where he would be Sacrificed for the GREATER Cause... Our Engineers being Galactic Space Gardeners, and the Sacrificial Scene maybe taking place on MANY Worlds...
What became of the Tear-Drop Ship? The Process of taking/selecting a Perfect Engineer Specimen to Sacrifice to SEED his/hers Perfect DNA?
IF we look at Spaights ideas for the Black Goo, we can see they had Nano-Scarabs that Consume a Engineer and Store Engineer DNA, and ONE of these Bites a Primate on Earth that leads to a ENGINEER-PRIMATE Hybrid.... Fast Forwards... and FIFIELD falls into a URN and it releases Scarabs that Bite him yet he Turns into a XENOMORPH-HUMAN Hybrid... Thus these Scarabs maybe consumed DNA from a Sacrificed Xenomorph or Related Organism... Alien Engineers appears to hint the Engineers discover a Organism and Re-weaponize it into 7-8 different versions of it.
By-passing the Xenomorph Connection... my point was to show the Sacrificial Substance was a TOOL for collecting DNA of a Organism to use to create Hybrids with any Organism it comes into contact with.
I am led to believe the Juggernauts/Urns are a Evolution of the Sacrificial Ritual. WHY send a Lone Engineer when you could Sacrifice him and collect his DNA to be stored in URNS and drop them to SEED worlds.... a more Efficient Method than the Tear Drop/Pebble Ship.
So IF the Juggernauts are for this Purpose it would explain WHY those Engineers were-not AFRAID and actually Welcomed it, as to be Chosen as a Sacrifice is a GREAT Honor, where they select a number of Engineers (gives Bio-Diversity with DNA) and they will LIVE ON in the Life that is Created from their Sacrifice and MAYBE they have a Monument Erected in their Name/Image in the Plaza.
THUS.... i feel LV-223 was a Watchers Outpost, a Place maybe where the Engineers used this place as a Nursery/Greenhouse to Evolve and Experiment on their Creations, and Seeding to Worlds those they were PLEASED with. The Star Maps showing Mankind... THIS is where YOU came from.
Something Happened, and this i feel is the Mystery that is hard to Pin Point exactly what happened...
*Did we do something to upset the Engineers?
*Did the Engineers try and Evolve and Create a Superior Version of themselves... at a Hubris for using the Creation Tool in a unintended way?
*Where those Prometheus Engineers Created to be used as Sacrifices, did they Rebel like the IGGI against the ANNUNAKI?
I feel something along these lines of those points above may have happened....
*Was Mankind a Creation to Replace those LV-223 Engineers?
*Where those LV-223 Engineers supposed to Watch After us, but Rebelled and then tried to Cast Dominion over us?
So did they grow JEALOUS of us?
The connection between the Black Goo/Sacrificial here is what i have always been drawn too... but Alien Covenant does kind of contradict it a bit.
The connection to what LV-223 was, is backed up a bit with how i view the Welcoming Engineers in Alien Covenant and the lack of fear of the Juggernaught....
But these are just my interpretations ...
The Xenomorph/LV-223 Engineers connection is a little more of a Grey Area for me... with 3-4 ways to explore it...
One is maybe if those LV-223 Engineers are Created Clones by the Planet 4 Engineers to Replace them for Seeding Worlds... Planet 4 Engineers = Annunaki, LV-223 = Iggi (also to the Planet 4 Engineers as Replicants are to Humans).
So those Prometheus Engineers Can-Not Procreate but only SEED their DNA, they got Fed Up.... maybe against Mankind, maybe against the Planet 4 Engineers.
They come into contact with a Parasite/Organism, that is either Sent as a Punishment or the Punishment is a Hubris for trying to Manipulate them. From this those Prometheus Engineers end up giving Birth to a CHEST BUSTER and they either see this as PERFECTION or they see this as a way for them to GIVE BIRTH to Live that they Can-Not and see this as PERFECTION
And so begins their Experiments... either to Rid Mankind, or maybe also their Brothers/Creators on Planet 4... I have not yet figured out which way this Conflict goes... if its Humans vs Engineers, Engineers Planet 4 vs LV-223 or all three..
But i do feel there is a connection to what i say above....
Ridley Scott i feel gives clues when he talked about AI... in that David is AI, Roy Batty is AI and so MAYBE Prometheus Engineers are AI?
This in Part is my OVERALL interpretation of the Engineer connection.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Why do you take for granted that the sequel will be made? Now that Comcast intervened in the Disney-Fox merge, the series will be losing even more momentum and if The Predator does good the possibility of a new AVP will increase dramatically.
Because RS seems to be obsessed with psychos nowadays (in a recent interview he stated how much he liked Killing Eve) there is no way David would not be the only thing he will be giving a damn. And where did M Foxbender disappeared?
I think those are VERY good points...
I think there is more chance of a AVP Reboot than seeing another Alien movie, i have mentioned this before.
Ridley Scotts Prequel Franchise is in a State of Limbo, because Disney would surely see that even introducing the Xenomorph did not make $$$$$$ so they would Question was it the Xenomorph or the way it was used? They would understand a lot of folk are disappointed in HOW David is the so called Creator of the Xenomorph, and also how some are no happy the Emphasis on the Prequels is about David.
So there is a lot for Disney to consider because the main FOCUS for them would be to make $$$$$$$$ but also avoid a Movie that Tarnishes the Xenomorph.
With Fassbender playing a Android means that they cant leave this Prequel indefinitely, as if they continue and start shooting in 5 years then how do they Fool us that Fassbender is playing a Android who should appear as he would have 12 years prior when shooting Prometheus.
So indeed the Franchise is in LIMBO... and its maybe why eventually a AFTERMATH movie will come next were we will SKIP for the Most Part what ever the Next Movie could have entailed.
With Prometheus we ended with Dr Shaw and David leaving (we can assume) LV-223 in a Juggernaught, we have a separate Weyland and Yutani Company. In the 10 years that Transpired we know the Company has Merged to Weyland-Yutani, and David has arrived on Planet 4 Bombarded the Place and Experimented on all sorts of Life-Forms including Dr Shaw and Engineers.
But those 10 years we SKIPPED and only arrived in the aftermath.
So the Logical Route to go if they continue the Prequels may have to be again a AFTERMATH and so we arrive AFTER what ever Transpires DURING the Covenants Journey, and AFTER it arrives on Origae-6
Which really only limits it to a kind of Re-Hash of Aliens...
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
its all just ended up 1 huge mess hasn't it. from something that should have been epic to this. I love Prometheus. the characters are bad with the exception of David but I can look past them I like the film that much. I love what it DID for the alien franchise (did being past tense as its all been ripped up and used as toilet paper). it opened so many doors to go through and a combination of a loud 'where were the aliens even though u said there wouldn't be any I still expected and wanted them' group and a studio full of spineless suits closed pretty much all of them for the safe approach and what a f**k up theyv made of it. its such a shame as the franchise needed a shot of adrenaline after the AVP series. the reason for the prequels was to answer who the SJ was but now at this point it looks like a bad idea to answer it. I wouldn't have minded if we never find out but theyv committed themselves to it now so fingers crossed they do it justice. really not confident but......
“its all just ended up 1 huge mess hasn't it.”
On the face of it, with no clue as to whether Disney will want to move forward in producing a third film, and the fact that a third film is desperately needed, I would say yes, its huge.
ali81 said, "fingers crossed they do it justice"
HERE! HERE! The prequels ain't over folks!! My fingers are crossed too.
It is a WAITING Game now....
Alien Covenant is the Only Movie in the Franchise that is left open to NEEDING a Sequel.. ALIEN could have been a Stand Alone Movie but kind of set up a Sequel... Because you still had the Derelict/Eggs. And Prometheus was a movie likewise that lent towards needing a Sequel but did not necessarily have to have one.
Aliens and Alien 3 both ended in ways that could have Provided a END to the Franchise/Threat. Alien Resurrection could have led to a Sequel that maybe could bring something NEW than just Xenomorphs.
But ALIEN COVENANT surely is a Movie that 100% Sets Up a Sequel..
Its a Question of how would it SIT if None is made? I think we WILL get a sequel of sorts to Alien Covenant, or at least another Prequel that may try and explain what could have happened next but By-Pass a Sequel.
TWO Problems arise really, both being connected to TIME, and that is Ridley Scott and Micheal Fassbender, the latter being maybe the bigger one... As while we can ask WHAT condition Ridley Scott could be in to make a Sequel or TWO in 5, 10 or 15 years time. The Franchise has continued before with different Directors/Writers.
But the longer we WAIT for a Sequel the Less Likely it could be to Directly Continue mainly due to us having a Synthetic David who is in Control of the Covenant Ship, on its mission to Colonize Origae-6.
The Longer its left, the Lesser a Role David/Walter will play due to how Micheal Fassbender WILL Age.... and are Synthetics Supposed to Age?
Which means the LONGER we wait the more Chance that David/Walter we play a lesser role and appear as a Damaged Synthetic Corpse, unless we rely on CGI to Touch Up Fassbender and make him appear as a 35-40 year old MALE
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Daniels to me was a waste, I never got to know anything about her personality. OK so she wanted to build a cabin on the lake but so what? How was she as a person? Was she shy? A leader-type? Logical? I never understood that and I tend to agree with a review at Youtube where he said that she had no personality. She was not stupid and naive like Shaw but I never understood what she was like. Unfortunately she was just another character where they failed. Most of the characters did not have a clear personality to the point where I have forgotten most of the characters names in the movie. Writing this makes me draw the conclusion that it was not the actors fault since most were like that, it is very likely that the script simply was not good.
Yeah but at least they could reduce his role, hopefully Disney makes them do so. At least Disney many times get the humans right if I like the characters is another issue.
You wrote that maybe the company could take David out (he told them things in Advent). He might think that he gets away with it but it could be his downfall (“a king has his reign...” and so on). This could also be a small connection with Prometheus maybe his time will come as it did with Weyland even though he was not very interesting.
“WHEN does he Die?”
Maybe his monsters turn on him early in the movie. They have some intelligence as seen in Alien. Perhaps he thought that he could control them but was wrong.
It will be interesting to see how the Engineers will react. I am more interested in this than to see more David, he is not as interesting after what we got in AC.
What if the humans does some insurrection against David and his tyranny. David uses the monsters while at the same time the Engineers are out to get David. Good luck you effing fascist! Nope it is time for him to die, I am tired of David because of how he was in AC.
It could give a more claustrophobic feeling if it was on the ship because then they have less space. Maybe it starts on the ship but then they got to land at a planet that they are not prepared for? This would be a little like AC but I had no problem with that part in it.
“So again David/Walter has to play a role to get the Engineers to arrive where the Humans are and Interact...”
Sigh! At least they could reduce their screen-time for better done human characters. This would not be too difficult if we go from 60% of the time dedicated to androids (David and Walter) to maybe 35%, that would be better.
“… if they are aware of LV-223 and its mission to Earth... then the Engineers would surely be heading to LV-223 and Earth and so its HOW do they arrive at Origae-6 or know the Covenant ship is where the Culprit is and where this ship is at the time they arrive.”
Well that is up to the writers to make something smart out of. I am not a writer so I do not know too much about this.
Yeah but at least they could reduce David’s role compared to AC, that is not too much to ask for. They could have humans battling monsters and have him playing a role while being in the background.
Humans first, the rest comes after that, this is what the prequels have gone wrong IMO.
As far as the franchise being on shaky ground they have themselves to blame. If they would have concentrated on getting better human characters then we might not have had this problem. Fox and Scott are mostly to blame.
“They would understand a lot of folk are disappointed in HOW David is the so called Creator of the Xenomorph, and also how some are no happy the Emphasis on the Prequels is about David.”
If they pay attention but I am not sure, get new jobs to those that thought that the issue with P was a lack of Xenos because I doubt if they know what they are doing. Hopefully they understand that many dislike that (I think that it sucks but he was OK in Prometheus).
“… and its maybe why eventually a AFTERMATH movie will come next were we will SKIP for the Most Part what ever the Next Movie could have entailed.”
If that means less David/androids then good.
“So there is a lot for Disney to consider because the main FOCUS for them would be to make $$$$$$$$ but also avoid a Movie that Tarnishes the Xenomorph.”
I do not want another 1000 Xenos, I want well-written human characters to relate to. Monsters do not mean a thing if we can not feel something for the victims. Alien 1-3 got this right because they cared about the characters. It is the same with horror movies in general. Zombie movies are in general about people that live under extreme cir***stances and what they do then so they got to get the characters for us to care, the same with the alien movies but they have been on the wrong path since at least 1997.
“Which really only limits it to a kind of Re-Hash of Aliens...”
That has not got to be the case though, they can still come up some variation to avoid that.
“They would understand a lot of folk are disappointed in HOW David is the so called Creator of the Xenomorph, and also how some are no happy the Emphasis on the Prequels is about David.”
Those two is where I stand about this issue.
“Which means the LONGER we wait the more Chance that David/Walter we play a lesser role.”
I do not mind androids in movies but the prequels have been too much about them. There is no balance right now, that is why the movies are lacking to me.
“The Longer its left, the Lesser a Role David/Walter will play due to how Micheal Fassbender WILL Age.... and are Synthetics Supposed to Age?"
Maybe waiting is not a bad idea if they do not replace him with another robot that gets all attention.
it rest a while so we hopefully will not get another movie about a tyrannical robot because in my mind that is not what Alien is about. That Scott seems to act like it is about David, that is his thing. He might be good at world building but he should stay away from story writing otherwise we will get things like the prequels being about David which is just bad.
There was always going be a problem with introducing Human Characters and Follow the Plot to Prometheus.... For Characters to work they have to be a part of the Story in Real time and so a Character from a Flash Back has no real connection unless this Character appears latter in real time or has a deep deep connection to a Character in real time (Time-Line the movie is mainly set in).
Characters also have to be ones we can engage with WHO will make it to the Next Movie so we can build upon this.
THIS is where the Problem would have arose with Prometheus, by changing Dr Shaws Character and having a Well Written David may not appeal to everyone if its a movie dealing around the interaction of those TWO Characters... So its about INTRODUCING other Characters who can then interact at some point with David/Dr Shaw.
Connecting to a Android can be hard for some, but if done right we could get some Sympathy for a AI Character, but this only works if they are done well and put in a situation and Character Development we can connect with.... with Alien Covenant he came across as just a Evil/Crazy Robot to many.
Introducing Engineer Characters or other Humanoids would be hard to do and have us engage with them, compared to Humans.. mainly because of the Communication Barrier. Meeting a Alien Race who could be in Jeopardy and yet connect with Dr Shaw is hard to do, unless we get some Plot Device to explain how Dr Shaw can Communicate and using David as a Translator would kind of take the Edge of any way we could feel for these None-English speaking Humanoid Species.
We could have had a Mission to LV-223, where we are introduced to more Human Characters, but it would be hard to maybe pull off a Movie that goes back/forth in a Plot where half the movie is about David and Dr Shaw while the other Half is about a Rescue Mission to LV-223. And in order to allow us to connect with these Characters, some have to Survive LV-223 and then at some point be set up to maybe meet up with David and Dr Shaw... which another way around would be IF David did not leave LV-223 but did all his experiments on LV-223
Which would mean NOT really finding out Dr Shaws Answers (which we did not really anyway) and so if they went this route of David and Dr Shaw stay on LV-223, it would been ideal if they Found Another Engineer, and then allowed for some to Return... but the SET-UP was that Dr Shaw and David had left that Place (LV-223) and so when we saw that Ship leaving LV-223, we are led to the SET-UP that it would be off to the Engineers Home-world.
So by following Dr Shaw and David and interacting with Engineers or Humanoids and having David either Translate or the Engineers have a Device that allows Dr Shaw to be able to speak to them... we would have to wonder if THIS Plot allowed for us to connect with Characters?
Introducing another Group of Humans on their way to LV-223 could mean a movie that is going back/forwards between TWO Plots/Events that could become complicated and maybe be harder to devote time to WHICH Characters we are to be drawn to who will continue in the next movie.
These are Problems which likely is ONE reason for the Change of Plot to what we had in Alien Covenant, where being set 10 years latter and a After-Math Movie... allowed us to be introduced to the Covenant Crew.
The Problem we are left with is only Daniels and Tennessee Survived and they are not exactly the best Characters.. But there could be a way to Solve this.... But thats unlikely and difficult with the ENDING where Daniels knows Davids Identity... instead of keeping this a Secret from her.
To me we never got much fleshed out Characters to them, the TWO Main Human Characters just Did-Not Stand out was Important to the Plot or at least had depth that we saw with Dr Shaw... while her Character was broken a bit, we could see she was ONE of the Main Characters as far as Character Investment...
Oram Stood out as a Main Character, but Daniels just never looked anything more important than Lope.
I think a lot of Emphasis/Loss seemed to appeal to Orams Character, Daniels did not seem to be too upset about her LOSS or what happened on Planet 4 both prior and after... it appeared her interest was only for HERSELF.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
I think its going to be hard to STRIKE the Balance between what Fans want, as their is a varied Bunch of Camps out their... some are interesting in the Philosophy and David and Engineers, some completely have Fallen Out with any interest in David...
Its a Hard Balancing Act... ONE that Alien Covenant to a degree attempted... only the Engineers and Dr Shaw got brushed aside too much and the Alien Scenes were just not enough Action Enough for Aliens Fans.... and not enough Haunted House Alien vibe for the Alien Fans... as the Neomorph and Xenomorph Scenes were RUSHED and the Emphasis seemed to be too much on David/Walter and then a Lead Character who we did not get to connect well with DANIELS
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Shaw - stupid and naive.
You often allude to this idea.
The Prometheus was on an archeological mission to a solar system to investigate the meaning of the hieroglyphs. There was no evidence left on earth to suggest the Engineers were anything other than teachers. No myth which suggested they might be wicked.
The Prometheus landed safely on a planetoid were there were no signals or signs of life. The crew tested the atmosphere and knew its chemical composition. If one discovered an ancient monument in the desert you would not turn up with guns and security. There was no evidence at all that it was an unfriendly environment.
As scientists they became aware of some kind of outbreak but what none of the crew knew was that the real danger to them came with the mission just as Ash was put on the Nostromo for counter intuitive reasons.
Why was the Prometheus mission a disaster because David opened the door to the Urn Sanctuary without authorisation from Shaw. Everything that happened flowed from the Urns being exposed. Shaw retrieved the head and was stubborn that would be seen as brave rather than stupid. It was a risk but the head provided the answers.
The rest of the jeopardy in the film arose from Weylands insistence that they met the Engineer by this time Elizabeth was the conscience of the mission and the heroine having survived her caesarian. She inspired Janek to destroy the Juggernaut which resulted in Earth surviving. She was dogged determined and after all the life changing transformative experiences knew she had to find the link with the Engineers and there home world. She was in sacrificial mode the highest state of human heroism.
What did the planetoid represent and how did it relate to Paradise.
Why did the Engineers create us and then wish to destroy us. Are they really our creators and how does the myth of a creation God sit with what appears to be an Engineered existence.
What was the significance of the Teardrop moment.
Specifically what did David find out during cryo sleep.
What was the impact of him downloading Weylands and Shaws (and anyone else's subconscious) in flight.
When they boarded the Juggernaut what did he find out about the Engineers.
Then we arrive at the Homeworld of this extra ordinary advanced civilisation that can create life (and probably terraform) and we receive answers to
1) What did the planetoid represent (which would lead to why they created us and tried to destroy us).
2) How did it relate to Paradise.
You have the perfect set up of a co dependent relationship which will/should be transformed by Elizabeth healing David which would have given Fassbender something to really get his teeth into.
and all you can say is they would have problems understanding each other though David had broken that key. This is science fiction several answers can overcome that issue.
I can think of a good many ways in which they could pass 120 minutes without resorting to bringing in yet another mission to be killed off and most importantly let go of all the A L I E N tropes. It would have been audacious fresh and the horror would be in the ideas and audacity of the story not people being chased down corridors.
Too bad that the AC's main mission was to reintroduce the Xenomorph... And to be honest. modern financially successful horror movies are full of jump-scares (including also IT here) and gore, so they applied the formula.
Ps. Can't wait to read your script if there is one.
Thank you for your interest it will be in the form of a novel. If I may I would like to test the basic principles of the work.
Essentially it will deal with the themes raised in Prometheus.
1) The search for our creators and whether the Engineers depicted in the pictograms are our creators.
2) If they are our creators (the indications from Prometheus is they are but we at this stage do not know the relationship between the planetoid and Paradise) in what cir***stances did that creation come about.
3) What is the meaning of the planetoid and its relationship with Paradise, as David calls it, toward the end of Prometheus.
Part of that will include the meaning of the derelict and its cargo and where it fits in.
4) You created us (did they) why did you wish to destroy us.
These are the strategic story telling questions begun in Prometheus and which will be given an answer.
In addition at a tactical level a fuller understanding will be gained of :-
1) What David learned whilst the crew were in cryo sleep.
2) The meaning of the Urn Sanctuary.
3) The reason why the frescos altered and the storm "got up" when the crew entered the sanctuary.
4) Further explanation of the Engineer technology namely :-
b) The electro static paste which David "reads" and calls impressive.
c) The use of music to conjure up protocols.
d) The relationship between the Jockey and the machine and the console.
At an emotional level the story is essentially Elizabeths journey supported by David, the horrific truth she realises about herself and about .....
The structure of the story is :-
1) The Planetoid.
a) Co Dependent.
b) The Healing.
c) Building a Mystery.
2) The Crossing.
a) The special relationship.
a) "We love water and green trees".
b) The Lake.
c) Unwanted Guests.
Journey to Ixtlan
a) An old friend.
b) David returns.
a) The storm.
b) "The Vanished Gardens of Cordoba".
c) "So deep a malice"
d) "You are a small people, silly people, greedy barbarous and cruel".
e) The fountain.
The Final Journey.
Obviously as I sit down to write each section new ideas will evolve. The horror is in the ideas and the enigmatic nature of the atmosphere of the story.
@Michelle Johnston, I like how you keep using references to Lawrence of Arabia. And judging of your ideas I might get a hint where this might go, but I'm hoping you will have inspiration to do something good with it ...
The point about L of A is a good one because the principle overall is to take an idea that was hinted at in Prometheus and flesh it out. So if David is very familiar with the movie we have potentially only seen a small amount of its general allegorical impact on the tale and in particular how David would view his experiences in Prometheus : Paradise. However to return to Prometheus T E Lawrence was horribly manipulated by the establishment and David would see in Peter Weyland's highly manipulative behaviour the ghost of Dryden et all and would be determined to deal with what was to come and what he learnt in his own way. Oddly enough the intelligence he gathers (for himself) then plays into the repositioning of the story on the planetoid where David responding to the revelation of her healing kindness then takes her into his confidence. David was provided with emotional protocols something later models were denuded of that is why he reacted emotionally to Peter Weylands first instructions and every subsequent transaction, this is why I believe Elizabeths treatment of him had lasting impact.
My David is the David we see glimpsed in the Crossing and that together with the new information that David and Elizabeth find out on the planetoid leads directly into his more cir***spect behaviour when he arrives at ... .....-.. .
I take your point I want to be grounded in the story of Prometheus and its themes but not WEIGHED down by it.
Seems a interesting list of Scenes Michelle i look forwards to when you begin and complete your project.
"I can think of a good many ways in which they could pass 120 minutes without resorting to bringing in yet another mission to be killed off and most importantly let go of all the A L I E N tropes"
I certainly think a lot of this could have Panned out as such, i think the Problem is Gauging what the Majority of Fans would WANT... You can get movies with Few Characters that really can WORK if they are done right. There is a lot of Dynamic that could have been explored with David and Dr Shaw...
Regarding the lack of Human Characters and Translations... i think this was a difficult thing to consider for FOX/Ridley Scott... But it does not mean we would have to bring Humans from Earth into the Subject.
We see those Planet 4 Engineers were much more Human looking rather than the more Fearsome Military Types we saw in Prometheus.. and so we could imagine the kind of Culture these beings had, the Bombardment Scene came across as though these beings were NOT just Aggressive $^&$%&* as Ridley Scott called the Engineers after Prometheus. so you could create Characters to connect with from Engineers if some are portrayed in a more Benevolent Way or are put in Jeopardy. David could have been a Translator/Narrator but there is NOTHING to stop a Plot Device Existing were Dr Shaw comes across or is given some Technology that allows her to be able to Understand the Engineers. Weyland had invented the Dream/Vision Visor and so who knows if the Engineers could have a similar Technology that allowed them to communicate with the various Races they Seed/Visit... like some Telepathic Link.
I think the route they took with Alien Covenant brought the Engineers too closer to Home, which could cause some Contradictions.. and In-continuity to the Franchise. David and Dr Shaw could have Traveled to a Engineer World that was THOUSANDS of Light Years away, and came across Not Only Engineers but other HUMANOIDS as i have said a few times on here, which goes in relation to Prometheus and some comments RS had made... Is EARTH the only World where Humans had been seeded? In the Context to our SPACE GARDENERS there could have been MANY worlds...
so we could have explored a World with Human Characters or Humanoids, who are Far Far away from Earth... just as in Battle Star Galactica we have another Race of Humans Far Far away from Earth.. which the Newer TV Series Expanded on more.. and also explored in Caprica..
I think a Problem may have been it would be a bit Tedious to have Dr Shaw not understand these beings, and having David to Translate, and have the Engineers or other Humans Speak Engineer and we have Sub-Titles.. It would be too much of a Coincidence if these beings SPOKE English.... But we could have had a Piece of Technology at some point used on Dr Shaw where she can then understand/speak their Language and then we at a certain point ONCE she is incorporated to this device or it affects her Brain.. We then hear the Engineers or other Humanoids in English.
So i dont think it was Necessary to Shoe-Horn in a Plot were Planet 4 was so close, just so that Humans could be brought into the Plot at the Expense of Dr Shaw and the Engineers.
So it will be interested Michelle to see/read your ideas ;)
My Prometheus 2 revolved around 55-60% based on the Company and what happens on that side of the Story, it was then about 25-30% about David and Dr Shaw... which would have covered a few things including Flash Backs from both their Past... with about 10-15% about the Engineers and Flash Backs...
i would have been setting up more about the Engineers for the 2nd Movie Sequel which would have covered David and Dr Shaws arrival at Paradise, while setting up a side plot to the Company's Mission to LV-223 arriving... which would have allowed a 4th Movie to Connect David and Engineers back to LV-223.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
A couple of points.
My vision, as was the original intent, is to move substantially away from the mode and mood of an Alien film. As we know they never reconciled how closely narratively related P. should be to A. constantly shifting back and forth. My view is you absolutely nail the connection which has some story telling value and then move on.
2) You make a very good point about LV223 and once again we know the story was originally set on LV426. You have repeatedly made reference to how LV 223 cannot be left out of the story it is to big a lose end in terms of the residual knowledge of the Weyland Corporation - I deal with that to but not in away you expect.
Now when I write this up I will be looking very critically not at it's plausibility but as to whether it "feels" right. I am hopeful as I keep on playing the images back and dialogue back and forth that it will work.
As to the larger audience and whether the kind of story I envisage would have sold so as not to give the game away I can think of one recent science fiction film that operates in the same mode but the "pure"AVP type audience certainly would not like it.
Thanks both for your remarks. I have 41 days in the same location in New Zealand beginning the 27th November. Thats when I aim to sit down and write up the ideas. I will get back to you both when its ready to be shared. In the meantime I am constantly brain storming. The over arching story is all there. I love the idea of saying "what does that mean" and find the answer comes out of nowhere !!