After initial writer Jon Spaihts penned a more “Alien”-oriented prequel with the initial script for “Prometheus,” writer Damon Lindelof was brought onboard to scale back those elements.
His re-writes favored a more ambitious sci-fi tale with the Engineers being the focus. Lindelof didn’t return to write the follow-up, “Alien: Covenant,” but was recently asked by Collider what he thought of it:
“I can’t respond to Covenant along the lines of ‘I like it’, ‘I don’t like it’, ‘It’s good’ or ‘It’s bad’ because of my relationship to that material. That said, anytime I go to a movie I’m going to the movie because I want to like it and I was able to do that with Covenant.
I really wanted to like it and therefore I was able to like it. I thought that Fassbender’s performance was off the hook. I love Ridley Scott’s filmmaking and there’s some incredibly beautiful filmmaking in that movie, so I programmed myself to enjoy the experience and I was successful in achieving my programming, I will say that.”
Lindelof was also asked if he saw in the final film was akin to what he and Scott had discussed for a potential “Prometheus” sequel during the making of that film. He said:
“I don’t know, I mean we weren’t necessarily talking about what the sequel to Prometheus would be as opposed to like where this journey was going to end up, and I think that the themes that Ridley was really interested in overlapped with themes that I was interested in, which is things that he had already explored in Blade Runner.
He had always explained Prometheus to me as the marriage between Alien and Blade Runner because he was interested in this idea of creation and that there were three generations of creation. You have man and his creation, which are the synthetic beings, the androids, the robots, replicants, whatever you wanna call them depending on which Ridley movie you’re in. And then what’s the next level of that, which is who created man?
So that search for God as it were to go and ask, ‘Why did you make me and to what end?’ was something that Ridley was interested in and was in Jon Spaihts’ draft long before I came along, and so that was the thing that I keyed into.
I think that one of the conversations that we had at the end of Prometheus is, Shaw and David have basically locked in on the coordinates of the planet where the Engineers came from. What does that place look like? Ridley called it ‘Paradise’. What happens when they land on that planet?
It doesn’t feel like they’ve gotten there yet in Covenant, Covenant felt like it maybe was a detour prior to them arriving at the place of origin so I don’t want to spoil any place that he might still be wanting to go, but the conversations that he and I had about where the story goes next were largely about the place where the Engineers were from and less the events of Covenant.”
One thing that might help illuminate answers is the new official “Alien: Covenant” prequel novel – “Alien: Covenant – Origins”. Heavily connected to “Alien” lore, the book offers backstory on the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. Here’s the full synopsis via Bloody Disgusting:
“As the colony ship Covenant prepares for launch, and the final members of the crew are chosen, a series of violent events reveal a conspiracy to sabotage the launch. Yet the perpetrators remain hidden behind a veil of secrecy.
The threat reaches all the way up to Hideo Yutani, the head of the newly merged Weyland-Yutani Corporation, when his daughter is kidnapped. Is the conspiracy the product of corporate espionage, or is it something even more sinister?
While Captain Jacob Branson and his wife Daniels prepare the ship, Security chief Dan Lopé signs a key member of his team, and together they seek to stop the technologically advanced saboteurs before anyone else is killed, and the ship itself is destroyed in orbit.”
Alan Dean Foster penned the prequel novel which hits bookstores on September 26th.