If there were a lesson to be learned from Damon Lindelof’s Lost, it ought to be that you can get away with setting up gazillions of intriguing, portentous clues, provided that your TV show runs for so long that most people eventually forget what it was they were waiting so eagerly to find out about in the first place. The Lindelof-scripted Prometheus resembles the first season of the island-set series in that it crammed spaceship-loads of intriguing nuggets into its two-hour running time but really only attempted to resolve a small proportion of them, leaving the audience with more questions than they had in the first place.
Now it’s somebody’s job to unravel the whole (admittedly highly entertaining) preposterous mess. The Playlist this week reported comments from Noomi Rapace, the only human member of the crew of the Prometheus to survive the movie intact and without obvious mutations, suggesting that process is finally under way.
“They’re working on the script. I met Ridley in London a couple of weeks ago. I would love to work with him again and I know that he would like to do another one. It’s just like we need to find the right story. I hope we will.
“And it’s interesting because people, most people I’ve talked to who see the movie, see things that are quite different. Some people who see the movie many times and discover new things. There are all these religious aspects and there are very interesting conversations. And for me, if we do a second one, there are a lot of things to explore in there and to continue. I would love to do it.”
Rapace remained tight-lipped about who exactly has taken on part two, though we can assume that Scott will return in some form. Whoever it is – not Lindelof, who has smartly cried off, citing other commitments – must be weeping into their typewriter, for this is a chalice so poisonous it could fell an elephant.
Let’s consider the facts. At the end of Prometheus, Rapace’s Elisabeth Shaw is about to set off in an Engineer spacecraft with only mischievous android David for company, her intention to find the aliens’ home world and ask them what the devil they thought they were doing trying to wipe out the human race when it was they who created us in the first place.
Where is this supposed to go now? Can we really imagine a sequel in which Shaw actually finds the Engineers and spends the rest of the movie lecturing them for their poor form? Scott has said that the new film, far from channelling Prometheus towards the beginning of the original Alien movie, is likely to “tangentialise even further away”. Lindelof’s reticence to get involved suggests he hasn’t a clue where to take it – “I do feel like it might benefit from a fresh voice or a fresh take or a fresh thought” is the official bluster – so no point looking there for help.
We do know (because Lindelof has confirmed it) that Michael Fassbender’s David is fascinated by Shaw and seems genuine about his intention to take her anywhere she wants to go. But is she right to trust a creature that the audience knows played biological experiments with her boyfriend? Is David really free to pursue his own path in the wake of his creator Peter Weyland’s death, or might he be programmed to return to Earth, resulting in an Aliens-type scenario? Certainly, Prometheus 2 would be a lot more fun if Shaw were to approach the Engineer homeworld with a little more human company.
The only other solution might be for Shaw to find herself crash-landing somewhere entirely unexpected with something nasty having come along for the ride: a remote population centre with more poor humans to be rounded up and killed off one by one in horrific circumstances, perhaps. But that’s too close to elements of David Fincher’s Alien III and would completely fail to answer any of the highfalutin questions about the origins of mankind so infuriatingly posed by the first film. Let’s not forget that even if it doesn’t link directly to Alien, the sequel will need to hint at the ongoing development of the xenomorphs, or I for one will be furiously disappointed.
Where do you expect Prometheus 2 to take us, and should it attempt to bring the story back round to the events of the original film (on both biological and narrative levels) or blast off into ever more expansive, existential territory? First person to come up with a viable get-out-of-jail card for Scott and his crew wins the gratitude of frustrated science fiction fans everywhere.
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