Original ‘Prometheus’ Script Online: Was It a Better Movie Before Damon Lindelof Was Involved?
'Prometheus' may already have been released on DVD and Blu-ray but the debate rages on: what exactly was 'Prometheus?' Some people a love it, a lot of people hate it and almost everyone has a lot of questions. But was it once a better movie? The film's original script - titled 'Alien: Engineers' - has appeared online and gives us a glimpse of 'Prometheus' before Damon Lindelof got to tinkering with the story.
Written by Jon Spaihts (who got story credit on 'Prometheus'), 'Alien: Engineers' is very much the groundwork for 'Prometheus.' The characters are the same - there's Vickers and Janek and zombie Fifield and David and Holloway, though oddly Noomi Rapace's character is named Jocelyn Watts instead of Elizabeth Shaw - and the basic story structure is the same. Though 'Alien: Engineers,' as its name would suggest, is very much an 'Alien' movie.
Whereas 'Prometheus' was billed as some sort of weirdo prequel-but-not-really-a-prequel of the 'Alien' movies, the 'Alien: Engineers' script is a more direct prequel. There are old-school facehuggers (David unleashes one to deliberately infect Watts/Shaw, who then goes through a very similar Cesarean/abortion sequence) and old-school xenomorphs in full-on attack mode. There's even a traditional chestbuster scene as Holloway, making love with Watts/Shaw, falls victim to the aliens:
Sitting atop Holloway, Watts lays a hand on his chest.
Your heart’s beating so hard.
That’s your fault.
Vulnerability in his voice. Fear under the surface.
He rolls on top of her. Drives her into the mattress. She holds him protectively: not deceived by his bravado.
Suddenly Holloway tenses, muscles rigid. Shuddering. Watts draws breath through her teeth with a hiss. Eyes open. Her fingers rake his back.
Horribly. Eyes bulging. Tendons standing out of his throat. Watts jumps violently underneath him.
And you can see where things go from there (and why Watts/Shaw knows what do do when she's later infected).
But is the original Jon Spaihts draft better than what Damon Lindelof and Ridley Scott put on screen? It's hard to say. It's certainly more straightforward. In hindsight, it seems more clear, more brave and more entertaining but perhaps that's only because it's filling in the gaps created by Scott's film. Spaihts draft may not have made a better film.
If you're curious, you can read the entire 'Alien: Engineers' script here. Then you can continue on the debate as 'Prometheus 2' moves forward at Fox.