Although some of the projects Damon Lindelof has worked on as a writer/creator have often been met with mass frustration (most notably Lost of course), there is no doubt the man has some real talent for producing original and refreshing stories full of suspense, intrigue and mystery.
I’m sure his work on the upcoming Star Trek: Into Darkness will be top draw, with the film being enhanced substantially by his vision. But on hearing the news that he will have no involvement in the Prometheus sequel, I’ve got to say, I am somewhat relieved.
There is no doubt Prometheus was missing something. It was never going to match the critical success or cult status of Alien, but it was still an underwhelming contribution to both the much obsessed over mythology of the franchise and Ridley Scott’s portfolio.
This is not to say Lindelof was completely to blame for Prometheus’ failings (especially as his final version was a re-write of Jon Spaihts original screenplay), although when a film features actors such as Idris Elba, Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender but you still leave the cinema feeling there was a serious lack of character development, some fingers do need to be waved towards the writing department.
Obviously a sci-fi epic aiming for box office glory does need its fair share of explosions, action set-pieces and of course, A-list stars, but this narrative suffered from an overcrowded ship full of characters whose screen time lasted only a few minutes in some cases.
I think Idris Elba’s Janek had the opportunity to mumble a few sentences before meeting his demise. Compare this to any one of the crew in Alien and you realise how integral it is to allow characters the opportunity to grow and evoke empathy in order to build on a films mood, intensity, and ultimately, appeal.
So whether he’s too busy, as he revealed to Collider, or whether mutual decisions have been met for him not to return, the second Prometheus instalment should benefit from a fresh perspective and a reshuffle in the writing department.
If it is a direct continuation on from the first, Prometheus 2 only has two protagonists so far (well, one and a bit really). And if we are going to follow David and Elizabeth Shaw to the Engineers’ home planet, then surely there isn’t too much room for the discovery of more fellow earthlings on this deep space journey?
Creating a story solely based around this duo and their further adventure could make for an interesting scenario, but let’s be honest; there will probably be a whole bunch of other household names squeezed into the mix by the time shooting begins.
No matter how the pre-production does unfold for the Prometheus sequel, let’s just hope that the new writer(s) decide to concentrate more on quality rather than quantity this time.