PROMETHEUS Screenwriter Jon Spaihts Confirms Earlier Script for ALIEN: ENGINEERS, Plus Changes from Script to Screen

     November 12, 2012

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Love it or hate it, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus certainly got people talking. The “prequel” with “Alien DNA” was penned by two screenwriters: Jon Spaihts (The Darkest Hour) and Damon Lindelof (Cowboys & Aliens), in addition to the original conception of the franchise elements from Ronald Shusett and the late Dan O’Bannon.  After five drafts by Spaihts, Lindelof was brought in to balance the story and to expand on character relationships and mythology, but to leave the characters and the narrative structure in place. What resulted was a bit of a mess, in my opinion. But now, Spaihts’ original script, titled Alien: Engineers, is available for the readin’! Hit the jump to see where you can find it and for a summary of some of the major changes that occurred from script to screen.

prometheus-engineer-imageSpaiths recently spoke about the scenes left unseen from his original script, including the greater prevalence of the xenomorphs and a different version of the MedPod scene. The writer himself confirmed the authenticity of the Alien: Engineers script that popped up over the weekend via his Twitter account. You can read the full 118-page script here, and/or check out the differences in brief below:

  • Spaihts’ version involved an underwater sequence where the Earth-bound scientists discovered the star map with the use of submarines in a sunken Mediterranean city.
  • When pitching the exploratory mission to Weyland, Spaihts had alternate versions taking place aboard a space station and Weyland’s home on Mars, which was in the process of being terraformed.
  • Spaihts tries to explain away the idiocy of the scientists Milburn (Rafe Spall) and Fifield (Sean Harris), saying it was more due to editing, since they cut an earlier scene of Milburn becoming ecstatic over the discovery of a harmless alien life form: “It really showed how excited Milburn was by experiencing any extra-terrestrial, sophisticated life. That sort of explains why he’s acting like a complete utter moron here. The last thing you do when you see a snake in the wild is get your face really close to it and start smiling and extending your hand like you wanna pet it.”
  • Scott himself had the idea for ramming one spaceship into another and it was Spaihts’ job to make that work in the narrative.
  • Spaihts can claim the credit for the MedPod scene and Shaw’s impregnation, for better or worse.

Thanks to The Playlist for putting together a nice wrap-up of the major differences between  Spaihts’ script and the Lindelof contributions. Be sure to check out the full article here. There are more differences to be found at this AVP Galaxy forum.

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