Quickly becoming the go-to guy for space adventures, screenwriter Jon Spaihts turned a a conversation about returning to the universe of Ridley Scott’s seminal film Alien into a job writing the highly anticipated summer blockbuster Prometheus, out in theaters on June 8th. Many established writers had taken stabs at the idea with little success, but Spaihts offered a take, during a meeting at Scott Free Productions, that interested not only the studio, but Ridley Scott himself, who signed on to direct it. Five drafts later, screenwriter Damon Lindelof (Lost) came on to rebalance the story and elaborate on some character relationships and mythology while leaving the characters in place and the infrastructure of the story standing.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider (which was done just before the announcement that he would be writing a reboot of The Mummy franchise), Jon Spaihts talked about what it was like to collaborate with Ridley Scott, blocking out expectations when you’re writing a screenplay for a film with so much interest, why all of the secrecy is crucial for the viewing experience, remaining true to canon whenever possible, that he read Lindelof’s draft which he says has a new energy and some new ideas but is still a story that he feels a lot of ownership of, and more. He also talked about completing work on the graphic novel adaptation World War Robot, an original story he’s doing for Jerry Bruckheimer that’s a romantic action-adventure with a sci-fi hook, the original feature Children of Mars that he wrote for Scott Rudin (that is currently circling in development, as it’s not the best time to make a big sci-fi movie about Mars), a rewrite he did of George and the Dragon, and whether he’d ever consider trying his hand at directing. Check out what he had to say after the jump.