Damon Lindelof on ‘Alien: Covenant’ and ‘Prometheus’ Sequel Ideas

     June 7, 2017


When Ridley Scott announced his intention to not only return to the sci-fi genre for the first time since Blade Runner, but to do it with a prequel to the film that began his career, Alien, excitement levels were through the roof. As the script developed, Scott and writer Jon Spaihts fleshed out what would become the meat of Prometheus, and then Damon Lindelof was brought in to further work on the script. Lindelof was tasked with scaling back the Alien-ness of the story and focus more on the Engineers, and indeed the finished product is a wildly ambitious sci-fi thriller that tackles the very question of “Where did we come from?”

Lindelof didn’t return to write the follow-up to Prometheus, the newly released Alien: Covenant, as he was plenty busy creating and running his brilliant HBO series The Leftovers. That show just came to a close just a few weeks after Alien: Covenant hit theaters, and while I recently got the chance to speak with Lindelof at length about The Leftovers finale and the series as a whole, I also asked the writer what he thought of Alien: Covenant. Understandably, Lindelof explained he’s in a unique situation when it comes to that film, but he certainly has praise:

“I can’t respond to Covenant along the lines of ‘I like it’, ‘I don’t like it’, ‘It’s good’ or ‘It’s bad’ because of my relationship to that material. That said, anytime I go to a movie I’m going to the movie because I want to like it and I was able to do that with Covenant. I really wanted to like it and therefore I was able to like it. I thought that Fassbender’s performance was off the hook. I love Ridley Scott’s filmmaking and there’s some incredibly beautiful filmmaking in that movie, so I programmed myself to enjoy the experience and I was successful in achieving my programming, I will say that.”


Image via HBO

Lindelof and Scott had previously spoken a bit about where a potential sequel to Prometheus would go, so I asked Lindelof if what he saw in Covenant was along the lines of what he and Scott had discussed during the making of Prometheus:

“I don’t know, I mean we weren’t necessarily talking about what the sequel to Prometheus would be as opposed to like where this journey was going to end up, and I think that the themes that Ridley was really interested in overlapped with themes that I was interested in, which is things that he had already explored in Blade Runner. He had always explained Prometheus to me as the marriage between Alien and Blade Runner because he was interested in this idea of creation and that there were three generations of creation. You have man and his creation, which are the synthetic beings, the androids, the robots, replicants, whatever you wanna call them depending on which Ridley movie you’re in. And then what’s the next level of that, which is who created man? So that search for God as it were to go and ask, ‘Why did you make me and to what end?’ was something that Ridley was interested in and was in Jon Spaihts’ draft long before I came along, and so that was the thing that I keyed into.”


Image via 20th Century Fox

As for that “end game” idea that Lindelof and Scott discussed, the Leftovers showrunner says that still may be in the offing in a future film as it wasn’t exactly covered in Covenant:

“I think that one of the conversations that we had at the end of Prometheus is, Shaw and David have basically locked in on the coordinates of the planet where the Engineers came from. What does that place look like? Ridley called it ‘Paradise’. What happens when they land on that planet? It doesn’t feel like they’ve gotten there yet in Covenant, Covenant felt like it maybe was a detour prior to them arriving at the place of origin so I don’t want to spoil any place that he might still be wanting to go, but the conversations that he and I had about where the story goes next were largely about the place where the Engineers were from and less the events of Covenant.”

Keep in mind Lindelof had no involvement in Alien: Covenant, so it’s entirely possible that Scott’s plans have changed. But it’s also possible that the planet the Covenant crew landed on wasn’t the birthplace of the Engineers and was instead a colony of sorts. Which would mean the hypersleeping humans, xenomorph embryos, and psychotic David are potentially now charting a course to the home world of the Engineers…

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