Just how many elements of Alien were there in some earlier versions of the Prometheus script? Earlier this week, we talked to screenwriter Jon Spaihts, who says the basic storyline is the same but there's "some truth" to the idea that his script started out as more of an Alien prequel than what Ridley Scott ended up filming.
And now, Damon Lindelof claims there were actual Xenomorphs in the film, until he was hired to "scale back the familiar tropes or symbology of what we think of when we think of an Alien movie."
In a long and quite interesting interview with Entertainment Weekly Lindelof goes into great detail about how he re-wrote the first draft to Prometheus, which meant editing almost all of the Alien tropes out. Here's a small snippet:
"I thought [Spaihts' script] was really cool. It was not at all what I expected it to be. But obviously they were giving it to me for a reason. And this is one of those situations where you're given no advance sense of what they like, what they don't like, you just have to walk out on the plank and say, Here is my fundamental reaction to this thing. So when I finished it I went into my office and I wrote an email to Ridley and his producing partners. And this response was basically my job interview.
I wrote maybe a four or five paragraph email saying here are all the things I love about it, I think there are some incredible set pieces here, I love the fundamental idea behind the movie, I feel like it's a cool think piece. BUT I think it's relying a bit too heavily on the Alien stuff that we've seen now five or six times in different movies. Chest-bursting and face-hugging and xenomorphs and I just feel that your idea is so strong and the characters can be made so strong that we don't need any of that stuff. We can present iterations of that stuff in different ways.
That isn't to say that this isn't a movie that should be set in that universe, but I look at it more like a story that is running parallel to the original Alien, so that if there was a sequel to this movie, it would not be Alien, it would be Prometheus 2. And then Prometheus 2 is parallel to Aliens. And here's how we could do that. And so I sent off that email and I got into my bed. I didn't sleep at all. And at 10 a.m. the next morning, my agent called me and said, 'Whatever it is you did, they liked it. Can you go in and meet now?'"
That said, there still are plenty of Alien inspired things all over the Prometheus trailer. Read the whole interview over at EW now.