Fri
Aug 3 2012 11:00am

Have Severed Robot Head, Will Travel: 5 Ways a Prometheus Sequel Could Work

Like the Nostromo’s computer waking up its sleeping crew in the first Alien film, the blogosphere came alive yesterday with the chatter that a direct sequel to Prometheus is for sure, most likely, going to happen at some point, maybe. But considering everything that happens by the end of the movie, what would that sequel actually be about?

Here are five plot directions the sequel could take. Obviously spoilers for Prometheus, all the Alien movies ahead!

Spoilers for Prometheus ahead!

 

1.) Dr. Elizabeth Shaw Finds Other Space Pilgrims

Prometheus concludes with Dr. Elizabeth Shaw striking out into the unknown with a hijacked ship from the Engineers in search of her “answers.” With her is the severely damaged David android who poisoned her husband and was generally not helpful throughout the entire Prometheus mission. You can’t really conceive of an entire movie with just Shaw and David cruising around, so like Aliens suddenly paired Ripley with a bunch of new characters towards the start of the film, Prometheus 2 could do something similar. The propulsion system on the Engineer ship is probably pretty serious, so Shaw and David could suddenly find themselves in another galaxy, or at the center or the edge of our own. There they could discover a whole mess of other ships from various other species all in search of the same answers. A bunch of these aliens could be friendly and weird, but maybe some of them aren’t so great....

 

2.) Ripley Attempts to Murder Shaw

Because the little squid-thing inside of Shaw is what subsequently creates the xenomorphs—the terrible creatures from the other Alien movies start with her. A sequel then, could really connect the two universes. And that means it’s time to bring back Ripley, specifically Sigourney Weaver. The smart thing here would be to ignore Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection and instead pretend like this is Ripley post-Aliens but a few decades later. Because Shaw is messing around with crazy Engineer faster-than-light travel, she ends up traveling into her own future and seeing all the damage the little squid-baby caused. Enter Ripley, mad as hell and ready to bring the creator of the xenomorphs to justice. Of course Ripley thinks Shaw did it all on purpose and was in league with Weyland, but when she finds out the truth, both of them have to confront the big questions of the search for truth, versus doing what’s practical.

 

3.) Charlize Theron Returns; Reveals She is a Robot

Most audience members feel a little cheated about the inclusion of Charlize Theron’s character in the movie at all. And many more were even more annoyed by the tease that she might be a robot. Was she Weyland’s daughter? Why was she so mad all the time? How come she wasn’t in the movie more? Prometheus 2 could potentially open with Charlize Theron’s hand popping out of the dirt to reveal that she did not die at all on the Planet-of-Crazy. Instead, she wakes up and realizes that there’s something in David’s program that Shaw doesn’t know about. The audience doesn’t know either, but let’s just say David is hell-bent on populating the universe with even more squid babies. Charlize could be like David’s older robot sibling, and thus know slightly more about the crazy stuff Weyland was up to. While David might think he’s doing the right thing, Charlize could realize he’s just being used, resulting in Shaw being caught in the middle of something much bigger than she thought...

 

4.) Whatever Happened to the Prometheus Mission?

This version would take a more horror-movie AvP approach to the whole plot. Perhaps Weyland Industries sends another ship to figure out what happened to the Prometheus mission. Some great big name actors could be part of this crew, and once they arrive they find Charlize Thereon there, dying in the dust. Her last words are “watch out for the monsters” (or something actually awesome.) From this point on, this new crew begins doing battle not only with xenomorph aliens we’re more familiar with, but also the Engineers themselves. To make things interesting, this crew could also have a David android model with them, who somehow receives signals from the other David hanging out with Shaw. Everybody gets together at some point for a massive confab in which the Engineers reveal what humans did to piss them off so much.

 

5.) Spaceship Battles: Human Versus Engineers

This version would be a bit of mishmash of the Space Pilgrims idea combined with the basic threat from Prometheus. Here, Shaw could discover other people are looking for the Enginners too, but not because they want answers! Instead, the Engineers are destroying tons of planets, trying to wipe out all kinds of life. David and Shaw of course know way more about them than most people, so they become invaluable to the war effort to stop the Engineers from destroying all life, everywhere. How would you avoid contradicting the Alien series? Easy: have this all take place in a distant galaxy that also has humans in it who originated from a different planet. Maybe they don’t speak English, so David translates for Shaw. Or maybe they do...making things either more interesting or more confusing...

 

All right space jockeys! What else could actually happen in Prometheus 2? Chime in below!


Ryan Britt is the staff writer for Tor.com. He is the squid baby.

18 comments
Mordicai Knode
1. mordicai
I suppose "a script editor" is too glib an answer?
Mark A. Rivers
2. Mark A. Rivers
Dear Mr. Brit:

I apologize in advance for this response but while I think you are at least showing some creativity and originality than the actual Prometheus film had to show it's viewers, I respectfully disagree with some of your ideas. Here is why:

1) It is obvious that David cannot be trusted, but his enigmatic behavior made him the most interesting and three-dimensional character in the entire film. In addition, it should be noted that Holloway is never stated to be Shaw's husband. Trust me on this. The real point of contention will be when Shaw discovers David's actions from the previous film. That should be a great acting moment for both actors.

2) Ripley's story is over. Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection hold up a lot better than Prometheus does as far as telling some kind of coherent story with characters that at least behave as they are expected to and the films actually carry out everything Ripley feared could happen quite nicely. There is no reason to deny their existence. There is no reason to bring back Ripley. Let's move forward, not backward.

3) Clearly the Xenomorph existed long before the events of Prometheus. Look at the urn room again. The mural clearly shows a kind of relationship the Engineers had with these creatures who they did not create, but perhaps discovered and modified. The derelict on LV426 was around a lot longer than twenty plus years.

4) Vickers is dead. I think to discover her dying remains would be akin to the terrible death scene of Captain Kirk in Star Trek : Generations. She wasn't interesting enough a character to want to see return anyway. I don't think Fox could afford paying both Weaver and Theron in addition to Fassbender and Repace plus whoever else if they followed your ideas.

There are plenty of more interesting ways to redeem Prometheus though I feel they should just let it be and not make another sequel. It you want to talk what could make a good Prometheus sequel, drop me a note. Together we could save this franchise.

Sincerely,
Mark Rivera
Noneo Yourbusiness
3. Longtimefan
"The smart thing here would be to ignore Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection"

I have been doing the smart thing for years.

To be honest I will be doing that for Prometheus and any unfortunate sequels it may spawn. I found the charaters annoying and the plot rather dull.
Mark A. Rivers
4. Dax
I think the best option would be for humanity to pretend this film never existed in the first place, just like batsuit nipples and transdimensional crystal skulls.
Jack Flynn
5. JackofMidworld
I think that finding out Charlize Theron's character is also a 'bot would be pretty cool, especially if she didn't realize it until she survived (sure, people unknowing being robots has bee done before, but it would be an interesting twist). What if she access Engineer data, finds out that Shaw and David are actually going into a trap where the Engineers can use her DNA (which has been slightly altered by the birth of the squid-baby, a la Alien: Rez, he says, while ducking rotten vegetables being thrown by the peanut gallery) and she has to hijack another Engineer ship to catch them before they doom the entire human race.

I saw a pic on Memebase demanding that Shaw be Ripley's great-grandmother, which, yes, I think would be just filled with awesome.
Steve Taylor
6. teapot7
Prometheus itself could have worked but didn't. It's the limpest wet noodle of a film I've ever walked into with positive expectations, full of randomly behaving 'characters', science howlers and plot non-sequiters.

I say I walked in with positive expectations, but the fear had actually started earlier than that when I read interviews with Ridley Scott and discovered that he liked Von Daniken, and that he thought he'd made a movie dealing with the big questions.

So yeah, not that excited about the idea of a sequel.
Mark A. Rivers
7. Earl Rogers
I don't think the squid thing "created the xenomorphs". You'll recall that the "chapel" or shrine within the Engineer/Space Jockey facility had sculptures and artworks displaying the classic "Aliens" (or beings a lot like them) already, indicating that they've been around for a long, LONG time in some form or the other.
Mark A. Rivers
8. threeoutside
I'm with Dax 100%.
Mark A. Rivers
9. GuajaRs
My theory: Shaw will find that the Predators own the Engineer's planet, and that's why the Engineer went to kill all their spawn. We are all too dangerous to be left alone.
That will explain why a race like the Predators has interestellar flight.
Sheila Ruth
10. SheilaRuth
I thought that David was the most interesting character in Prometheus. If they make a sequel, I hope that they do more with him.
Mark A. Rivers
11. yesgrrrl
Hmmm, what else could actually happen in Prometheus 2?

Shaw picks up several new team members as a result of what she believes to be a casual encounter with a stranded ship -- but the evil Weyland Corp. has actually sent the ship to intercept. The team locates (or is steered toward) a new planet that's the original home of the engineers. Finally!

Although the team members have all been trained by a superhigh-tech bazillion-dollar corporation and it takes years for these missions to even get started, and each has been carefully chosen as the ultimate expert in his/her field of study, each team member ventures out onto the new planet, one by one.... taking off their spacesuits prematurely, indiscriminately touching random foreign organisms, being infected by extraterrestrial viruses, etc etc.... and as a result they all die horrible, hideous, gruesome, and painful deaths. Any survivors are beaten to death with David's blond, severed, milk-drooling head.The camera pans up from David's dead head to a mirror on the wall, where a misty image of Charlize Theron's face appears in the glass. She admits she was a robot all along, but we have no idea where she is now, or what her brief appearance means in relation to anything else.

Shaw is the last to survive and after being chased through many corridors by several versions of the Alien (who really cares which version at this point? they can all be explained away with some guess or another), she eventually has a magical life-changing encounter with our ancestors a la Close Encounters. The engineer knows just how to kill the Alien by attacking a tiny weak spot in its underbelly (think Luke's hit to the Death Star).

But the wonderment is sadly short-lived and the Alien kill-zone cannot be passed to characters in any future sequels. After sharing a few precious secrets of the universe (that the audience cannot hear or understand), Shaw is ultimately kicked into a towering waterfall by the giant foot of the gray, hairless engineer, after he accidentally puts tadpoles in her eyes and needs to put her out of her misery.

A single tear falls from the engineer as Shaw tumbles into the abyss. At the base of the falls, Shaw melts into molecules and DNA strands and the teardrop mingles with them, ingiting colorful little CGI sparks and squiggles. We are filled with wonder and awe, knowing that these will soon be reassembled into a new race of dumb-ass explorers and storytellers.
Mark A. Rivers
12. Lenie Clarke
Frankly?

Only a remake/reboot that ignores (nearly) everything of the original's idiotic plot could possibly save this franchise. Just keep Lindeloff as far away as possible.
Mark A. Rivers
13. Malc
I'm with Lenie Clarke and Dax. Prometheus was turgid, pretentious, and full of plot holes and inconsistencies. It was derivative to distraction: suddenly we had zombies, for gods sake! Just toss that in, and get the zombie movie people on side. Doesn't matter it if fits the movie, lots of other things don't either. It was the Heavens Gate of science fiction. Do not make a sequel. If you do, you will reget it! And I will avoid it!
Mark A. Rivers
14. John David's
I liked it. Here's what I took away: the engineers 'seeded' the earth with us...to use us as fodder for their biological weapon, the xenomorphs.
Mark A. Rivers
15. WP
Almost as interesting as the film is the very strong responses to it - people seem to either despise it or love it. There isn't much middle ground.

I was one of the ones fascinated by Prometheus - but, then I had no expectations of it. I knew nothing of its connection to the Alien franchise before watching it. I keep watching certain scenes over and over, trying to decipher them. Rapace and Fassbender are just plain mesmerizing in the roles. As far as the sequel....I wouldn't be surprised if Vickers was a robot. Her character is a complete enigma in Prometheus - it makes sense that her true origin and agenda would be explored in the sequel.

And, the five possible plots above mention the antagonism between Shaw and David, but no mention is made of the clear connection, even 'attraction' between the characters. David's actions up until Weyland's death were not entirely under his control and so, while I doubt Shaw will be pleased when she discovers that David infected her former colleague and lover (he was not her 'husband'), she is far too rational to harbor a grudge. What was the point of their brief conversation about what David would do if he weren't 'programmed' by Weyland? He would be "free." When Shaw remarks that she never wished her parents dead, David gives her an almost affectionate smirk before returning to his duty to Weyland.

From the beginning of the film Shaw displays regard and respect for David, despite his android status - regard which no other crew member seems to express. And, David's clear concern for Shaw's wellbeing on more than one occasion has to count for something. At the end of the film, Shaw's not sure she can trust him - which R. Scott has said will be an issue in the sequel - whether or not to reattach David's head to his body. Now that he is a 'free-agent' what will his agenda be? Am I the only one who thinks David looked seriously pissed when, at the beginning of Prometheus, his 'father,' Weyland said that he was without a soul?

Will David's robotic curiosity and concern about Dr. Shaw be the spark that becomes a flame of humanity? Prometheus is about mankind's search for 'God,' for our origins, but within that story we have an exploration of our dabblings with A.I. and the point at which a sophisticated computer might become self-aware and 'with soul.'

Now, that's a story-line I'd like to watch unfold.
Mark A. Rivers
16. Epimetheus
You are all wrong, and misinterpet much of the movie.

Wickers is jealous of David - he is an android, but "like a son" to Weyland. She models herself to be more like him - hence her occasionally robotic behavior. She desperately seeks her father's approval, but also is desperate to succeed him. She is fully squished by the spaceship.

David is basically good, but is programmed to follow the orders of Weyland. With Wayland dead, no worries. tehre is a them to david too - he is David 8 the 8th interation of the david model andoid. He is "evolving".

The enginners...worship the aliens. Look at the wall of their ship with pictures of the aliens. They created humans to serve as hosts for the more advanced lifeform of the aliens. Evolution isan't just about intelligence.

AVP shows that the Predator species hunts humans and aliens - why do they hunt us? Because we are an "immmature" form of the alien. Hunting us improves them. Evolution again - survival of the fittest.

To potentially tie it all together - perhaps the Enginners/Preditors are in charge of the whole thing. The job of the Engineers is to create technology and bioform planets and create perfect species for the Predators to hunt, which allows them to improve and evolve. This ties not only all the alien movies together, but the Predator and AVP garbage in as well.

Think about AVP - a 2,000 year old pyramid with Aliens in it, and that sends a signal that attracts predators? Aliens that seem able to use both Enginners, humans, and Predators as hosts? The opening of Prometheus - finding that the engineers visited Earth in the same time frame as the predators in AVP? Why was everyone in the same place at the same time?

So what happens next? Shaw has a big problem with David - should she reassemble him? Can she trust him? She eventually decides she has no choice - she has to go into an engineers hypersleep chamber to get to the alien planet (it is a long journey), and someone has to stay awake to fly the ship and make sure the black goo doesn't get her. Eventually she does trust him (think about Aliens and Bishop), reassembles him, and it is to her benefit. She travels to the engineer world. Enroute she is programmed/taught the Engineer language. At the Engineer world she finds a world of engineers, aliens, humans, and predators, with a complex society based on sacrifice rituals, death, hunting. The purpose and point fo the society is to create the "perfect" life form, to evolve physically (predators and aliens) and mentally (Humans and Engineers). The enginners never intended to destroy Earth, but to create the next stage in our evolution, the creation of the alien/predator/Engineer/Human society on Earth. Perhaps 2,000 years ago they "failed" somehow - the aliens didn't take somehow, and that was why a second expedition was planned.

Shaw is captured on the Engineer world, and simply tossed in with the other humans - they think she is one of them - not from a rogue planet like Earth. Her challenge becomes escaping from the world with a small number of human allies she meets. David sacrifices himself to save her and destroy the preditor/engineer/alien society. Think of Prometheus II as a parallel to Alien II, just like Prometheus was a parallel to Alien.
Mark A. Rivers
17. drx1
Imagine you have been extremely successful in life and business and you are very, very old. So old, in fact, you're dying and have mabe a few weeks of life left in you.

Some crack pot scientists come along and convince your people that here could be something to their claim. You know you will die if you do nothing and while a trillion USD$ us not pocket change in 2089, it's prob not much more than say $30B USD in today's dollars and your corporation is already going to other worlds and sytems to terraform them. Mars is prob already finished... and other moons are well on their way.

So you have "the mission" set up, only you really don't tell any but a few trusted souls what the real mission is. This is a very risky mission, but then you'll probably die anyway, might as well go for the gamble, you are actually already dead, so there is nothing to lose. Yet most people missed this critical bit in the movie, so plot holes! It sucks, etc....
Mark A. Rivers
18. Niculae George
The real reason why the Engineer snapped David head off was because he did the most unthinkable abomination in their entire race. He breached the highest sterile environment in the main laboratory chamber, thus contaminating the life giving fluids in the containers, created by the holy grail crystal (lapis philosophorum or many other names) on the altar, all tidy packed as cargo on the terraforming-seeder ships, which were specifically designed for a controllable acceleration of human evolution on planets, unlike the uncontrolled spermatozoid to predator in the end in less than a day, or like those worms carried on the boots from outside into the main sacred chamber, which went into contact with the life giving fluid accelerating their growing rate making them super-strong killer snakes (Exodus 3:5). A complete abomination standing against all that is truly sacred in the universe. All of them were demons of our own making.
The running holograms on the corridors were the Engineers under an emergency contamination protocol, which automatically seals the containers rooms for any worms, germs, microbes, viruses or pathogens. There wasn't supposed to be an atmosphere in the pyramid since they were all wearing helmets on the corridors. An accident with a container initiated a chain reaction forming an undesirable sustainable atmosphere in the pyramid and beyond in an otherwise completely sterile planet.
New cancerous type cells grown on the skin of the engineer head, awakened by reacting to atmosphere inside the ship when the helmet is removed and the pile of dead bodies of engineers in the pyramid, suggest a deadly virus threatened all of them in the newly formed atmosphere on the planet. There was a complete calamity. There is no other sane reason why they will all go into hypersleep chamber, unless their very lives would have been threatened, and they couldn't have abandoned all their laboratories mistakenly seen as pyramids.
When the engineer snapped David head off, he did it under DIVINE JUSTICE, as one of the engineers died decapitated by the automated door to prevent contamination (he tripped running on the corridor, fell behind and the rest of the engineers ahead considered that sealing the main laboratory chamber is more important than one engineer life). He also should have said: "Ops", like David when disregarding Shaw, opens the sealed laboratory door under senile Weyland directives to acquire under any cost this special life giving fluid.
David, taking one of the containers, keeps it cooled precisely not to start a reaction between the two fluids in the vial (like it happened with all the containers when atmosphere entered the main laboratory chamber, David observing condensation forming on them because they were cooled) and follows master Weyland orders to test it on a live human like Holloway to see if the subject is getting younger. Weyland thought all along that the aliens played with the fountain of youth or something. Poor senile man... (Poor in spirit, not in the true meaning of the word). That’s why the ship was named Prometheus. Its objective was to steal Immortality from the Gods. Note David's epiphany "mortal after all" raising in himself a puzzling question: How could these aliens which can die, posses immortality? They are mortal after all!
Ultimately, there are three main mystery key questions in the movie:
1) To what end did the Engineers create life on Earth?
Simple because their level of technology permits it and it's according to the Divine Will.
2) Why did they stop visiting around 2000 years ago?
There was a catastrophic accident on their terraforming outpost station LV223 responsible for life on Earth.
3) Why would at least one faction wish to destroy (or to further mutate) all life on Earth?
Because we are a mistake in their eyes. From the first pair of humans that walked on earth, fall from grace, humankind afterwards plunged into violence, wars, dark ages and so on, unlike any other races and spices they have seeded on other planets. That's why all our alien neighbors in our galaxy are more advanced than us. They have the full right to destroy life, since they also have the power to create it better again; otherwise terrorist Ordo ab Chao philosophy is flawed.

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