Mar 25 2014 12:15pm

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

20th Century Fox has announced that an “untitled Ridley Scott project” is set for release in March 2016, and The Wrap reports that multiple sources have confirmed it will be a follow-up to Scott’s ambitious sci-fi movie Prometheus. But considering everything that happens by the end of Prometheus, what would that sequel actually be about?

Here are five plot directions the sequel could take. Obviously spoilers for Prometheus and 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, but Prometheus 2 could do something similar to Aliens, which paired Ripley with a bunch of new characters towards the start of the film. 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 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 s long-time contributor to Tor.com. He is the squid baby.

2. vjj
before I comment on the post itself, I'd just like to say that while I hated Prometheus because of it's utterly moronic script, my favorite scenes were of the various technologies on display, both human and alien: The Holographic navigation chamber, the Artificial Intelligence Robotic Medical Pod which performed the abortion on the alien parasite, David, the Suspended animation hypersleep pods with neural-link.
Walker White
3. Walker
Don't allow Damon Lindelof to touch the script.

There, you are done.
4. vjj
Shaw, you in danger girl.

I like your semi-time-travel storyline with an aged Ripley. The only problem is that while the so-called "Engineers"'s FTL drive is superior to the humans' FTL, it's obviously not so fast that they don't need Suspended Animation Hypersleep Pods of their own which we saw at the anti-climax of "Prometheus". So going to another galaxy, even Andromeda, is out of the question. A trip to the Magellanic Cloud would be OK except it should probably be a journey of hundreds of years even for the Engineers.

I think the Engineers should have remained mysterious. There was a quality of Lovecraftian Horror fiction in "Alien" which needs to be maintained, but which "Prometheus" ruined. The new movie can encounter various works (horrific works) of the Engineers but the air of horrific mystery should be used to the story's advantage.

There's a lot of horror that can be explored concerning Artificial Intelligence. Fassbender is a great actor and the new movie should take advantage of that. The Engineers are so advanced that they should have Artificial Intelligences of their own - THAT is something which should definitely be explored in the new movie.

Considering that we see the dream-time neural link technology at the beginning of "Prometheus", it was vexing that Weyland was looking to aliens to manufacture an immortality for him. Couldn't Weyland just copy his consciousness into a similar computer which was running the David consciousness? Such a computer would certainly be powerful enough.

One way the #2 scenario of this post could work, is that Shaw and David remain in hypersleep (just as Ripley did) until discovered by an old Ripley.

Finally, I would like to retcon the first "Prometheus" movie by having the second movie reveal that it was just a fevered Hypersleep dream and that none of it ever happened.
5. a1ay
I would be entirely behind following the lead of Alien3 and starting the sequel with the offscreen death of most (or, really, all) the survivors from the previous film. It depresses me beyond measure that Noomi Rapace is now supposed to be a star. She's like a female Sam whatever his name is. The lead in Avatar. I can't remember his surname, I lost interest in him halfway through his name.
6. NightKnight
While Alien was definitely more than the sum of the parts from its amazing set of creators (including Ridley Scott, Moebius, & Dan O'Bannon) by far and away the greatest defining visual impact was from the contribution of H.R.Giger. His paintings informed the design of the sets and the monsters, while the sets and the monsters were essentially his sculptures. While his spirit and contributions were imbued in Prometheus, which despite it's other flaws generally had a fantastic visual design, nevertheless there was still a general lack of Giger art-horror in the overall visual asthetic. The sequel could and I would hope should restore this, by tapping back into Giger's oeuvre. A natural opportunity would be the trip to the Engineers planet, which would be a monstrous horrific debauched utopia of giant biomechanical buildings and landscapes and machines, populated by cybernetic beings who were more mechanical than animal (a la the evolution of the engineers of Prometheus into the space jockeys of Alien as originally envisioned in the concept art of Alien), new monstrous Aliens that are completely different from the original Alien.
7. DTT
** Spoilers **

The beauty of the Prometheus film is that it’s a prequel to Alien—and intelligently done, in my opinion. It was one of the best sci-fi films that I’ve seen in a while (in regards to the overall story in relation to the original films). We learn the origin of the alien(s), and there’s even the hint of revelation of where the human race came from (within this fictional universe). The question is: why did the Engineers want to produce a living, life-size virus to destroy mankind? Did the Engineers regret making mankind, because of how corrupt we’ve become? And what exactly happened to the Engineers? Why did that one Engineer at the beginning of the film “kill” himself? It’s obvious that the aliens that they created took them over, but what was the reason for their failure; and where did they come from? These are things I’d like to see revealed in the sequel; and, if done right, this could make for an even better movie. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
8. dilsnik
I'd like to see the Engineers planet, with engineers as elephantine aliens, as we thought they would be for so many years...
9. Monolith
@DTT. Thank you! Finally someone who doesn't tow the line. I also rate Prometheus as one of the better and more memorable sci-fi's post 2000. I've seen it twice and really can't see what everyone's gripe is. Maybe it's because it had concepts that deeply inspired me (as a writer).

I had those same questions, more or less, and maybe the movie didn't do enough to answer them. But then so don't a lot of sci-fi films with their questions, so just hush, little sheeple.

Anyway, of all the sequels I'd like to see #2.
10. captain mission
I loved the movie as well, thought it was really intelligent, I just hope whatever follows maintains the complex narrative as well without going to action packed. I didn't like the geologist charachter, I felt he was contrived and cliqued.
Number one works for me.

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