Screenwriter Jon Spaihts Reveals Early Drafts Of 'Prometheus' Had Facehuggers

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by Kevin Jagernauth
October 8, 2012 1:03 PM
12 Comments
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With "Prometheus" hitting home video this week, the discussion continues to revolve around just what it was supposed to be. A prequel to "Alien"? A prequel to the "Prometheus" sequel? Some kind of tie-in to the eventual "Blade Runner" follow up? Well, let the conversation continue as original screenwriter Jon Spaihts reveals that his initial script tied more directly to the franchise-starting movie. And moreover, a crucial element from the original formed the centerpiece of two key sequences.

"I did have facehuggers in my original draft," he told Empire. "David, as he began to get fascinated by the science of the Engineers, doesn't deliberately contaminate Holloway with a drop of black liquid. Instead, Holloway hubristically removes his helmet in the chamber, is knocked unconscious, facehugged and wakes up not knowing what had been done to him, and stumbles back into the ship." That sounds infinitely more sinister than David doing the equivalent of putting a roofie in his drink.

"In my draft, he returns to his cabin, is embraced by Shaw, who is delighted to see him having feared that he had died, and the two of them make love," he continued. "And it's while they're making love that he bursts and dies. So that lovemaking sequence echoed my original lovemaking sequence where he explodes! It was messy." But that's not all. David's contempt for humans goes even further, and Spaihts reveals how he originally envisioned the plot turns that led to Shaw cutting into her own uterus.

"So at one point Shaw goes to stop him and David ties her up and deliberately exposes her to a facehugger. He caresses an egg open and out comes a facehugger," he said, noting that because David is a robot, it doesn't draw the interest of the facehugger. "...But then he exposes it to her and it goes for her like a shot. He toys with her for a bit and then lets it take her. That, in my draft, was how Shaw was implanted with the parasite that she had to remove with the medpod sequence."

Damn. All of this essentially confirms that when Damon Lindelof came on do a rewrite, he steered "Prometheus" away from the more direct links to "Alien." "It started as an 'Alien' prequel. That is what everybody wanted it to be. There is a real issue which is — what is the state of the 'Alien' franchise at this point in our lives? There has been 'Alien vs. Predator' and all these things, and it's been completely and totally diluted. "I’ve always felt that really good prequels should be original movies," Lindelof said in 2011. "...So a true prequel should essentially precede the events of the original film, but be about something entirely different, feature different characters, have an entirely different theme, although it takes place in that same world. That was my fundamental feeling about what this movie wanted to be."

Was Ridley Scott right to veer away from Spaihts draft? Did Lindelof go too far? Weigh in below.

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12 Comments

  • jon | November 10, 2012 8:32 PMReply

    I don't know Mark... but he might be the final say on on things film. Prometheus blew... as a stand alone movie (meaning ignore the Alien universe) and this is a piece of trash. Very disappointed:(

  • Alan | October 9, 2012 2:30 AMReply

    Errr, does any of this sound that much better? One of the major problems of the film is that the story features characters doing stupid things ... for not very good reasons. #NotTomHardy removing his helmet "hubristically" is only midly better than the David contamination.

  • Ryan | October 8, 2012 3:41 PMReply

    The movie felt so rushed, so thin, and had so many worthless characters. Such a disappointment.

  • DHE | October 8, 2012 3:19 PMReply

    Prometheus wasn't bad but it was a bit too ambiguous for its own good. Spaihts draft does seem a bit more coherent.

  • Glass | October 8, 2012 3:00 PMReply

    Lindelof made this a much more interesting movie. I never wanted a straight up Alien prequel, that would've been straight up legend-rape.

  • Carson Wells | October 8, 2012 11:05 PM

    Agree, the end movie was interesting because it wasn't a rehash of Alien. If the movie as described above was made it may as well been called Alien and been a remake.

  • zatopek | October 8, 2012 2:16 PMReply

    Lindelof facehugged my childhood.

  • Travis Bickle | October 8, 2012 1:33 PMReply

    Regardless of prequel or not - it was not a good film.

  • William | October 8, 2012 1:15 PMReply

    I don't think that Scott and Lindelof were wrong to want to take it in a different direction, but I feel as if the choices they made were less interesting than what Spaihts had done, and therefore diluted their efforts.

  • Mark | October 8, 2012 1:08 PMReply

    Lindelof = disaster. The results are there for all to see.

  • SK | October 8, 2012 6:43 PM

    A "living in mom's basement" joke precisely represents the intellectual level one needs to actually buy into Lindelof's bullshit-disguised-as-artful-ambiguity storytelling.

  • Oregon | October 8, 2012 2:07 PM

    "Disaster" it is not. The movie didn't bomb. It wasn't a train wreck. It just took turns that you didn't like. Regardless of what Mark might tell the world, he's not the final say on all things film. He is however looking forward to getting laid someday, if only he could get out of his mother's basement.

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