Following the statement made by Fox and Ridley Scott last week that the Alien Prequel had shifted into something more "original" a feeling of confusion and isolation reverberated around the Alien fan-base. The Studios and Director had decided to move in a new direction with Prometheus. What the hell is that about? Jon Spaihts was originally hired by Fox to pen a script for an Alien Prequel, on the back of a very successful pitch to both the Studios and to Ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions. Both studios liked Spaihts ideas and also the fact that two of his spec-scripts "Shadow 19" and "Passengers.were on the highly respected insider's Black list. In fact both of these scripts were so impressive the writer became known within the industry as a "go-to-guy for space thrillers."

Spaihts shortly received three sci-fi commissions: Children of Mars for Disney, The Darkest Hour for Timur Bekmambetov and a commission by Scott Free Productions to write the next installments in the Alien saga, two prequel films to be directed by Ridley Scott for a release starting in 2011 or 2012. Spaihts eventually came up with his version which Fox passed on to Damon Lindelof to hone and develop. Warner purchased one of the writers spec-scripts titled Shadow 19 which they had intended to push into production but it ended up being indefinitely shelved. While referring to the developments of Alien Prequel Scott has frequently mentioned a focus on the subject of terraforming. Whats interesting to note is that while this is a central theme in Spaihts' Alien prequel script it is also a central theme in Shadow 19 and there's a lot more. Both of these scripts deal with the dilemmas of space travel, specifically "time dilation." A theme Scott has been interested in bringing to the big screen for quite some time. Including his efforts to adapt American author Joe Haldeman's novel The Forever War for the last 25 years, which deals with themes of war and the results of time dilation space travel.

"I first pursued Forever War’ 25 years ago, and the book has only grown more timely and relevant since,” Scott stated. "It’s a science-fiction epic, a bit of ‘The Odyssey’ by way of ‘Blade Runner,’ built upon a brilliant, disorienting premise."

Scott then mentions back in June when questioned on Alien Prequel:

"Actually, you're dematerializing and rematerializing, because light speed is that. You can't travel in that space of time, so you have to think about 'How do I mathematically change my matter, material presence?' ... I think the closer it is to the truth and the closer it is to technological feasibility, it becomes that much more interesting. If it’s a film like I’m going to do, it’s going to become that much more frightening."

Shadow 19 takes place in the distant future. There are two superpowers on Earth fighting each other for what's left of the remaining natural resources spread out across the solar system. It begins with space battles, sentient machines, mech carnage and off-world battles. One of these superpowers have created and sent a giant terraforming ship [also referred to as a super-intelligent machine] to a distant planet. Their hope is to take this living world and reshape it so that humans can live there. This enormous terraforming spacecraft lands on "Erix," a harsh and uninhabitable planet where it dispenses six smaller mobile units called Crawlers which spread across 125 kilometers of the planet and sow seeds which in turn terraform the planet. And the name of this secret sentient terraforming spaceship is "Prometheus." The Prometheus is connected to Earth by a device called a Lang Transporter. It allows objects to “travel” instantaneously from one point to another. There is a problem, one of Prometheus' submachines, i.e Crawlers, has broken down with the ship so a special science agency sends offworld Marine Corps to repair it via transporters. 

IN HOLOGRAM: Prometheus orbits Erix. It releases a shower of probes that fall onto the planet: a swarm of satellites that swing into crisscrossing orbits. 

Prometheus lands and DIVIDES elaborately. Six sections crawl away on giant treads, each a titanic machine in its own right. The core remains, a spire reaching into the sky.

The science agency also has a device that processes a projection of the attempted repairs, so that when the repairer dies [happens repeatedly], they can access an endless "videogame" supply of "extra lives." So, the repairers are sent to Erix over and over again until they can figure out how to survive long enough to repair the Crawler. The severity of Erix's indigenous life is notable which are essentially referred to as "bio-mechanoid killers". Scott has mentioned last September "The film will be really tough, really nasty, It's the dark side of the moon. We are talking about gods and engineers. Engineers of space." 

Also Scott mentions in reference to distant planets "They got me going about this wonderful planet which is out near the big gas, you know those massive gas columns that we discovered about 20 years ago, Just to the side of that, there’s this wonderful planet called Europa. Around that is Io and Zeta II Reticuli. We’re going back to Zeta II Reticuli."

Interesting right. Are we looking at the main components of Prometheus? An amalgamation of major elements, from Shadow 19, The Forever War and of course Alien. Maybe this narrative was too detached from the concept of a Prequel, so the Studios and Scott decided to create the new Universe and with the rumored large budget smells like the birth of a new franchise reborn out of the old one. Scott on the new direction:

"While Alien was indeed the jumping off point for this project, out of the creative process evolved a new, grand mythology and universe in which this original story takes place. The keen fan will recognize strands of ALIEN’s DNA, so to speak, but the ideas tackled in this film are unique, large and provocative. I couldn't be more pleased to have found the singular tale I'd been searching for, and finally return to this genre that's so close to my heart"

You can take a closer look at Shadow 19 here:

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