There Were Supposed To Be Facehuggers! 'Prometheus' Screenwriter Spills Secrets Of Early Scripts


Ridley Scott's latest alien franchise could have looked more like a direct prequel to his last one, according to the original screenwriter for Prometheus Jon Spaihts. In a surprise-laden interview with Empire,  Spaihts says he had written facehuggers and chestbursters into early versions of the storyline before Scott and script doctor Damon Lindelof  decided to move in a more original direction.

Spaihts explained that he originally envisioned facehuggers being used to implant the alien seed in both Holloway and Shaw. "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" — a version of which happens in the finished Prometheus — is knocked unconscious, facehugged and wakes up not knowing what had been done to him, and stumbles back into the ship," Spaihts told Empire. Enter the chestburster. In what Spaihts described as a "messy" scene, Holloway returns to his cabin and is "embraced by Shaw, who is delighted to see him having feared that he had died, and the two of them make love," he goes on to say. "And it's while they're making love that he bursts and dies." Nice.

Spaihts says that his idea was originally to have Shaw impregnated by a facehugger, courtesy of David. In what sounds like an extremely creepy sequence,  he says an early script called for David to tie up Shaw and deliberately expose her to the spidery egg sack. "He caresses an egg open and out comes a facehugger," Spaihts explains, but since David doesn't smell like a living being,  "he can handle the the thing like a kitten."  And he does. "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."

He also notes in Empire that in his version of the script, the baby alien is ejected from the medpod while a dazed Shaw remains inside as she's stitched up and watches the creature grow and dispatch other members of the crew. Shaw would have remained in the medpod for eight hours in Spaihts telling of the story, which would have made her post-Caesarean scenes avoiding the crashing Engineer's spaceship and escaping the grown tentacled alien slightly more plausible.

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  • it sounds like Prometheus could have had some quite cool scenes in it...instead of not really having any...

    • Okay, so 'Prometheus' isn't 'Alien,' but it's not supposed to be. To use your term, there are some seriously cool scenes -- most of them involving Michael Fassbender -- in the movie, and I can't think of another film this year that has inspired more debate.

  • Kahn says:

    After reading the original script, I am convinced that Lindelof is a no talent hack and Scott is wildly over rated. Okay Scot said up front that Prometheus was not going to be a prequel to Alien. That's fine but that does not excuse the plot holes and lazy character development. Someone should crowd fund a production of the original script just to give Alien fans the movie they deserve.

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