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Io9 Interviews Jon Spaihts

Io9 got to chat with Jon Spaihts, who wrote five drafts of Prometheus, before it was handed off to Damon Lindelof. In this interview, the Prometheus writter talks about his original script for the film, working with Ridley Scott and sci-fi in general.

The Alien universe has its own rules, and they extend to character archetypes. The android is one of these. It’s always a challenge to honor the archetype and still find something new to do. Ridley wasn’t interested in repeating his own work or others’. He was always reaching for the new idea.

In related news, there’s a brief new interview with Prometheus concept designer Daniel Simon. You can watch it here.



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Comments: 10
  1. Eva
    I'd wish the reporter hadn't spent half the article, speculating about the prequel or not-prequel semantics...

    It'll be interesting to hear the writers and Ridley talk in-depth about the story when the film has opened. That's what is missing from the big picture right now...
  2. bcloyal
    Spaihts : "I think it was always imagined that Prometheus would be the beginning of a new arc..."

    Prometheus is a franchise reboot. It's that simple , and I'm more than happy about that.
  3. Promethean Fire
    Quote
    How much of the "searching for the origins of humanity in space" stuff was already in the story before Damon Lindelof came in? Was that always the reason for our heroes to go into space?

    Always there.

    ...

    I also work with an organization called the Science & Entertainment Exchange, whose entire reason for being is to connect filmmakers with scientists to improve storytelling and better represent science in fiction. I've had invaluable conversations with scientists – real luminaries in their fields – through that organization.

    ...

    For too many filmmakers, "sci fi" means "anything goes." Which leads in turn to arbitrary chains of events, or story rules that feel inconsistent or muddy.

    Story flourishes under constraint. The more scientific limits you keep in place, forcing yourself to work within real rules, the more authentic your story will feel. I always fight for scientific rigor. Not just because I'm a huge geek, which I quite definitely am, but because I believe it makes for better stories.

    This is an immensely encouraging thing to read. +1000 points for Spaihts.

    I always assumed the Shaggy God Story ideas were added by Lindelof after his claims that Spaiht's "sub text" needed to become "text".  I guess all Lindelof really did was remove the more obvious Alien elements.  Although, I believe he changed the character of Shaw (the only character whose name was changed from Spaiht's draft).
  4. ChrisPachi
    Quote
    How much of the "searching for the origins of humanity in space" stuff was already in the story before Damon Lindelof came in? Was that always the reason for our heroes to go into space?

    Always there.

    ...

    I also work with an organization called the Science & Entertainment Exchange, whose entire reason for being is to connect filmmakers with scientists to improve storytelling and better represent science in fiction. I've had invaluable conversations with scientists – real luminaries in their fields – through that organization.

    ...

    For too many filmmakers, "sci fi" means "anything goes." Which leads in turn to arbitrary chains of events, or story rules that feel inconsistent or muddy.

    Story flourishes under constraint. The more scientific limits you keep in place, forcing yourself to work within real rules, the more authentic your story will feel. I always fight for scientific rigor. Not just because I'm a huge geek, which I quite definitely am, but because I believe it makes for better stories.

    This is an immensely encouraging thing to read. +1000 points for Spaihts.
  5. Cvalda
    Have video games changed the way people think about this kind of storytelling?

    Yes and no. Storytelling in games has matured tremendously in the past decade. Some really great work has been done. But the design requirements are totally different, almost the opposite of filmic storytelling.

    The central character of a game is most often a cipher – an avatar into which the player projects himself or herself. The story has to have a looseness to accommodate the player's choices. This choose-your-own adventure quality is a challenge for storytellers and, I fear, militates against art.
    Uh-oh. Gamer rage possibly inclement ;D
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