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Jon Spaihts Talks About His Alien: Engineers Prometheus Script

Writer Jon Spaihts has given a rare interview with the ScriptApart podcast about his work on 2012’s Prometheus. Spaihts most recently co-wrote 2021’s Dune which was very well-received but also re-wrote 2016’s Doctor Strange. He was the sole writer, however, on 2016’s Passengers  – the sci-fi romance starring Jennifer Lawrence.

Jon Spaihts was the original writer of Prometheus when it was a very much an Alien prequel. His script for Prometheus was rewritten after Damon Lindelof was hired to make it more of a stand-alone film without the focus on the Alien aspects and with more ambiguity. Spaihts had written quite a few drafts with varying titles – Alien: Engineers is the most well-known and the fourth draft can be found online.

It is now coming up to the Prometheus’s tenth anniversary and he spoke to the ScriptApart podcast. The podcast covers how Spaihts came aboard the project, what it was like working with director Ridley Scott, the characters and how the android David was created. He says that 20th Century Fox producers saw 2010’s Inception which is one of the reasons that led them to make the Alien prequel more autonomous.

Spaihts talks about what the plans were going to be for the Alien prequel trilogy. Weyland-Yutani was still going to be just Weyland but they were going to bring Yutani into the story. There was a war going on with the Engineers – “there would be good Angels and bad Angels” says Spaihts.

 Jon Spaihts Talks About His Alien: Engineers Prometheus Script

Jon Spaihts on the set of Prometheus.

The next Alien prequel was going to be more about a conflict between human factions. Yutani was going to have a very different agenda and there was going to be a man-in-the-middle story with Shaw. The prequels were planned but even if Fox decided not to press ahead with them, Alien: Engineers was supposed to end without a cliffhanger and the Engineer Spacecraft is meant to be the the Derelict Spacecraft that Ripley finds in Alien a few decades later.

It’s a very interesting interview. To learn more about Jon Spaiht’s Alien Engineer’s script and what changes Damon Lindelof made, Aaron wrote a detailed article about it a few years ago – Engineering Prometheus – From Jon Spaihts to Damon Lindelof.

You can also listen to AvPGalaxy Podcast #33 which is about the leaked Alien: Engineers script. There are two leaked scripts that are online. Alien: Engineers – this is the 4th draft and Alien 01: Genesis – the 5th draft but it is not the final Spaihts draft.

Thanks to skhellter for the news.

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Comments: 18
  1. Gentleman Death
    I would've liked to see where this "trilogy" would've went with the continuing stories he talked about. I don't know if they would've worked but the "mythology" he talked about introducing was intriguing.
  2. Corporal Hicks
    I've got about 20 minutes left but I've been really enjoying it. The host has been asking some very interesting questions. I especially liked hearing Spaihts talk about the background world details as a matte painting.

    But I do actually think there's a lot of details left unasked at this point. He seems to be focusing more on the Engineers draft, rather than those earlier ones so I might still try and approach Mr Spaihts. Looking forward to finishing this off on the way home.
  3. Adam802
    This and the movie we actually got are both bad.  Alien should never have a "prequel".  Ruins the mystery/lore. Any "prequel" that takes place before the 1st Alien film is ill-conceived from the start.
  4. skhellter
    i do prefer this script to the finished film.

    David is closer in demeanor to how he is in Covenant
    All the alien setpieces are good and the gore is more creative than it was in both prequels
    dialogue is tighter than Lindelof's too.

    Felt like a Nigel Kneale adventure with the "older archeologist" type lead in Holloway.

    They should've stayed on course.
  5. Corporal Hicks
    Ahhh. Bugger. Was hoping to get him on the show for the anniversary but doesn't sound like I could top this.  :(

    Thanks for sharing skhellter! Looking forward to listening to this one.
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