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Rewriting Promethius (The Movie)


WARNING! MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!


Sir Ridley Scott's 2012 film Prometheus is a beautiful and yet, deeply flawed film. Though each shot is a work of art, seamless CGI and beautiful special effects do not a complete film make. There has to be a story with characters we deeply care about. And a science fiction film, even if it hybridizes itself with horror, must still be consistent with what we still know of science.

My problem with the film is not that it has unanswered questions. That is the theme of the movie. My problem is that events occur that make no sense or are poorly thought out:

  • Biologist Millburn is determined to approach the "space cobra" even though it is clearly making a threat display.
  • The gut-wrenching emergency Cesarean scene in the auto-doc is done without any knowledge of actual female biology and the birth process (the placenta is not removed during the surgery!).
  • Archaeologist Elizabeth Shaw has at least 15 surgical staples in her abdomen yet has no problem running and climbing.
In my not so humble opinion, I would have made the following changes:

  • Eliminated the opening sequence of the Engineer committing suicide to fertilize a new world.
  • Have the archeologists suddenly realize that the ancient inscriptions were warnings by another race altogether telling future humans to stay away from LV-223. After all, it was a military base that held possibly the universe's deadliest biological weapon.
I really think that would have dramatically improved the film.

Author Paul Baines shared this rewrite he would have done:

Archaeologists discover a star map that they interpret as an invitation from the Earth’s original “engineers”. Weyland funds a scientific expedition to the moon shown on the map, secretly planning to sneak aboard the ship. One night, a mysterious old man visits him in his room, urging him not to go, saying that the star map is not an invitation but a warning. He quotes Genesis 6:4.

The mission goes ahead. On the moon, the scouting party discovers some dead engineers and find that the DNA matches human DNA. They discover a dark liquid that Weyland guesses is a biological weapon. He instructs David to take a sample of the liquid and bring it back to the ship. This triggers the awakening of dark forces and they only just escape. On the way, they find a star map showing the Earth.

David spikes one of the crew-member’s drinks with the black liquid with the intention of using him as a host. However, this crew member mutates into an alien that kills Weyland and most of the crew. Only one person survives and she uses one of the engineers’ ships to return to Earth, hoping she is not too late


Thoughts?