Monday, January 16, 2017

Prometheus (re)Bound; Prologue

If you have not seen Ridley Scott's Prometheus, what follows won't make a whole lot of sense, and even if you have this may be a head scratcher. This Introduction will help explain the why-for of it. The what-of-it is fanfiction. In 2012, after seeing Scott's film I decided to gently rewrite the screenplay; to bolster what I felt was the movie's greatest strength: the 'Cosmicism' of Weyland and David. The artist, and hardcore Alien and H.P. Lovecraft fan, William Powhida corresponded with me a great deal while I worked on this, and helped to give what follows a Cthulhu pedigree, but also supplied a number of suggestions to help make the story fit squarely within the original Alien cannon. 

What follows is just a reworking of the film's opening. Rather than drop the entire screenplay - as I did the first time around, I'll serialize it, posting scenes as I rework them. 

Spoiler Alert: What follows is a word for word reworking script of the film's dialog and stage direction. What remains of the original is in black, my changes are in red. [The illustrator PJ McQuade, whose Prometheus fan art project inspired me to tackle this rewrite, originally illustrated the revised opening sequence. This time around, I am using images harvested from the web, most of which were taken from Terrence Malick films.]
[UPDATE: Since being prodded on Twitter by Tm Maughan this opening has rubbed me wronge. The whole point of this project is to fix what I thought was broken with the original movie. I found Scott's alien ubermench racist. In my original rewrite I changed the albino body builder at the opening to a huddle of pale wasted figures, and when it came time to lay out the images, I chose images from the film as best I could to downplay the idealism of the original. But as Tim's tweet made plane, it was insufficient. I had left Scott's most egregious error intact. At the suggestion of Bill Powhida I chose Mathew Barney images to replace the "Van Daniken crap" - its a little abstract, but I think it works.]
[Open with scenes of the primal Universe, the big bang]
[Stars are born]
[Planets form] 
[Zoom down to a primordial earth] 
 [Huge volcanoes]
[Storming seas]
[Life emerges]
Titles: Yucat├ín Peninsula, 65 million years ago
[The shot pulls back through a lush rain forest densely populated by huge feathered dinosaurs.]
[Pulling upwards and zooming out until we see the earth as seen from space.]
[A huge alien vessel approaches.]
[As the ship slowly makes contact with the outer atmosphere, it triggers a huge explosion that sets the atmosphere ablaze.]
[[The ship moves slowly downward until it perches on one point at the ridge of the newly formed Chicxuluba Crater
[Next to a giant waterfall that has formed in the immediate aftermath of the explosion.]
 
[Exiting an aperture at the vessel’s low point, two dozen filthy, humanoids] 
[Forced from the ship by a dozen black, insectoid xenomorphs.]
 
[The humanoids, who are clearly terrified as they are dogged and herded, form a tight circle near the edge of a newly formed cliff. They appear weak and sick] 
[The blacks of their eyes are engorged, their skin, mottled.]
 [The xenomorphs define a perimeter as the humanoids are ravaged from within and, one by one, begin to collapse.]
 [As they do, they begin spouting snakes and octopus-like creatures from their mouths, genitals, and finally from the cracking flesh of their abdomens and skulls.]
[We now see the much larger figure - its head and shoulders encased in a globe of translucent organic material that appears to be a Portuguese Man of War] 
[It is still recognizable as a living Space JockeyThe “Engineer” backs away cautiously, as if afraid of the Trilobites, and begin moving towards the ship] 
[The xenomorphs rush in, unafraid, to devour the white translucent monstrosities.] 
 
[The ship is shown lifting off.]
[The humanoids’ flesh is left to break apart.]
[Loosening their DNA on earth’s eco system like exploding seed pods.]

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