I am always slightly horrified to watch when fandom decides to turn on someone. And to be fair, I know it’s never a group decision, but rather a ripple effect, and that it’s just a percentage of people when something like this goes down. Even so, it can feel like everyone thanks to just how vocal people get and how unrelenting the negativity can feel sometimes.
It felt like a few years ago, Damon Lindelof had been embraced by fandom at large and he was one of those names everyone was talking about. When it was first announced that he’d gotten the gig rewriting what became “Prometheus,” it seemed to be a pretty popular choice. These days, things have changed so much that he swore off the AICN talkback last week on Twitter. He’s a whipping boy, and much of it is based on something that I think is very hard for people to judge, which is his contribution to the film. I like Lindelof, though, and I think a lot of this pile-on is unfair and ridiculous. I don’t think he deserves to be the one person that fanboys attack over “Prometheus” or “Lost,” and I think he is swinging for the fences when he works. Whether he actually hits that home run or not, he’s trying to do the sort of big-idea big-entertainment movies that I love dearly, and I like that he’s in the mix, trying to amaze.
Thanks to a pair of unexpected postings this week, you can now offer your own informed opinion to that conversation for the first time because you can read the original Jon Spaihts version of the script, and then you can read what Damon Lindelof wrote, both thanks to the fine folks at Collider. One thing to keep in mind is that even with two different names on the title pages, you’ve still got Ridley Scott giving notes and the guys at Fox weighing in, and other voices in the mix. When you decide that you’re going to aim all your ire at one of the writers, remember that you may be pissed off about something that the writer had no control over. You may be angry at someone else’s idea or someone’s interpretation of something or an accident that ended up in the film. People love to have a target for their irritation, and right now, Lindelof seems to have become one of those reflexive knee-jerk targets for no good reason.
I’ve tried “Prometheus” several times, and my problems with the film are sort of foundational problems, the sorts of issues that just boil down to “I don’t care for the story they told or how they told it,” and that’s not something you can adjust with a slight difference here or a new opening sequence there. In the end, I don’t really care about this particular story or these characters or the outcome of anything that happens in the film. I don’t see any reason to invest, since I know that all of this takes place before other events in the series, and none of this seems to have impacted mankind at large in any way at all. There’s no tension in the premise for me, and just revisiting some vaguely familiar iconography is not enough justification for the film to exist for me. You may feel differently. You may love David the Android and Noomi Rapace’s quest for God and the Engineers and everything they imply, and if so, great. Here’s a chance for you to dig deep into the process and see how things evolved to the version you saw in release this summer.
And if you are a fan, make sure you get the deluxe Blu-ray, the one that comes with the giant Charles de Lauzarika documentary. It is an impressive piece of work by him, no matter what you feel about the movie, and a great look at how the thing came together.
“Prometheus” is on Blu-ray and DVD now.