Aliens Director James Cameron: Prometheus "Didn't Add Up Logically"

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Aliens Director James Cameron: Prometheus "Didn't Add Up Logically"

James Cameron AMA

James Cameron, director of Aliens and other noteworthy films, answered fan questions on Reddit and states he thinks Prometheus was an interesting film, but at the end of the day, "it didn't add up logically."

Over the weekend, legendary director, writer and producer James Cameron (Titanic, The Terminator) went on Reddit to host an AMA (Ask Me Anything) to help promote Showtime's "Years of Living Dangerously documentary series focusing on climate change, which he helped produce. In the Q&A thread, a fan asked, "How did you feel about what 'Prometheus' contributes to the 'Alien' story ark? And which is your favorite movie?"

Here's Cameron's entire response:

Interesting. I thought it was an interesting film. I thought it was thought provoking and beautifully, visually mounted, but at the end of the day it didn't add up logically. But I enjoyed it, and I'm glad it was made. I liked it better than the previous two Alien sequels.

Just in case you're not familiar with Cameron's work, he directed Aliens, which is arguably the best entry in the franchise. While his statement might seem like a dig at director Ridley Scott's Alien prequel, Prometheus, he does say that he thinks it's better than the previous Alien sequels, which, when you think about it, was not a hard feat to pull off.

Elsewhere in the Q&A session, Cameron was asked what his favorite guilty pleasure movie to watch was, to which Cameron replied with, "Oh, probably Resident Evil, the first one." I admit, I'd never have guessed that someone with Cameron's directorial slate would ever find a film like Paul S. Anderson's Resident Evil movie entertaining at all.

Make sure to check out the Reddit thread since Cameron answers hotly debated topics such as who would win in a fight against an Alien Queen, the T-800 Terminator and Avatar's Na'vi; why he abandoned a True Lies sequel and lots more.

In more positive Prometheus news, the sequel is planned for a 2016 release and will have an "Alien-y scope."

Do you agree with Cameron's statement regarding Prometheus? How would you rank the prequel in the Alien film hierarchy?

Source: Reddit

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I think "Prometheus" was a decent film, but didn't fit in well with the rest of the "Alien" mythology so far as it goes. That said if you view it as an alternate universe, a reboot so to speak, beginning the tale much earlier, it has a lot of potential to actually build a better universe around the idea.

I generally hate reboots, but the thing with "Alien" is that it was kind of a one shot monster movie, that happened to get perhaps the best sequel in history. Ever since then it's been down hill. The only people who ever did a good job with the universe and built on it's mythology was arguably "Dark Horse Comics" and their continuity was kind of wrecked by "Alien 3".

"Prometheus" could build a decent mythology for prolonged story telling from the beginning, and if it works it might be able to surpass the original in that respect. TV series, other movies, etc... of course it's a craps shoot. The worst thing they could do though is keep going with the whole "this is a canon prequel to those actual movies" angle largely because once you do that you'll run full tilt into the crapstorm. That said even if Prometheus does build a better universe and generate it's fans, I don't think it will ever outdo the first two "Alien" movies at their own thing, and really it's better not to try, and pretty much just run with the whole "different universe, a lot of the same ideas, monsters, and players". Pretty much the exact thing JJ Abrams is trying to do with Trek (or got banished into due to fan backlash) but will hopefully go over better.

Therumancer:
I think "Prometheus" was a decent film, but didn't fit in well with the rest of the "Alien" mythology so far as it goes. That said if you view it as an alternate universe, a reboot so to speak, beginning the tale much earlier, it has a lot of potential to actually build a better universe around the idea.

I generally hate reboots, but the thing with "Alien" is that it was kind of a one shot monster movie, that happened to get perhaps the best sequel in history. Ever since then it's been down hill. The only people who ever did a good job with the universe and built on it's mythology was arguably "Dark Horse Comics" and their continuity was kind of wrecked by "Alien 3".

"Prometheus" could build a decent mythology for prolonged story telling from the beginning, and if it works it might be able to surpass the original in that respect. TV series, other movies, etc... of course it's a craps shoot. The worst thing they could do though is keep going with the whole "this is a canon prequel to those actual movies" angle largely because once you do that you'll run full tilt into the crapstorm. That said even if Prometheus does build a better universe and generate it's fans, I don't think it will ever outdo the first two "Alien" movies at their own thing, and really it's better not to try, and pretty much just run with the whole "different universe, a lot of the same ideas, monsters, and players". Pretty much the exact thing JJ Abrams is trying to do with Trek (or got banished into due to fan backlash) but will hopefully go over better.

Good points. I liked Prometheus for what it was; although there were a few glaring plot holes. Maybe they'll be answered in the sequel? I sure hope so.

I thought it fit well with the previous movies, added to the general themes of the series while also adding a touch of Kingdom of Heaven in there, a they haven´t explored in the previous films. And i personally don´t hope they expand on it too much, i think a second movie would be fine, just to explore some of the themes presented in Prometheus a bit further. Cause my only real gripe with the movie is that it presents a lot of interesting themes, but it only really scratches the surface it never goes in depth enough.

Yes that whole part with the boss needing to be there despite sending others to be there. Why not just remain in stasis on earth? And why do you look like some guy with poorly made old man make up on?

Or that whole running away from a tall rolling ship when running left or right would save you.

Way off topic, but that photo is just begging to be photoshopped.

Cameron's response to a 3 way smackdown.

"Is the T-800 armed or not armed?
An Armed T-800 with a plasma rifle will clean house, all it has to do is shoot the Alien Queen, and have it bleed on the Na'vi. I would think that all three of them unarmed. Queen beats Na'vi. Queen beats T-800, because the T-800 would tear the arm off a queen, which would dissolve the mantel and shut down the cyborg.
Now a Na'vi riding a leonopteryx, or a Na'vi riding a thanataur, that would be a different story."

I would pay a ridiculous sum of money to see this on film.

Honestly, while I've seen all the aliens films, i was never a huge fan of the franchise so I didn't follow Prometheus at all. So when I saw it in theaters I was taken aback at all the aliens references, then the ending with the progenitor alien happened.

I didn't hate Prometheus, hell I still watch it every so often, but I definitely wasn't served by being in the Alien continuity. Would have either had it be stand alone or have the connections crop up in the next film.

Apart from making zero amount of sense at nearly every turn, Prometheus took it upon itself to pull away the shroud that filled Alien with so much grand, dark mystery.

I still don't hate it though, because it's just one of the most impeccably shot sci-fi movies I've ever seen. I know Ridley Scott gets a lot of shit for this movie, but he's the reason it has any quality to begin with.

Prometheus was quite possibly the most stupid film I have seen in the past few years. Almost everything the characters did made no sense and was the complete opposite of a rational, supposedly intelligent astronaut on a science mission. The story was all over the place, with some scenes that could of been dropped without even affecting the story at all. Yeah, the effects were pretty good, but when you spend 2 hours laughing at how idiotic the entire thing is, it can be hard to notice the pretty CGI.

i never saw Prometheus but Alien Resurrection was one of my favorite films and i am unhappy that this James Cameron clown whoever he is is making disparaging comments about it and anyway who does James Cameron think he is anyway some sort of bigshot movie director though to be fair he was right on aliens 3 it was kinda of crap imo

Kaymish:
i never saw Prometheus but Alien Resurrection was one of my favorite films and i am unhappy that this James Cameron clown whoever he is is making disparaging comments about it and anyway who does James Cameron think he is anyway some sort of bigshot movie director though to be fair he was right on aliens 3 it was kinda of crap imo

Not sure if joking. You don't know who James Cameron is?? He directed Avatar, Titanic, The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Aliens, True Lies and a TON of other hit movies. He's very, very talented.

Here's his Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Cameron

It's a little late for that input, Cameron.

Promethus had a good solid script until they let that asshole writer from LOST get his mits on it... The guy who says he loves being vague for the sake of being vague and writing things that don't make sense.

Nothing made sense in that god damn movie and it was done on purpose.

Alex Co:

Kaymish:
i never saw Prometheus but Alien Resurrection was one of my favorite films and i am unhappy that this James Cameron clown whoever he is is making disparaging comments about it and anyway who does James Cameron think he is anyway some sort of bigshot movie director though to be fair he was right on aliens 3 it was kinda of crap imo

Not sure if joking. You don't know who James Cameron is?? He directed Avatar, Titanic, The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Aliens, True Lies and a TON of other hit movies. He's very, very talented.

Here's his Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Cameron

yeah it was suppose to be a joke, but it was obviously a defective one. i thought it was fairly evident with the bit about being a bigshot movie director and all. but i am going to blame the medium.
>boo you suck at making my crap jokes funny Text what do you have to say for yourself eh Text ??

anyway feel free to ignore me now i might be one of those insane people your mother tells you to stay away from on the internet :P

Yep Prometheus was a whole bunch of cool looking shit and awesome monster murder scenes and not much else sadly.

Which is fine I can enjoy movies that only excel at those kinds of things but it really was a shame the film wasn't better thought out/written etc. What bugged me the most was the inconsistency of the engineer not dying in the pilot chair from a chest burster; as he was discovered in the original Alien film.

Alien and Aliens were the only good movies in this franchise. One is the best horror movie, with the other being the best action movie. I still watch them at least 4 times a year each. Resurrection was ok but could have been a lot better. The others, including Prometheus and the Predator crossovers and to the mythology(for better or worse), but come across as crap scripts that got the Alien name tacked on in many places.

Hearing this from one of the minds that helped expand the Alien franchise in a rare good way just proves that Ridley Scott was not in the right mind when he let a decent script get mutilated by a Lost writer. James Cameron even said that a crossover film would "kill the validity of the franchise", before AVP came out. It sure didn't help the franchise. Maybe Fox execs should stop being pushy with IPs they don't understand, eh?

Therumancer:
I think "Prometheus" was a decent film, but didn't fit in well with the rest of the "Alien" mythology so far as it goes. That said if you view it as an alternate universe, a reboot so to speak, beginning the tale much earlier, it has a lot of potential to actually build a better universe around the idea.

I generally hate reboots, but the thing with "Alien" is that it was kind of a one shot monster movie, that happened to get perhaps the best sequel in history. Ever since then it's been down hill. The only people who ever did a good job with the universe and built on it's mythology was arguably "Dark Horse Comics" and their continuity was kind of wrecked by "Alien 3".

"Prometheus" could build a decent mythology for prolonged story telling from the beginning, and if it works it might be able to surpass the original in that respect. TV series, other movies, etc... of course it's a craps shoot. The worst thing they could do though is keep going with the whole "this is a canon prequel to those actual movies" angle largely because once you do that you'll run full tilt into the crapstorm. That said even if Prometheus does build a better universe and generate it's fans, I don't think it will ever outdo the first two "Alien" movies at their own thing, and really it's better not to try, and pretty much just run with the whole "different universe, a lot of the same ideas, monsters, and players". Pretty much the exact thing JJ Abrams is trying to do with Trek (or got banished into due to fan backlash) but will hopefully go over better.

I actually take the exact opposite approach, because if they had committed to it being an Alien prequel, a proper one, then it fills in a lot of the plot-holes. Like, "Why is it a silica based life-form that developed in an entirely different environment to Earth and who's sole means of reproduction is parasitism managed to become the dominant life-form in an eco-system" and the answer is that they aren't traditional life-forms, they're B.O.Ws, all the Aliens are Biological Warfare gone horribly wrong.

In terms of themes, this would be a pretty awesome addition to the Alien/Aliens series because that fits the theme so well. Corporate greed and military overkill being prominent in both, the idea that the progenitor race of humanity did the same thing helps to build on what starts as a simple-ish premise of extremely hostile alien life to a critique of intelligent life consistently developing self-destructive behaviour (I think I read somewhere the reason the awoken 'Space Jockey' goes on a killing spree is because he had an Alien egg implanted and that's why he was so furious, these stupid little monkeys had killed him. Although, now it doesn't make any sense except that they're all pricks and now they want to kill us but, GAH)

In that same universe the only other alien life displayed is the Predators and their society is going down a different but still destructive route, hampered by their own limited technology by societal demands. And even they misappropriate the 'Nuke' that is the Aliens, which as we've seen goes horribly wrong a few times.

As it stands, Prometheus's world as a standalone is too riddled with holes for me to properly enjoy it. A lot of the scenes are homages and takes on scenes from Alien but without the alien and replaced with psuedo-material which doesn't help with any of the themes because it doesn't make sense (and also my shocked disbelief that none of the scientists think finding worms on a planet IN SPACE is noteworthy, you just found alien life friends, NONE OF YOU ARE INTERESTED?). They needed to either commit to it being about the Giant dudes (which would likely have lacked the action scenes, flamethrowers, black goo) or commit to it being about why they died out (in other words an actual Alien prequel). This halfway trip, combined with scientists not knowing how a star chart works, is what made the film such a wash for me.

The thing I hate about prequels is that you know how they will end. Correction; you generally know how they will end. Prometheus definitely didn't make sense as you're forced to watch supposedly smart people behaving stupidly. The running from the spaceship seems to be on the low points many notice. Running to the side or even diagonally would have worked quite well. Guy sees a strange creature and tries to pet it?

Prometheus looked spectacular, and I actually enjoyed it more second time around when watching it on BluRay. That being said, the insane stupidity in some of the scenes and a lack of proper characterisation is quite staggering, especially when compared with the original Alien. I think that is what disappointed so many people. This was after all made by Ridley Scott, and I think most expected a return to the serious tone and strong characters from the first one. The movie would have benefitted from inserting some of the deleted scenes as well, although it does not completely fix all the problems it has with the script.

OT: I actually find Alien 3 more enjoyable to watch than Aliens these days. It holds up much better overall IMO. Aliens was very much a 80s action movie (it can be quite cheesy at times actually) and reduced the alien into something less intimidating. Alien 3 was ahead of its time, and the movie took some bold choices (I can understand why people were upset that Newt and Hicks got killed off), but in the end it made the movie that much more powerful. The Assembly Cut is a flawed masterpiece.

So he admits it didn't add up, but yet he did nothing about it?

And I should be excited about a sequel because why? The original was an average movie and by law sequels are typically worse. See the problem with prometheus is that it's trying to answer too many bloody question. Dear God when will they learn. The *less* you know about movie monsters the *more* effective they are. Speculation is a gold mine to let people's imaginations wonder and wander

Honestly... I'd be much more excited about another mainline ALiens Film that wasn't a sequel. All in all this was more 'oh I know the first one didn't turn out right buut I have another one coming out that'll be super awesome.

An thats what happens when you turn a single movie into a trilogy. It messes it all up. Anyway, i liked Promethus and it was logical to a point but i dont think they explained it well. I liked the evolving of the tar stuff until it became an early alien. An explains why they take the characteristics of their host. I think alot of it can be fixed in a sequel.

Worst thing about the movie. If you change the script from an prequel to its own seperate movie. Then dont have an alien crash on a planet. Because finding the ship was a major plot point in Alien. So having another ship crash on a different planet is plain stupid and personally, i have no idea why they didnt just make that planet LV 426. After all they cant have them crashing again in promethus 2.

I thought the first half of Prometheus was good, it had the same kind of buildup as the original Alien film.
But THEN in the other half, the whole thing went off the tracks suddenly to become hilariously bad, like the director and all the actors took acid or something.

I mean:

Had to check whether I was drunk and imagining things or whether the film was just that bad in the second part. Sadly, it was the latter.

I didn't think it was that bad until the last 15 mins. Seemed like a good enough sci fi movie with a few vague connections to the other Alien films. Then when the spaceship crashed I though 'oh cool, so that was the ship they found in Alien, and the aliens themselves must have been a bio weapon like the black goo. No wonder that space jockey was pissed, he must hav been infected and preserved himself to stay alive!'.

Then suddenly they stapled on a final chase and an ambiguous ending that completely buggers that up. Presumably because they couldn't have the main character die at the end and had to add the unbelievably stupid sequel hook. So may little mistakes. I've never written a film in my life but if you just had a few little things it would have been great. Instead of the stupid 'surprise' ending, what if the holograms had shown the space jockeys being chased by some Xenomorph variant, then that's it for aliens. Imagine if it had ended like 'The Thing' the ship destroyed, the space jokey dead in the exact position from the first film with his chest rippling. Just the last survivor with Davids head, alone on the planet as the planets engulfed in the Storms you see when the Nostromo arrives. But hey, LOST ambiguity is apparently what the masses want....

still like Prometheus as such but yes, it does have some plot holes and i also hope this will be fixed in the sequel.

BigTuk:
So he admits it didn't add up, but yet he did nothing about it?

What exactly was he supposed to do about it?

Director Ridley Scott
Writing Credits

Jon Spaihts ... (written by) and
Damon Lindelof ... (written by)

Dan O'Bannon ... (elements) and
Ronald Shusett ... (elements)

Those guys... they might have done something about it, but I fail to see how James Cameron should receive any of the blame when he had 0% responsibility for Prometheus.

But much like Cameron I found Prometheus better than 3 or... whatever that other one (the one that tried to pass the Ripley torch to Wynona Ryder) was. Not as good as Cameron's Aliens or the original, but it is a positive direction for the franchise.

Yeah. I still generally disagree with the idea of calling Prometheus a "prequel." I mean, it certainly comes first in the Alien chronology. But it doesn't really connect to it in any way. I like that it indirectly explained what the derelict ship from the first Alien movie was all about. It didn't take place on the same planet, but knowing that the Space Jockeys were involved gave just enough hints to suggest what might have happened.

It wasn't a terrific movie, but it was most certainly an enjoyable one. It had a decent premise, some awesome shots, a couple of really intense scenes... only thing that really got to me was the idiot ball that the supposed experts seemed to be passing around.

Logic? It has to be one of the worst theological nonsense I've seen/heard in a long time. Even my street preacher can spout better shit.

I know I'm a heretic but I think Resurrection it the best Alien movie.

Other than the weird alien sex part, but that was just the director being French so its understandable.

I think Resurrection perfectly blended horror, humor, and action. And unlike many movies the protagonists had actual character so you cared about what happened to them.

Also Ron Pearlman

Prometheus aimed high but wasn't competent enough to reach, excluding the mythos of Aliens all the philosophical stuff about faith and creation (and other theological stuff) are they either avoided answer or addressed them idiotically.

The best character ended up being the android as every other character was stupid. I heard the argument that they wanted disposable people but then why put your life in the hands of guys who are barely competent.

It looked good though. (Space Jockey was apparently too small.)

The man who came up with Unobtainium is saying something didn't add up logically.

Yeah.

I've intensely disliked James Cameron for a while now and even if he's a tad correct, this does nothing to change that.

I liked it despite its flaws, still, I just wish they released the Director's cut version, with the scenes this video mentioned. Like the map part, and David's full speech.

I thought there were some interesting visuals and narrative points in Prometheus, despite it not being perfect. And though I may be called out as a monster for this statement, I could not give less of a shit about anything James Cameron says. He has directed almost exclusively bland and inhuman films, and makes serious bank off of every one simply because people believe they have to help him do so (remember how there were tons of news articles reporting on how Avatar was likely to become the new highest-selling film of all time because Titanic had done so before and this movie had cool special effects? Well, of course everyone rushed to the theatres on the belief that they were helping make cinematic history).

The visuals were gorgeous and Michael Fassbender was good in it as usual.

Everything else was complete hogwash. I've only seen the theatrical version, but boy was it tosh.

Kaymish:
i never saw Prometheus but Alien Resurrection was one of my favorite films and i am unhappy that this James Cameron clown whoever he is is making disparaging comments about it and anyway who does James Cameron think he is anyway some sort of bigshot movie director though to be fair he was right on aliens 3 it was kinda of crap imo

Hey, he made Aliens, T2 and True Lies. I hated Avatar but he's alright in my book.

CaptainMarvelous:
[

I actually take the exact opposite approach, because if they had committed to it being an Alien prequel, a proper one, then it fills in a lot of the plot-holes. Like, "Why is it a silica based life-form that developed in an entirely different environment to Earth and who's sole means of reproduction is parasitism managed to become the dominant life-form in an eco-system" and the answer is that they aren't traditional life-forms, they're B.O.Ws, all the Aliens are Biological Warfare gone horribly wrong.

In terms of themes, this would be a pretty awesome addition to the Alien/Aliens series because that fits the theme so well. Corporate greed and military overkill being prominent in both, the idea that the progenitor race of humanity did the same thing helps to build on what starts as a simple-ish premise of extremely hostile alien life to a critique of intelligent life consistently developing self-destructive behaviour (I think I read somewhere the reason the awoken 'Space Jockey' goes on a killing spree is because he had an Alien egg implanted and that's why he was so furious, these stupid little monkeys had killed him. Although, now it doesn't make any sense except that they're all pricks and now they want to kill us but, GAH)

In that same universe the only other alien life displayed is the Predators and their society is going down a different but still destructive route, hampered by their own limited technology by societal demands. And even they misappropriate the 'Nuke' that is the Aliens, which as we've seen goes horribly wrong a few times.

As it stands, Prometheus's world as a standalone is too riddled with holes for me to properly enjoy it. A lot of the scenes are homages and takes on scenes from Alien but without the alien and replaced with psuedo-material which doesn't help with any of the themes because it doesn't make sense (and also my shocked disbelief that none of the scientists think finding worms on a planet IN SPACE is noteworthy, you just found alien life friends, NONE OF YOU ARE INTERESTED?). They needed to either commit to it being about the Giant dudes (which would likely have lacked the action scenes, flamethrowers, black goo) or commit to it being about why they died out (in other words an actual Alien prequel). This halfway trip, combined with scientists not knowing how a star chart works, is what made the film such a wash for me.

Well, the thing is that "Prometheus" if taken as a reboot can get away with having a lot of unanswered questions because it's the start of a new series, and it plans to answer those questions as the series develops. Most arguments about how "it doesn't make sense" come from trying to tie it together with the other movies... and honestly, part of the problem with the "Alien" series so far is that it's a mess and no answer to a lot of those questions is going to make sense. As far as the other problems go, well that's an issue with science fiction, characters do behave rather unrealistically to the point of it generating a ton of tropes. A lot of that is because your dealing with movies with a limited run time, and realistic behavior could drag down the movie. For example your commenting on why they didn't react more realistically to the whole "we've discovered life in the form of space worms" encounter, but at the same time if they did, 30 minutes of screen time dedicated to oohing and ahhing over this at the expense of moving the plot forward would generate as many, or more, complaints. I mean "hey isn't that the movie where they spend a quarter of the run time poking a rubber worm" is not going to exactly going to help. Besides since they already suspected there were aliens here (and more advanced ones) them being less excited about the Worm might just be because they expected it, and they simply took it as a sign that other things they were looking for were close, especially with the signs of civilization all around them.

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