The Deleted Scenes Of Prometheus Actually Explain A Whole Bunch Of Important Stuff

I went along to "Weyland Industries" last night to chat to the creators of Prometheus, and the number one item on my agenda was a few "WTF?!" questions. A lot of the backlash towards the film has been levelled at the confusing plot. We now have the answers as to why Prometheus is such a confusing film: everything they shot to explain why things were happening were taken out and were left for the Blu-ray special features disc.

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It's worth noting that there are some serious spoilers ahead...

Wondering why the Engineer at the start of the film killed himself for no apparent reason? If you look at the alternate beginning scene on the Blu-ray, you find that this was actually a sacrificial ceremony attended by multiple engineers. Once the Engineer breaks up into tiny pieces and falls into the river, you're shown a few extra seconds of footage that explains that the sacrifice was meant to boot up the human evolutionary journey.

Wondering why an Engineer indescriminately murdered David the robot at the end of the film? A deleted scene actually reveals that when in conversation with the Engineer, Peter Weyland said that because he had created David, he was equal to the Engineers who also created life. From this statement, the Engineer identifies David as an abomination and then the robot-head ripping goes on.

There are a few more scenes that explain other gaping plot holes in the film, like why a biologist happily approaches a face-f**king worm that proceeds to kill him. If you're a die-hard Alien-universe fan, you really should grab the Blu-ray and watch.

On the plot holes, though, I think one of the great failings of high-concept films these days is that filmmakers quite often assume that you — the viewer — is either on the same page as them from the get-go, or that you have enough smarts to fill in the gaps yourself. The latter is the most difficult, simply because a lot of people attend the cinema to be entertained, rather than be challenged.

The Prometheus Blu-ray comes out next week.

Should filmmakers "dumb down" their material so that everyone can keep up, or just leave the explanatory stuff on the cutting room floor?


Comments

    Are they really "Dumbing down" their movies by having explanatory stuff in them or are they actually doing that by taking it out? I think the latter is the truer statement.
    If you remove context or motivation for a character who performs a particular action in a scene that action can seem wildly out of character and wrong, weakening the story and the film. This is called bad editing. ;)

      That point is so obvious.. its really annoying that the editors don't know.
      How can you just cut vital pieces of a movie out and save it for Blu-Ray... its stupid!

        Fool me once (LOST) shame on you, fool me twice (Prometheus) shame on me.

        Damon Lindelof was on the project what did you expect? Smoke monsters and totally not purgatory?

        FTA:
        'everything they shot to explain why things were happening were taken out and were left for the Blu-ray special features disc.'

        The bits aren't re-inserted into the movie/disk. They're extras...

        I was so excited when I heard Ridley Scott was revisiting the "Alien" universe with "Prometheus". Then when I saw it I was shocked at how unsatisfying and confusing it was. Now that I know that that idiot Lindelhof was behind it, it all makes sense. The "visionary" behind that piece of crap "Lost". Hey, I can think of a bunch of weird and incongruous stuff to happen to people, and then never explain it! How did Ridley Scott, an exacting, meticulous craftsman, not to mention genius, let this hack get his hands on this wonderful world?! Thank God there's a sequel coming, and thank God Lindelhof will be miles away from it.

    For something like Prometheus the explanation stuff isn't dumbing it down, it is necessary for a lot of it to make sense. I don't know if they just wanted to shorten the movie or they figured they didn't need the extra scenes but taking them out and then tacking them back onto a special edition is cheap as hell. I'd much rather have watched another 30min-1hr and had things make sense than leave the cinema wondering why things happened (and not in a good, making you think kinda way).
    Then again if they had just gone ahead and made it a straight up prequel (didn't have to integrate just lead onto) instead of dancing around the subject it would have been 10x better anyway.

      I agree completely. I was almost angry when I left the cinema, definitely frustrated at how the characters seemed to act really illogically with no explanation at all - when they're meant to be brainy characters! I'd have sat in the cinema longer to leave even just a little bit less annoyed.

        Implying brainy characters don't behave illogically at times.

      A. not a prequel. the xenomorph incarnate is a side thought and doesn't occupy enough screen time to warrant a prequel definition.

      B. it all makes sense without the cut scenes , you just have to think about it. it's a movie which warrants discussion. the cut scenes take away from the movies potential. its an exceptional experience but not for people looking for a run of the mill, archetypal film .

      *imagination is dead*

      (i was actually quite upset at the cut scene release as it forced me to relinquish my own theories as to the how and whys)

    They shouldn't dumb down scripts to be bleedingly obvious, however you still need to include sufficient information for an audience to be able to piece it together. Even if that requires a friend filling you in on something you missed or watching the film again for subtleties. But to cut out these bits of plot is a poor choice when trying to tell a story.

    That first one about the Engineer kicking off evolution on Earth, I kinda picked that up in the theatrical release. They didn't explain why though... for basically anything in the movie...

      Yeah, I thought this was made entirely clear... unless you're completely incapable of understanding anything that isn't delivered via extended exposition : / Show don't tell people, rule one.
      And I additionally agree with your second point, another massively important rule of storytelling is to show a character's motivations (as well as make them believeable of course), and while you can hide motivations intentionally for a period to create mystery you really shouldn't let the story end without addressing the 'why.' (Or at least giving your audience something with which they can develop their own theories on the why of it.)

    i would have said that it was pretty clear that the alien was spawning life on earth, as soon as you saw the cells or definitely once they explain their theorys onthe ship. ripping the head off the android was a little harder to follow but you have to imagine that the engineer knows its an android. Like if you saw a picture of a giraffe in a magazine you would know it wasnt a frickin giraffe. You might think it looks like a person but the super advanced alien knows its just an android because, hey, they are an alien. Plot in that movie was really good. Ok, maybe a biologist wouldnt play with an alien snake but that is just a "don't do it dude" moment. All movies have them.

      amen dude, I was thinking the same. anyone that has seen a couple sci fi movies should have had absolutey zero problem figuring out what was going on in prometheus it all seemed very straight forward to me any more exposition would have felt like hand holding me through the plot

        seconded. people want a character in the movie to address the camera and explain their motivations and background and the engineer to speak English and explain "what it all meant". THEY act pseudo-intellectual and that this movie was some idiotic miss while they regurgitate the same idiotic reviews by people that want one dimensional characters with easily seen motivations and they can't seem to suspend disbelief and enjoy a good movie. Funny thing is, what was explained in the original, what was the "why", without using anything from Prometheus or the non-canon AVP crap. i think most of this complaining is from idiot fan-boys who wanted strings tied to whatever THEY had been harking on

    Very lame. Releasing a movie with so much cut out of it that it ended up being a shlock SFX horror. Is this the latest way for the studios to try and sell more disks ? Make what could be an interesting and complex movie very shallow and B grade knowing full well that the die hards will have to purchase a disk to see the movie in its proper context.

    Looks like the movies studios have seen how well their gaming buddys are screwing customers by releasing games incomplete and then charging people for the DLC.
    Whats next ? sit through two hours of a movie and see at the end you are provided a link to purchase the final non-farcical ending.

    Directors cut on steriods........Blade Runner anyone...... either Ridley has some very bad lawyers who can't write him decent contracts or he makes more money on selling multiple versions of his movies on disk. Very poor effort.

      There's no 'versions' on disc. It's the theatrical release.

      FTA:
      'everything they shot to explain why things were happening were taken out and were left for the Blu-ray special features disc.'

      The bits aren't re-inserted into the movie/disk. They're extras...

    Was Ridley Scott at this event?

    Is there a deleted scene explaining why the most logical character in the film decides to do the most illogical thing imaginable and get squashed by a giant donut?

    What you're meant to do in editing is trim out stuff that doesn't contribute to the plot or characters. Prometheus just comes off as sloppy storytelling, the only thing worse would be if it was done to get double dip customers, like selling half a book

      Are you seriously trying to tell Ridley Scott how to do his job? Up yourself much? The reality is that the director almost never gets to make the film he wants to. In the case of Prometheus, I know for a fact that Fuel were still delivering shots just weeks before the film hit general release so it is likely they ran out of time to finish it properly.

        I know about all that stuff dude, but that still doesn't answer my question about the space donut and charlize theron, that is sloppy storytelling no matter what your excuses.

          so by your logic.......what was explained in Alien? What was the ship? What were the Aliens? What made it a great if this is not?

            Alien did not market itself as a mystery tale. It was straightforward horror that just happened to be set in space. Hence, details of the fringes don't matter - they are there just to introduce the story. Prometheus, on the other hand, consciously sets out to ask BIG questions that it doesn't know how to ask properly. Clunky, and hardly sci-fi.

        Its Ridley Scott man, theres only a tiny number of directors with as much clout as him. Look how much money he got to make a sci fi film! Which the majority of time will bomb. He had enough time and resources to achieve a remarkable amount, however simple script flaws, plot holes and pacing issues is something that takes very little money to reconcile. Strangely enough he either hits or completely misses with his films. This was just an ambitious miss.

        Nonsense. You're allowed to have an opinion, and this is Ridley Scott. He gets to make the movie he wants. He had script approval.

        Unfortunately, he only tends to make 1 good movie for every 3. And it's on his shoulders if the movie stinks (it did), he's the director, that's the responsibility they have.

        I've loved many of his films and have followed his career for years, but have no problems telling anyone who'll listen what a load of rubbish Prometheus was.

          Rubbish or not, it is now canon to the Aliens franchise.

    Why would you fly an interstellar space ship directly to the planet without scouting out a landing site first?
    In fact why would you risk your only way home by landing it on the planet to start with.

      Simple answer would be that it didn't really matter enough to go to the trouble/expense. The more likely reason is that it wasn't necessary to drive the narrative.

      To be fair, the evidence they were following was thousands of years old. If you had a map to an ancient Egyptian tomb would you think "hmm there's a chance a mummy might come alive and destroy my jeep, I better park it far away"?

      Yes! This!
      Regardless of the possible threat to your transport home, it is just common sense to use a smaller exploratory craft to get to the surface of the planet and back.

    i never had an issue with not fully understanding the intro engineer waterfall part, its ok to be obscure. Nor getting a full picture of what the engineers are, what they were doing, why he tore an androids head off etc. These moments/plots can be followed up with sequels.
    The parts that were bad were started about 50% into the film and from then on it just became a B movie.
    a) lets get nice and close to an alien snake, cuz they can't possibly be dangerous like our own snakes, not when its alien and surviving in extreme harsh conditions. (fyi i realise its a supped up worm)
    b) wow lets also make this film great by having a 28 days later moment with a zombie trooper coming back to life whilst killing random crew members we couldn't care less about! That whole scene served NO PURPOSE AT ALL and completely lowered its standards. And even if the naffness of that scene weren't enough why/how does the zombie dude breathe survive outside of spaceship and mountain/ship? At no point were we lead to believe the alien goo allows for its hosts to be immune to such conditions....
    c) silly running away from falling spaceship...
    d) i could go on and on....
    e) ok i will. The trio suicide, cuz one's not enough. Oh and how they all seem to be pretty game of it as well, oh and how we didn't even care about them because 2/3 seemed like first appearances.
    I say again, arc plot aint so bad, its the bad inner workings that destroy what could have been THE way to do a prequel. I'm surprised Ridley had anything to do with this, but then again he has done sum pish...

    Prometheus - honest trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBaKqOMGPWc

    Unfortunately, Prometheus will remain a visually stunning but woefully scripted movie to me. Hope they do better with the sequel.

      The video is "private" and not viewable.

        No, don't believe so.

        However, if you still can't view it - go and search for "Prometheus honest trailer" on YouTube.

    amen to movies that dont force feed us all the answers, but like everything there is a balance and Prometheus did it well, unlike LOST

      I feel the opposite way. I thought Lost satisfactorily explained all the big questions where Prometheus showed us scenes that we could not possibly have made sense of. Prometheus was what Lost would have been like if it ended at the end of Season 2.

        I havn't watched lost but I think this video is kinda condemning and hilarious. It makes me glad I never got around to watching it after the massive backlash.

        http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6099973/unanswered-lost-questions

    I dunno. I picked up on the first two you've mentioned so no big deal imo. I read it that the Engineer didn't like David because it could sense he was artificial.

    Just to echo others here, it's very clear what is happening in the opening scene - and the commentaries suggest the deleted scenes do not count anyway. Engineers were digitally removed from some of the opening scene. As for the second, even ignoring that the deleted parts don't count: Weyland's statement about being like them is not translated to the Engineer so it does not go nuts based on what he says. It's pretty clear the Engineer doesn't understand english (and why would he) as he turns to David for an earlier translation in the deleted scene. I thought it was pretty clear from the original version that he realises David is artificial all on his own and goes nuts, but it's left open enough to interpretation (for a reason). They may have an aversion to artificial 'life' or simulations of life, they may not allow anyone but themselves to create life, or he may just have freaked out that the lab rats had busted out of their maze and were talking to him.

    I think the problem is because movie makers watch the movie (or parts of the movie) hundreds of times that they forget what it would be like to watch it for the first time. They dont see the plot holes.
    Sure, they have test screenings to get some feedback, but a movie like Prometheus is all impressive at first so it gets good initial feedback, but when you sit down and think about it you realise shit just didnt make sense.

    "gaping plot holes in the film"?! When are people going to realise just because something is not explained it is a plot hole. There is nothing listed above that is a hole to those of us with intelligence. It was the opposite of being dumbed down it leaves things up to the viewers imagination... dumbed down is Transformers!

      No - there were certainly plot holes. Like how the guy who mapped the cave network and had a map in his arm, and walked down a straight corridor got lost.

        That's not a plot hole. People get lost while holding maps all the time. Ever driven through a new city with a passenger navigating using a paper map? And they have a bad sense of direction? Is that a plot hole in your life, or bad luck?

    dunno... the older I get the more I get disapointed in the size of the plot holes in movies... why cut stuff out (important stuff) to save it for BluRay? I was so excited about Prometheus, but was left half baked by the end of it... I will get the BluRay and re-evaluate.

    Challenging? It wasn't challenging, it just didn't make sense!

    It was a poorly written load of rubbish. None of the scientists at any point acted like scientists, they freaked out for no reason, and didn't freak out when they should've (the snake thing).

    The organic goo did different things to everyone it contacted (why would it do that?) and every character was unlikable and flat out unbelievable in their motivations. It's a bad movie.

    I could go on, but why bother? That's my opinion, I could give specific examples but I'll be typing for the next 15mins. I watched the whole movie with a "why are they so dumb?" look on my face the entire time. Which after a while was changed for a "why would that even be happening?" look. I ditto what someone above said about the zombie crewmember. Who was earlier smoking weed in his space suit. Who decided to hang out in the most unstable room in the facility even though they had noted that their presence was changing conditions in the room (kinda a big deal if you want to study the room). Who never took any samples of any kind (noone did! they're SCIENTISTS!!! ARRRRRRRRGH!!!)!

    Last edited 09/10/12 10:07 am

      Exactly!!! There's a stark difference between "being challenged" and "not making any goddamn sense because no clues are provided for you to figure anything out with"

      Amazing atmosphere, sets, overall production. But the holes were everywhere. I left the cinema with a few niggling questions, which as I thought about it more and more, raised even more questions. By the time I got home I had a lengthy list of questions/holes in my head and I was angry!

      I loved the "organic goo" plot. It explains the acid for blood in all the other aliens. Clearly it is some sort of nanotech but smaller, and all the aliens till now have been nanotech constructions created by the engineers that got out... All of the nanotech containers are "programmed" differently so it will do different things depending on what it contacts.

        And you know that... how?

    Just edit a director's cut, please. Have seen it 4 times now, and while I adore it I still have the same fundamental issues as the very first time. It's good, but SO CLOSE to being great.

      He's said a few times now that just like Alien, the theatrical version of Prometheus IS the Director's Cut. He refused to do an extended cut for this release, and he regrets adding to Alien purely for the sake of the studio having a marketing tool.

    Wow, that explains a lot!

    I just don't understand why they'd take it out, I mean the story wasn't easy to follow as it was

    Those are definite improvements, but I'm not sure if that's enough for me to overlook the blindingly stupid and irrational behaviour of the characters who are supposed to be scientists, or the heaps of other logical fallacies which you can't possibly blame just on bad editing.

    I suspect everybody just got starstruck with Lindelof and Ridley Scott and didn't actually ask all the usual questions you'd expect to be asked way back at the script-writing stage - or if they did, were ignored and overriden. Kind of the same problem that plagues George Lucas, really.

    tsholl, it's not good, its average, and it makes ppl mad because some of us feel passionately about the alien world/franchise and here was a chance to get back on track. What hurts more is the general premise is acceptable to us (the introduction to the engineers), but where it falls down is just bad filming, idea's, subplots etc and this is why it hurts the most because the film suffers B movie film making.
    I'm not seeing massive plot holes per se (to me a plot hole is something that contradicts, or they couldn't have done that because of this etc), its ok to have half a story told (the rest explained in sequels etc), what's not ok is just rubbish script/editing/characterization etc.
    Things like the engineer ripping davids head off for no apparent reason I was fine with (use yer imagination as to why he might have acted that way), impregnated chick being conscious for the major abdominal surgery was beyond ridiculous, at least they could have filmed it with her being knocked out, woulda been somewhat more believable, but like all things in this film they went with daft.

      See the being conscious bit didn't annoy me. Her getting up and running around when all of her abdominal muscles had been severed did. You just can't physically do that. All it did was staple her up and she was good to go (albeit with a bit of screaming every now and then). Absolutely ridiculous.

    To those calling for a director's cut, don't forget the hash that they made of Aliens 2.

      How was that bad? 17mins of smart guns and... I forget what else. But i thought it was fine. What was wrong with it?

    This has to be put in perspective. There is an excellent reveiw video floating around that point out how many unanswered questions there were in the original Alien movie. WHo was the the space jockey? Where did the alien creatures come from from? Why was the ship filled with eggs? What did Weyland know of the original distress signal that they sent the ship to investigate in the first place as they seem to have given the android more in-depth instructions to bring it back before they knew what it was.

    Also you need to read the interview with the original writer that shows how the intervention of the studio changed the focus quite a bit.

    Still have high hopes for a proper directors cut. I'm going to have some faith in Ridley.

    I still remember watching the rubbish movie that was Kingdom of Heaven with it's huge plot holes and weak characters. I truly hated it at the cinema. I gave the directors cut a go and thought it was a completely different movie and one I actually really like now. Would be up there with my favourite movies if they could somehow put some fancy CGI over Orlando Bloom and replace him with someone who isn't an Elf. That was a mighty directors cut though. Nearly added a hour to the movie

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