Script Writer: Jon Spaihts
This article is part of an ongoing series of retrospectives on the announced cast and crew of Prometheus.
This one focuses on one half of the writing staff, namely Jon Spaihts.
His involvement in the film has been somewhat controversial, beginning with the leaked and much loathed “Alien Harvest” treatment that both Spaihts and Lost alumni Damon Lindelof more recently stated was a falsification.
Another interesting element is the name of the terraforming ship featured in his first unproduced script “Shadow 19”, is also coincidentally named “Prometheus”.
More recently his original Alien prequel script was rewritten by Lindelof, supposedly to remove the Alien prequel elements (although it seems there are more than a few elements of alien “DNA” remaining in Prometheus – Link 1, link 2)
Jon was educated at Princeton University, with an interest in physical and biological sciences and has a keen eye for photography.
Jon Is currently the big buzz screenwriter regarding hard science fiction scripts in Hollywood. With his debut “Shadow 19” script he grabbed the attention of “Matrix” star Keanu Reeves who was set to put it into production but the script was ultimately shelved for being too expensive to green light. This collaboration lead to the creation of the 2007 black list featured “Passengers” a romantic science fiction thriller with Reeves headlining.
Prometheus won’t be the first taste of Mr. Spaiths screenwriting ability on the silver screen; that first taste will be a rewrite of “Day Watch” fame Timur Bekmambetov’s “The Darkest Hour” which from first glance appears to be “28 days later” replacing zombies with aliens and London with Moscow.
I strongly suggest you give “Shadow 19” a read. Having read “Shadow 19”, Jon’s descriptions of bio-mechanical creatures are one of the few possible indications of why he was chosen as writer for Prometheus.
Here are links to the above mentioned scripts:
The next retrospective will be on production designer Arthur Max.