Alien Co-Creator Ron Shusett Critiques Prometheus And Total Recall, Pitches Two New Script Ideas

As you might expect, Alien‘s co-creator Ron Shusett wasn’t too impressed with Prometheus. Nor did he think much of the new Total Recall, a remake modelled on the adaptation he and Dan O’Bannon did of the original Philip K. Dick.

Here are a couple of quotes from Shusett’s new interview with The Daily Blam. Firstly, on the subject of Prometheus:

Prometheus was the opposite of Alien, which was a thriller and edge of your set nail-biter. [Prometheus] ended up being talky and pretentious. It tried to be ambitious but it couldn’t achieve that. It was bogged down with things they had to do that nobody cared about and it was a major disappointment to everybody…

…you can’t just say that we’ll tell you the reason why they wanted to kill us in the sequel to the prequel.

And on Total Recall:

The audience glazed over about halfway through. You can have the most amazing special effects but if you can’t believe or care about the story and characters then the audience doesn’t respond well. People didn’t seem to care if [Kate Beckinsale] killed [Farrell] or not. She’s chasing and chasing him and then people were kind of like ‘Oh kill him already, who cares.’

Not me.

Shusett’s not just here to pick holes, however – no matter how ready to unravel Prometheus and Total Recall might be. He’s actually putting his word processor where his mouth is working on new screenplays.

One is a sci-fi picture about miners working the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. There are apparently some five different alien breeds in this film, trying to steal from the miners. Whether the tone is more Outland or more Enemy Mine is not even hinted at let alone made clear.

The other is a new take on the Jekyll and Hyde set up:

When he is in monster mode, Hyde is intent on killing other people but in this case he wants to kill Jekyll but doesn’t understand that they have the same body so it opens the door to a lot of bizarre special effects and plot twists.

What isn’t clear is if both of these scripts are being written on spec, though I’d guess they are. With estimated budgets of 100 million and 15 million respectively, I guess it seems more likely that the latter will go before cameras but, hey, nobody knows anything.