Damon Lindelof Talks About Controversial PROMETHEUS Lines

Ridley Scott's Prometheus is one of those films that I loved as I walked out of the theater, but was ultimately a bit disappointed with upon further reflection. In the weeks following the movie's release, critics proceeded to deconstruct it so much that there seemed to be no good will left toward the film, which I personally think is a bit unfair to do to any movie. But with a big franchise come big expectations, and for many, Prometheus just didn't live up to Scott's previous sci-fi efforts.

LOST co-creator Damon Lindelof was one of the writers on the film, and despite the criticisms tossed his way, he's one of the most open, honest, and communicative screenwriters working in the industry today. He's very aware of public reaction toward his work, and has no problem engaging detractors in discussions if they present a valid argument (unlike someone like Kevin Smith, who essentially shuts down at the first mention of anything negative). I respect the hell out of Lindelof for tacking this tack with his fans and haters - he doesn't have to respond to anyone, but he does it anyway.

The writer sat down with the Wall Street Journal to discuss the viral marketing behind Prometheus, and revealed some interesting information in the process. Check out the full interview for more.

About whether or not he and Michael Fassbender were paid extra to write and act (respectively) in the viral marketing content:

I can only answer for myself and presume they didn’t pay Michael anything additional. I looked at it this way: Part of my job, what I get paid for, is promoting the movie and the Writer’s Guild is probably going to get mad at me for saying this, but that’s just the way I looked at it. Since I pitched it, I wanted to do it and Fox said yes, they were putting money out there to make this thing. I looked at it as a couple of extra scenes I was doing for “Prometheus” that would be on a small screen. I do think that in the future my agent will probably negotiate bumps for additional content that are not going to be on the screen. But you have to look at it as a freebie when you are trying to do something new and cool.

On responding to fans:

My feeling is: this is what I signed up for. I am driven and captivated and interested in these open-ended stories that have a high level of interpretation to them. There’s a certain level of frustration that comes with that package. So, when I was involved in the movie just looking at tiny little effects, naming planets and star systems, you have to be responsible. Charlize [Theron] has a line in the movie where she says, “I wouldn’t be half a billion miles away from every man on earth if I wanted to get laid.” And Neil deGrasse Tyson [the well-known astrophysicist] came out said “This would put her somewhere in the neighborhood of Jupiter, when they are much, much further out.” I chose not to say anything because the line was intentional. It had been dinged before we even shot it. But we stuck by it for reasons I don’t feel like discussing.

And for this last bit, I'll embed the question from the WSJ in here as well:

There was also a lot of debate about a line in which David the android says that the crew has been asleep for “2 years, 4 months, 18 days, 36 hours, 15 minutes.” People didn’t understand why he wouldn’t have just said “2 years, 4 months, 19 days, 12 hours, 15 minutes.”

The “36 hours” line has been burning a hole in my side because I wasn’t there on the day they shot it. I don’t know if it was an ad-lib by Michael or an idea by Ridley, that wasn’t the line that we wrote. So when people contact me and say “Explain this. Is it a glitch in David?” I have to say “I can’t take responsibility for this.” So, I do think in terms of fair play with the audience, Twitter is a medium for me to say “I can’t come out now and bullshit you.” God forbid somebody pulls the script one day and sees that line is not even in the script. So I have to be honest.

What do you think could be the hidden meaning behind the "half a billion miles away from Earth" line?