Ridley Scott’s next Prometheus Film Is Called Alien: Paradise Lost
Get ready for Christian allegory. Aliengory.
It’s a good thing Ridley Scott clarified yesterday that his next few films will be Prometheus follow-ups, because otherwise, his announcement that the next film would have the word “Alien” in the front part of the title might have confused everyone. Now, we can focus on the second half of that title, which is Paradise Lost. Yes, of course, that’s a reference to the famous John Milton poem about Lucifer fighting God’s army. So … this film will be a Christian allegory, then? Okayyy.
Listen. I love Alien. Prometheus was a strange diversion, sure — but most of the stuff that happened in the later Alien movies was pretty weird, too. It’s gotta be hard to keep making sequels without adding in a weird idea or two or six. That said, why would anyone feel the need to add in even more Christian undertones when we’ve already got Greek mythology in the mix? And— of all the allusions to make in a title — Paradise Lost? And you’re telling me this isn’t a fan film for the Alien franchise made by a college-aged me? Wow.
Prometheus already had some Christianity references as it was, admittedly, but this upcoming title still seems a bit too on the nose, at least for me. What’s more, although the myth of Prometheus is widely known, it’s not as common a reference point as Christian allegorical texts tend to be, so it made for an intriguing title (albeit perhaps not as intriguing a film). Paradise Lost is pretty well-worn territory, so it’s hard to feel much excitement about yet another riff on those themes.
Then again, it’s not super clear to me why Alien needs to rely on allegorical storytelling tropes at all, given that the franchise’s themes have become symbols to which so many other sci-fi fiction works allude. Wasn’t it enough to have the world of Alien be a complex, interlocking series of commentaries on institutional structures, gender, assault, bureaucracy, and technology? There’s already a ton to work with there! Do we need to throw Christianity into that mix, too? Surely there’s more to this story than the ol’ serpent and apple.
Maybe there’s a cool twist on this theme that I can’t yet imagine, although after Prometheus, I guess I’m a little less willing to give Ridley Scott the benefit of the doubt. What do you think? Is there a way to incorporate a Paradise Lost reference point into the world of Prometheus and Alien in a way that doesn’t feel rote and tired? Should I just go re-watch Alien and Aliens for the billionth time while I pretend that none of this is happening?
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