- Jon Spaihts: The story I developed with Ridley to begin with unfolded in the context of a larger arc that we imagine playing out. So that conversation has never really ended."(https://variety.com/2012/film/news/prometheus-writer-on-the-origin-of-fox-s-alien-pic-1118053998/)
- Jon Spaihts: Every writer takes a different road into a story. In the case of this return to Ridley's 'Alien' universe, there were a couple of fixed points - mainly the mysteries in Ridley's original film that remained to be resolved and Ridley's personal interest in return to that time, doing a prequel. I think the fundamental insight that drove me in the development of that story was that all of the mysteries in 'Alien' are distinctly alien in nature.(https://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2012/05/03/how-an-unsung-screenwriter-got-to-work-with-ridley-scott-on-prometheus-and-ended-up-riding-a-bronco/#110d8b9846a0)
- Collider: What was your process of writing the screenplay like?
Jon Spaihts: I wrote the first draft of that screenplay in three and a half weeks, which is a personal record. And then, I was just in the shoot with Ridley for awhile. I would write a draft, and then I would sit in the room with Ridley Scott and his two lieutenants, at that time, and we would talk about the story for weeks at a time. Ridley was tireless and constantly drawing. He has a fierce visual imagination, and was constantly throwing curve balls at the story that I would then need to adjust to the logic of my universe. We worked through five drafts like that, over many months. (https://collider.com/jon-spaihts-prometheus-world-war-robot-interview/)
- Denofgeek: How much did the good reception of this script in 2007 lead to you putting ideas into Prometheus? As they have several similarities, including a character in isolation as a dramatic fulcrum. And how did the reception of Prometheus then influence Passengers when it finally went into production?
Jon Spaihts: Two interesting questions. Certainly Passengers was a large part of the reason I was brought into the room on Prometheus. Ridley Scott was a very active creative partner in the development of Prometheus’ story. We spent many months on it fleshing it out. The thing that got me the job though more than anything was the question ‘what would you do in a prequel to the film Alien’. I had not been prepared for that question as I thought I was taking a general meeting. But I found I had an opinion on it! I riffed about it for 45 minutes, and it was one of those moments where you’re asked the right question and something leaps out fully formed. Passengers did that. Prometheus did that. The spine of the story of Prometheus was born in that first conversation and never really changed, although I’m sure there was a lot of refinement along the way.
I’m also sure that Ridley loved Passengers and was attracted to me as a writer for that reason, so there were things in Passengers that may have pollinated Prometheus a little bit. There was never any intention to put elements of Passengers in, but I’m sure there was an inevitable ferment when creative projects rub elbows, and of course I’m the guy who invented both stories, so there’s things which I’m drawn to as an artist that recur. As to how the reception of Prometheus might have obliged us to modulate Passengers, I would say there is no way. Prometheus was much discussed, people loved and hated it, and it was fun to be a part of that but the ongoing crusade to make Passengers as a movie existed in a separate space. (https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/jon-spaihts-interview-passengers-prometheus/)