Sunday, July 31, 2011

PROMETHEUS (2012) - News Update, Pictures and Video

This year we've had a lot of buzz surrounding Ridley Scott's new movie, "Prometheus". At first, everyone thought this was a prequel for the "Alien" franchise, but after letting the media mince the concept for a while, the filmmakers disclosed that this is not a prequel to "Alien", but a stand-alone sci-fi epic and that fans will recognize a strand of "Alien" DNA. These last two words became a sort of riddle for all to guess. What did they mean ? Is it a prequel or not ? The mystery lingered on for a couple of months, but recently the veil has been lifted and we're starting to get a good idea about what the project is really about. Read the full article to get the complete scoop on "Prometheus".

Noomi Rapace
First of all, the cast is really impressive. Scott has put together a great ensemble of actors : Noomi Rapace, from the Swedish "Millennium" trilogy (of which "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" is being remade this year by David Fincher), Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Ben Foster and a rumored appearance by Lance Henriksen, who played the android Bishop in "Aliens" (1986) and Bishop's  creator in "Alien 3" (1992). In "Alien vs. Predator" (2004), Henriksen played Charles Bishop Weyland, chief executive officer for Weyland Industries, and if you recall, the Weyland-Yutani corporation was reponsable for all the xenomorph related expeditions in the "Alien" series. I'm pretty sure, however, that the "AVP" movies are not considered part of the official "Alien" canon and will not carry over into any sequels or prequels to the "Alien" movies, which means if Henriksen will actually appear in "Prometheus" it will have something to do with Bishop, the android. Also, Michael Fassbender's character, David, is a version of the android model featured in the "Aliens" films. Below you can listen to what Charlize Theron had to say about the movie at the 2011 Comic-Con :

Space Jockey Designs
In later statements, Ridley Scott mentioned that the movie revolves around the idea of exploring the mysteries of the unknown, by saying that "The (space) journey, metaphorically, is about a challenge to the gods… NASA and the Vatican agree that is almost mathematically impossible that we can be where we are today without there being a little help along the way. That’s what we’re looking at (in the film), at some of Erich von Däniken’s ideas of how did we humans come about." Däniken is known for his science fiction novels, but most notably for the controversial concept of the "Ancient Astronaut" according to which, our civilization was aided by extraterrestrials from ancient times, a claim he has never been able to back with solid evidence of any kind, which kind of made him an excentric figure, although the concept itself has been used repeatedly in science fiction works, including movies like Kubrik's "2001: A Space Odyssey",  Brian de Palma's "Mission to Mars", or Ronald Emmerich's "Stargate", and popular games, like "Assassin's Creed 2". Not to mention that Prometheus, in Greek myhtology, is a Titan that stole fire from the gods and gave it to the humans, but was punished by Zeus. This is probably where the Space Jockey fits into the whole story. Scott also confirmed that Prometheus is a ship sent from Earth by a corporation, for the purpose of terraforming, a concept also used in the second "Alien" movie, directed by James Cameron. Here's an interview with Ridley Scott, also from the 2011 Comic-Con:

Eventually, 20th Century Fox released an official synopsis to keep the interest fired up, a synopsis that doesn't really reveal anything, but is at least some sort of confirmation on what the project is supposed to represent :
"Visionary filmmaker Ridley Scott returns to the genre he helped define, creating an original science fiction epic set in the most dangerous corners of the universe. The film takes a team of scientists and explorers on a thrilling journey that will test their physical and mental limits and strand them on a distant world, where they will discover the answers to our most profound questions and to life’s ultimate mystery."
First Image from "Prometheus" presented at the 2011 Comic Con

The movie's script is re-written by Damon Lindelof, based on a first draft by Jon Spaihts. Lindelof is currently on the rise as a writer. He has written the screenplay for "Cowboys & Aliens" and served as writer/creator of "Lost" alongside J.J. Abrams. He is currently assigned to write the script for "Star Trek 2". What is more interesting is that an early script by Spaihts, called "Shadow 19" included a terraforming ship called Prometheus and a Marine Corps unit sent to repair it after something went wrong. Now that sounds like it could work just fine for an "Alien" prequel, which Scott's movie actually was, before Lindelof was brought in to re-write the first draft. Here's what Lindelof himself had to say about "Prometheus" :
"It started as an Alien prequel. That is what everybody wanted it to be ... But there is a real issue which is — what is the state of the Alien franchise at this point in our lives? There has been Alien vs. Predator and all these things, and its been completely and totally diluted ... So a true prequel should essentially precede the events of the original film, but be about something entirely different, feature different characters , have an entirely different theme, although it takes place in that same world ... also do feel that this movie is the movie I would want to see as a fanboy, take place in that Alien universe, which precedes the events of the original Alien, but is not necessarily burdened by all the tropes of that franchise with Facehuggers and Chestbursters, and all that stuff that I love… but its sorta like, we’ve seen it before, can we do something different this time?"
According to Scott, the movie will be rated PG-13, as opposed to the usual R rating that evey movie in the "Alien" franchise had, but I doubt it's going to be a minus. In fact, the first "Alien" had one particularly gory scene, the one where John Hurt's chest explodes to reveal the creature for the first time, but other than that the violence was either off-screen, or obscured by dim lighting. It's more about what you don't see that's scary, so I can understand why he didn't need to go past the PG-13. I mean, the chestburster scene was brutal back in the seventies, but today, they would probably be able to get away with it. On the other hand, though, Scott almost always comes back with a Director's Cut, so it's possible that the DC edition for "Prometheus" could also be an Unrated version as well.

And that's about all the information available so far. The movie opens on June 8, 2012, so by the end of the year we'll probably get our first teaser trailer.