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Ridley Scott Talks About ‘Alien’ Prequel That’s Not an ‘Alien’ Prequel

I don’t personally intend to run a whole lot of coverage of Comic-Con here in the blog this week. I’m not attending the event, and most of the fanboy wankery that happens there doesn’t interest me. However, I did find this video clip of Ridley Scott talking about his now-shooting movie ‘Prometheus’ (which at this point may or may not be a prequel to ‘Alien’) fairly interesting.

Scott teleconferenced in to the convention from one of his shooting locations in Iceland. That’s screenwriter Damon Lindelof asking all the questions on the left, next to star Charlize Theron, who doesn’t say a word. A few minutes in, Scott is joined by co-star Noomi Rapace.

From what I can gather, the movie will have only a tenuous connection to ‘Alien’, most apparent in the last few minutes. I assume that’s when we’ll finally see one of the Aliens, or (as had previously been rumored) the elephant-like Space Jockey from the first film. Scott claims that ‘Prometheus’ comes from the same “DNA” as ‘Alien’, and grew out of an unanswered question that none of the previous movies in the series have addressed. (My presumption: Where do the Aliens come from?) However, the new movie goes off in a “completely different direction.”

Other points of interest:

Lindelof and Scott claim that the movie will minimize the use of CGI in favor of real sets and props.

The movie is being photographed in 3D, which Scott loves. He says: “I’ll never work without 3D again, even for small dialogue scenes. I love the whole process. 3D opens up the universe of even a small dialogue scene, so I’ve been very impressed with that.”

There will be two robots/Replicants of some sort in the movie.

In addition to Theron and Rapace, the cast also features Michael Fassbender and Guy Pearce.

The film is being shot with the expectation of a PG-13 rating. When asked if that has limited his creativity or ability to make the movie scary, Scott insists not. He also says that he’s been shooting harder footage as well, and will ultimately work with the producer to decide in editing which way to go. I’m sure this means that even if the theatrical release is PG-13, we’ll probably see a more graphic Director’s Cut on video.

The film will be released next year. Scott appears genuinely excited by the project, and says that he wants to do another one immediately.

Some brief footage from the film was shown to the crowd. You can find a description of that and a couple of lousy cell phone still images at Comic Book Movie.

Entertainment Weekly also spoke to Lindelof and Theron before the panel, and got them to talk a little more about what the movie will be.

As for the title, what is Prometheus? A ship? A character? Simply an allusion to the Greek myth? Or will the alien be revealed as a Frankenstein-like human creation? (Remember, the full title of Mary Shelley’s tale was The Modern Prometheus.)

“We’re not going to talk specifically about how it connects into the movie, but yes, [in Greek mythology], Prometheus was a titan who stole fire from the gods because they were keeping it for themselves and worried about what mankind would do if we got our paws on it. That’s a resonant theme. What are humans doing that we shouldn’t be doing?” Lindelof says.

“It also sounds really pretentious, like Inception,” he joked. “Yeah, it makes the movie sound so smart, which is better than my original title – Explosion!”

Here’s some additional Q&A footage in which Lindelof and Theron talk about the massive sets Scott built for the movie, and why it’s being shot in 3D.

Does this new information make you excited for ‘Prometheus’? I think it sounds promising, but I have to admit to still being pretty skeptical. Honestly, I don’t think that Ridley Scott has made a decent movie since 1982. Will this one break the streak? I can only hope.

15 comments

  1. “Honestly, I don’t think that Ridley Scott has made a decent movie since 1982.”
    => Héhé, I like this comment (even if I don’t fully agree; I liked “Matchstick Men”) because “Blade Runner” was only his 3rd movie. Hey, a hat-trick is not a bad career, eh? :)

  2. javier

    I’m excited but I’m also dissapointed that this doesn’t seem to be the prequel I’ve been waiting for.

  3. Onslaught

    I thought Gladiator was ok….but I’m a big fan of Black Hawk Down and Matchstick Men. Since then though he’s slipped into mediocrity. Nothing good, nothing bad. Just a whole lot in the middle.

  4. I believe the story here is that Ridley was working on a prequel to Alien, and when Damon’s script came in, Ridley was so impressed by the world he had created, it was decided that this would still be the same “universe” as the Alien movies, but they were less concerned about bridging the movies. So if there’s a sequel to this film, it won’t be about the Aliens, but about things that are seen for the first time in Prometheus.

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      Jane, I replaced your spoiler text with a link to the same description. I don’t want our site to be responsible for spoiling the movie. :)

      In any case, Fox has apparently discredited that synopsis.

      • Jane Morgan

        I’m hoping that ‘Prometheus’ synopsis was from a very early draft.

        Either way, Ridley Scott better anchor the plot to a badass female hero, minimize the exposition, and crank the atmosphere up to eleven.

        The only part of this sci-fi horror that feels disturbing is the PG-13 rating.

        • Josh Zyber
          Author

          Reading between the lines in the two videos, I figure that Charlize Theron’s character is one of the robots. Noomi Rapace will probably be the main badass female hero.

    • It could be the Lovecraft movie that has always been waiting to be made. If this were the real plot I would see it six times the first weekend, thrice in each eye.

  5. Anybody else worried about Ridley’s over-enthusiasm for the mediocrity craze that is 3D?? So far, the only good that has come from 3D, is some directors realising they have to slow the camera movements down a bit, thus avoiding ‘shakeycam’ disease.

    I’m really looking forward to this, but the 3D thing is a really bad sign. On the other hand, if it still looks great in 2D and the plot/characters/etc. fall into place, we could have his third great science fiction film. ;-)

    • Jane Morgan

      ‘Prometheus’ should benefit from 3D, as long as no one watches it in 3D.

      Ridley’s gotten too shaky-sloppy with his action. As long as alien tongues aren’t jumping out at the audience, 3D should cure his biggest weakness.

      Now we just have to cross our toes that Tony Scott joins the club.