The highly anticipated panel for Ridley Scott‘s sorta–kind but not really Alien prequel, Prometheus, was held at San Diego Comic–Con 2011 on Thursday, and things that will excite you as well as things that may make you a little uneasy were discussed.
The panel opened with moderator (and screenwriter) Damon Lindelof, who is of course one of the main men behind one of the greatest TV shows of all time, LOST. Lindelof gets things rolling with a story of how he came to be the writer Ridley chose to pen what would be the final draft used for the movie, before jumping right into a footage presentation.
Continue reading for MUCH more, a footage description, and some images from the panel!
The first thing shown is basically a video montage of Scott’s past works with the declaration that he’s returning to the genre he redefined. Then they get to Prometheus, first with a look at the massive sets they’re shooting on before getting into actual movie footage with a little voiceover work from Scott himself (who appeared later on in the panel live via satellite with star Noomi Rapace from Iceland, where they’re filming they film’s opening).
The footage shown is mostly presented in quickfire fashion, but still shows some insane bits. We first see some astronauts searching the dark corridors of a ship before coming to a huge ancient–looking structure with alien writings on the walls and small, evenly spaced protrusions on the floors. Scott’s voice comes on here, explaining that “The cast find an establishment which is not what they expected it to be; it’s a civilization, but what we find in it is very uncivilized behavior.”
Then come the faster shots: we see star Charlize Theron doing pushups naked (we’re not sure why, but few gentlemen will be complaining), Michael Fassbender touching some strange goo, someone being torched by a flamethrower, and a little blood on someone’s finger. Scott continues voiceover throughout the footage, but most notably says “There is the DNA of the original Alien, but that’s as far as it goes.” This, of course, continues the confusion we’ve had when it comes to the ties this movie will have with Alien (which most of us have long ago decided will not be solved until we actually see the movie).
Stepping away from Comic–Con for a moment””if you’re not already aware of this subject matter””the confusion began back in January when it was revealed that the prequel had “evolved” into Prometheus with Lindelof’s script. If was here where Scott was quoted saying “While Alien was indeed the jumping off point for this project, out of the creative process evolved a new, grand mythology and universe in which this original story takes place. The keen fan will recognize strands of Alien‘s DNA, so to speak, but the ideas tackled in this film are unique, large and provocative.”
That quote led many to believe that the prequel wouldn’t be a prequel at all, but more of a completely original film set prior to the events of 1978’s Alien, yet still in the same world. Not too long after that quote, however, it was revealed elsewhere that there would still be HEAVY Alien elements, AND that H.R. Giger‘s (who’s also working on Prometheus) alien creatures will not only be in the movie, but be “integral to the plot.”
Now we’re back at square one with Scott’s new quotes that there is only the “DNA” of his classic sci–fi horror movie, and nothing more. Going back to us not knowing exactly what this means until the movie comes out, Scott all but confirmed this later on in the panel, saying that “You’ll know what I mean by the end of the movie”¦”
But no matter what any of this means or how the movies tie together, Ridley made it clear he had one strong intention in making Prometheus, and that, my friends, is quite simply to “scare the living shit of you.”
Next up was Theron, who was in attendance and discussed her character and what she’s all about before saying it’s bullshit that Scott’s not there in person. This is when the director shows up via the above–mentioned live feed from Iceland. Lindelof asks Scott what took him so long to come back to sci–fi, to which he replies that he’s just been so busy with other movies to get to come back, and that it was something about Alien that no one had ever asked about that initially sparked his idea for a prequel (which is what the last few moments of the film will most likely be revealing).
Then came the use of 3D and special effects. Scott actually said that he would never film without 3D again…which seems strange, but apparently he’s really digging that added dimension. Thankfully, for us, they are filming in native 3D and not converting the movie in post production, which is always a very bad move. He also admitted that they’re using “minimum” digital effects and that a lot of sets were built for the film, because he was once told that “if you can film it live, then you should film it live,” which is very good news for we the fans.
And what about one of the more touchy subjects in movies today, the dreaded PG–13 rating? Well, unfortunately, it doesn’t sound good. Scott shares that he always sets himself up with both a PG–13 and R–rated cut of the film to present to the studio, so they can decided which to go with. I’m not sure there’s anything LESS likely than a movie studio choosing to release an R–rated movie when they have the PG–13 option, especially if Scott approves of both cuts. But the director seems to be confident that he doesn’t need the R medal of honor badge to pull Prometheus off. Time will tell on that one. If a Guillermo del Toro movie can get the R just for scary imagery and tone (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark), then this movie should do what it has to do to create that same sleep–stealing tone.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for the very first image from Prometheus, which was just released!
Reporting by Empress Eve & Dave3; Photos by Dave3.