Prometheus, the spiritual prequel to the 1979 sci-fi/horror classic Alien that marks the return of its director Ridley Scott to the genre that launched his career, won’t be released until next summer and no trailers or footage have been seen by the general public as of yet, with the exception of a sizzle reel shown at the film’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con back in July.
Little is also known of the exact plot of the film and the connection it shares with Alien, but recently Scott sat down with Barbara Chai at the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog and shared some small but tantalizing bits of information regarding just what the hell Prometheus is all about.
According to the director, who also has a semi-sequel to other science fiction classic Blade Runner currently in development, Prometheus is a metaphorical tale of a “higher being” who challenged the gods for the right to possess fire, something the gods are very reluctant to turn over to the mortal realm. “Fire is our first form of technology,” Scott said during the interview. “In Greek mythology Prometheus was a Titan who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to the mortals. As punishment Zeus had him bound to a rock while a great eagle ate his liver every day, only for the liver to regenerate so the eagle could eat it again the next day, which Scott was possibly referencing when he mentioned that mankind’s punishment for the metaphorical theft of fire in his film comes “in perpetuity in a horrible fashion.”
In the interview, Ridley Scott revealed why he hasn’t made a film in the genre that established him as a world-class visionary filmmaker more than three decades ago in such a long time, despite the rumors that had him directing everything from an Alien sequel written by James Cameron to an adaptation of Joe Haldeman’s novel The Forever War. “I think the reason why I haven’t attempted science fiction in a number of years is because I haven’t really come across a script that I really liked,” the director said in reference to the screenplay written by Damon Lindelof and Jon Spaihts. “This developed and came out extremely well.”
Scott also discussed the technical aspects of the production, including the extensive use of CGI and the director’s first time making a 3D movie, and said that while making Prometheus he has “completely taken off into this cyberworld” and referred to the ambitious and secretive shoot as “the best time I’ve had in a number of years making a movie.” But despite embracing the cutting-edge filmmaking and visual effects technology Scott says, “I’m a great believer in filming the real thing if you can and so I did a lot of building the real thing.”
Prometheus began life as a direct prequel to Alien, but evolved over time to be more of a standalone film that took place in the same universe as the 1979 movie and shared similar DNA but little else. Now Scott is saying that the last eight minutes of Prometheus will evolve into “a pretty good DNA of the “˜Alien’ one.”
Most of the shoot took place at England’s legendary Pinewood Studios including filming on the world-famous “007 Stage,” one of the largest stages in Europe at 59,000 square feet. Other productions that have filmed on that stage, which was constructed for the 1977 James Bond adventure The Spy Who Loved Me, include the first two Superman movies, Krull, Aliens, Alien 3, Little Shop of Horrors, Mission: Impossible, and countless more Bond films. The stage burned to the ground during production of Scott’s 1985 dark fairy tale Legend, but was rebuilt soon after.
Prometheus stars Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, and Patrick Wilson and opens on June 8, 2012.