The Prometheus panel at WonderCon 2012 today began as writer Damon Lindelof (Lost) came out and told a story about sneaking to his TV as a young kid to see Ridley Scott’s Alien for the first time on HBO, much to the annoyance of his father, and how it changed his life. He then introduced Prometheus director Sir Ridley Scott. Scott said the origin for Prometheus came from wanting to get back to directing serious science fiction again, and thinking there were unexplored germs of ideas in both Alien and Blade Runner to expand on.
Damon then introduced stars Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender. Theron and Fassbender were both called by Ridley and each given two hours to read the highly guarded script and asked if they’d want to join the production. Theron had to tell friends it was a romcom in order to hide the details of the script from curious friends.
Scott said he loves large ensemble casts, as they make a better onscreen performance. Theron was asked if it was hard to approach this film as a “movie star” with a well-established career. She said she can’t think in that basis on a film because it muddles her performance.
Fassbender plays an android named David who is pretending to be human. He approached the physicality of role thinking about Greg Louganis and how he approaches the diving board before a dive. He also wondered if David would eventually develop his own personality after hanging out with humans.
Then they screened the new trailer in 3D (UPDATE: the full version is now online, see it below; you can also watch the teaser trailer released earlier today HERE). Seeing this trailer for the first time it occurred to me that before this film, only James Cameron (with Aliens) could really come close to matching the sheer spectacle (and cinematic mastery) of the original Alien. Not David Fincher, not Jean-Pierre Jeunet. It’s apparent from viewing this footage that it could only take Ridley Scott, master storyteller, to bring the franchise back to its former glory.
Ridley felt that working in true 3D was a beautiful experience and he enjoyed working with his DP Dariusz Wolski, and he also acknowledged other members of his technical crew.
During the Q & A panel, a Twitterer asked if the advances in CG affect how Ridley Scott worked compared to Alien. Back during Alien, Scott said, it was all tall men in rubber suits, there was no other way around it. Now you can do anything in CG, but effect-wise, it’s now more expensive, not less. The real challenge is how original can you be; outside of that, it doesn’t matter what the effects look like.
Fassbender was asked if the rumors were true that he “gives birth to mankind” in the movie. “Absolutely,” said Fassbender. It wasn’t apparent if he was kidding or not.
Ridley was asked if it was difficult returning to a genre he hadn’t worked in since the 80s. Ridley said in fact, it was just the opposite, for him it was just a dynamite pleasure to come back and work with such great people.
Below is a photo I took of the Weyland business card and lenticular 3D poster that were given out at the Con.
A new viral video was also released online today called “Big Things Have Small Beginnings” – watch that here below.