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Prometheus (2012)

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Alright, probably time to get this thread started. Ridley Scott has been doing the rounds for Robin Hood, and has started dropping hints as to possible storylines for the Alien prequel. From an interview with MTV, it looks like Scott is going to focus some of the story on the race of Space Jockeys, but he is also going to have a human element involved in the form of terraformers and the Weyland Corporation.

"It's set in 2085, about 30 years before Sigourney [Weaver's character Ellen Ripley]. It's fundamentally about going out to find out 'Who the hell was that Space Jockey?' The guy who was sitting in the chair in the alien vehicle — there was a giant fellow sitting in a seat on what looked to be either a piece of technology or an astronomer's chair ... Our man [Tom Skerritt as Captain Dallas] climbs up and says "There's been an explosion in his chest from the inside out — what was that?" I'm basically explaining who that Space Jockey — we call him the Space Jockey — I'm explaining who the space jockeys were ... [The film] is about the discussion of terraforming — taking planets and planetoids and balls of earth and trying to terraform, seed them with the possibilities of future life."

Links to some earlier posts in the Alien: The Director's Cut thread, speculating some ideas that might be used in the prequel.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

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That interview contains some interesting notions, including the fact that we're not going to see the xenomorph as we knew it, but some kind of precursor to it (back in the day, Scott said he thought that the xenomorph was developed as a weapon, so presumably we'll meet an earlier stage of the xenomorph), and that he hopes Giger will come on board for the re-design.

We'll see how this works out.

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Is 'Lost's Damon Lindelof Boarding 'Alien'?

EXCLUSIVE: Damon Lindelof has taken his first big solo screenwriting job since concluding the ABC series Lost. I’m been told that he closed a deal to do rewrite work on 20th Century Fox’s Alien prequel, which the studio hopes Ridley Scott will direct as his next assignment. . . .

Lindeloff is currently writing with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci Paramount’s Star Trek sequel, on which Lindelof is a producer. He also teamed with Kurtzman and Orci to write the Jon Favreau-directed Cowboys and Aliens, which is shooting now with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.

That’s plenty of action, but I’m told that Lindelof jumped at this opportunity because Scott's 1979 space thriller Alien was such a seminal influence on him. Resuscitating the Alien franchise has been a big priority for Fox, which has a script by Jon Spaihts, who wrote the Gabriele Muccino-directed Keanu Reeves-starrer Passengers for Morgan Creek, and whose drafts on the Alien film persuaded Scott to move from producing the film to directing it. . . .

Mike Fleming, Deadline.com, July 28

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Ridley Scott hints at his plans for the prequel in an interview with the Independent:

We are talking about gods and engineers. Engineers of space. And were the aliens designed as a form of biological warfare? Or biology that would go in and clean up a planet?

Sigh. This is one of the things I hate about prequels. The previous Alien films explored the perils of exploiting natural forces for commercial gain. But to come around now and say that the forces in question (by which I mean the aliens, natch) were never natural to begin with? I dunno, in a way that almost seems to betray the thrust of the earlier movies. Now, instead of a force of nature that confounds our technological superiority, the aliens would merely be an alternate form of technology, as it were.

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But to come around now and say that the forces in question (by which I mean the aliens, natch) were never natural to begin with? I dunno, in a way that almost seems to betray the thrust of the earlier movies.

Eh, I don't think it really does. But I've never understood the films as being about nature versus technology, and, in watching ALIEN, I'd always suspected that the aliens were engineered by the Space Jockeys.

Anyway, I like the idea. It's very, very Lovecraftian (and Scott should be going for all the Lovecraft he can on this one). Straight out of AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS, in fact, which is about the discovery of an alien race that was usurped by their bio-engineered servants.

Edited by Ryan H.

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I think they're just midichlorians on steroids.

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I think they're just midichlorians on steroids.

Possibly, if taken too far. It's all in the handling on this one. Scott has said the iconic xenomorph isn't even going to appear in the prequel, and so I'd wager stuff isn't going to be spelled out too directly.

The first film already took a significant page from Lovecraft's AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS. I'm actually encouraged that the prequel seems to be following suit, but on a grander scale (Scott made a comment in a recent interview that he wants to out-do what Cameron did with ALIENS).

Edited by Ryan H.

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I think they're made of those little shreds of used up currency, just compressed real hard so that they get black and shiny.

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I think they're made of those little shreds of used up currency, just compressed real hard so that they get black and shiny.

biggrin.gif

Good one. But seriously, I have a good feeling about this flick. Scott's been excited about this for years now, and it seems that he knows the previous films have exhausted the previous alien (which is why the iconic alien won't appear in the movie, and the story is going in a different direction). I'm definitely up for some big-scale sci-fi horror with a Lovecraftian edge and lots of brand new Giger-designed monsters.

Edited by Ryan H.

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Ryan H. wrote:

: . . . in watching ALIEN, I'd always suspected that the aliens were engineered by the Space Jockeys.

Well, it's obvious that the Space Jockeys were at least harvesting the aliens, hence the ship full of all those eggs. Engineering them, however, is something rather different.

Admittedly, the nature-vs.-technology idea is more prevalent in Aliens, which owes more to the Vietnam War and to Heinlein's Starship Troopers (which, if memory serves, drew some parallels between the "bugs" and the insectoid armour suits that the troopers wear). James Cameron even goes so far as to give the aliens a "queen" who lays all the eggs, like the queen ant in Them! -- though the spaceship discovered in the original Alien already had "thousands of eggs" (as Ripley declares in Aliens itself), so there wouldn't seem to be a need for a queen to lay any more of them.

By the time we get to Alien Resurrection, of course, the HUMANS have been engaged in centuries of genetic engineering around these aliens. So it's certainly not outside the realm of possibility that any other spacefaring species, such as the Space Jockeys, might have done the same. But still... I dunno. It just messes with the trajectory of the series as a whole.

: Scott has said the iconic xenomorph isn't even going to appear in the prequel, and so I'd wager stuff isn't going to be spelled out too directly.

Hmmm, this might also be Scott's way of dodging what the existing sequels "revealed" about the nature of these aliens (their ant-like society a la Aliens, their tendency to borrow the traits of the host that incubated them a la Alien3, etc.). I don't know how important a little thing like continuity would be to Scott, who if memory serves has never made a sequel before (apart from Hannibal, which was based on an existing best-selling novel), but basing the prequels on an entirely different xenomorph than the one we've seen before would certainly give him some leeway to do whatever he wants in that regard.

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It just messes with the trajectory of the series as a whole.

Perhaps. But I think Scott--while he has no interest in directly contradicting continuity--isn't so interested about maintaining the trajectory of the franchise as much as he is in reclaiming it.

Hmmm, this might also be Scott's way of dodging what the existing sequels "revealed" about the nature of these aliens (their ant-like society a la Aliens, their tendency to borrow the traits of the host that incubated them a la Alien3, etc.). I don't know how important a little thing like continuity would be to Scott, who if memory serves has never made a sequel before (apart from Hannibal, which was based on an existing best-selling novel), but basing the prequels on an entirely different xenomorph than the one we've seen before would certainly give him some leeway to do whatever he wants in that regard.

True.

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ScriptFlags.com says Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox can't agree on a budget -- or a rating.

Hmmm. Of the six Alien films to date, only one -- the original Alien vs. Predator -- was rated PG-13. And it's not like Ridley Scott has had all that much success with non-R-rated films (indeed, prior to this summer's Robin Hood, a PG or PG-13 rating had pretty much been the kiss of death for a Ridley Scott film).

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$250 million is quite a gamble on a franchise that has pretty much petered out. I'm as interested as the next person to see where the new films might go, but I would not want to be the investor of that kind of money. It's a limited appeal film. You're not going to get the Avatar or Titanic type of mass appeal audience showing up to an Alien film.

I find that this article's reference to production budgets of the franchise is a little off, at least where Aliens is concerned. If you calculate for inflation the original $11 million Alien production budget from 1979 dollars to 1986 dollars, the new budget would be $16.6 million. Aliens had an $18 million budget, but looks far more expensive (IMHO it's still the best looking of the franchise). I think this is where director James Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd's experience working with Roger Corman's low budget New World Pictures really paid off. They used a lot of low budget techniques to give the production a more expensive look. One example off the top of my head, which I read many years ago in Cinefex magazine, is the sleeping quarters on the space marines ship the Sulaco. Cameron originally wanted a set with twice as many hibernation chambers, but cost-wise couldn't afford it. The solution - a mirror at one end of the smaller set to double what you're seeing on film. This and a lot of other inventive effects really give this film a quality far beyond what you would think the budget could have allowed.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

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Scriptflags.com reported yesterday that, although unconfirmed by 20th Century Fox, the Alien prequel has been delayed a full year, pushing back release to 2013. And Ridley Scott's IMDb page reflects that change of date.

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FWIW, various sites are reporting that Disney has moved [John Carter of Mars'] release date to March 9 -- the same day Prometheus (aka The Film Formerly Known As The Alien Prequel) is scheduled to open -- which means it will no longer be competing with the Pixar movie that comes out in June.

Heh:

Last week, it was announced that Walt Disney Pictures had moved Andrew Stanton's John Carter of Mars up from June 8, 2012 to March 9, 2012, putting it up against Ridley Scott's Prometheus and leaving the June 8 date empty.

20th Century Fox has easily solved that problem by moving Prometheus to June 8, 2012.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Let me preface this link with a warning: This image may be a spoiler related to the upcoming film.

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Ridley Scott, Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace Tease 'Prometheus' at CineEurope

Scott and his two top cast members flew directly to CineEurope from the Prometheus set in Pinewood, London but did not bring any footage from the new, top secret project. They remained cagey during a Q&A session, only letting a few details of the film slip out. Scott acknowledged that Prometheus, while not a direct prequel to Alien, occupies the same general universe, saying the picture was inspired by a desire to explore the mystery of the "space jockey" the giant fossilized creature with the burst-open chest seen in the first Alien movie but never explained.

Scott also confirmed that the film's title is the name of a space ship sent from earth by an all-powerful corporation of the kind familiar to fans of the Alien franchise. The mythical reference - in Greek mythology, Prometheus stole fire from the gods to give to man -- is deliberate.

"The (space) journey, metaphorically, is about a challenge to the gods," Scott said. But Scott's ambitions with Prometheus go far beyond simply restarting a hit franchise. The British director said the film's storyline, and script by David Lindelof, was partially inspired by the writings of legendary Swiss sci-fi writer Eric van Daniken.

Van Daniken, author of 1968 bestseller Chariot of the Gods, is best known as the first proponent of the so-called ancient astronaut theory, which holds that aliens kick-started civilization on earth. "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," Scott said. "That's what we're looking at (in the film), at some of Eric van Daniken's ideas of how did we humans come about." . . .

Hollywood Reporter, June 28

If this is actually the real plot for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, just shoot us now

A tipster has forwarded us what somebody close to the production on Prometheus claims is the plot outline to Ridley Scott's long-awaited prequel to Alien. We're fairly dubious that this is the actual plot. And not only are we skeptical about the authenticity of this outline, but we're really hoping that our skepticism is justified. Because if this is the real plot outline to the flick . . . well, abandon all hope. . . .

i09, June 29

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Ridley Scott shooting movie by Hekla in Iceland

Filming for Ridley Scott’s new movie, Promethius began today at the foot of Iceland’s Hekla volcano. . . .

The director confirmed that Iceland will not play the starring role in Promethius: “It will be 15 minutes in total, if all goes to plan. We are shooting the beginning of time.” . . .

Iceland was confirmed as a filming location somewhat late in the day, despite always having been a probable choice. “It is possible to find similar landscapes elsewhere in the world,” Scott explained. “But here it is so rough and ‘Jurassic-like’ and that proved decisive. Iceland is a massively beautiful country.”

Ice News, July 11

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Ridley Scott shooting movie by Hekla in Iceland

Filming for Ridley Scott’s new movie, Promethius began today at the foot of Iceland’s Hekla volcano. . . .

The director confirmed that Iceland will not play the starring role in Promethius: “It will be 15 minutes in total, if all goes to plan. We are shooting the beginning of time.” . . .

Iceland was confirmed as a filming location somewhat late in the day, despite always having been a probable choice. “It is possible to find similar landscapes elsewhere in the world,” Scott explained. “But here it is so rough and ‘Jurassic-like’ and that proved decisive. Iceland is a massively beautiful country.”

Ice News, July 11

Pretty soon, every movie is going to have an entirety of the universe narrative arc. . I think the trend started with the flower in Adaptation.

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Some screenshots from the Comic Con footage.

Pretty much leaves no doubt that PROMETHEUS is an ALIEN prequel, through and through.

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'Prometheus' Scribe Damon Lindelof Talks Robots, Slimy Corporations & Ridley Scott Collab

The official "Prometheus" synopsis has been unleashed, and as cool as it is — A discovery about the origins of humanity! An intergalactic voyage! An extraterrestrial battle with genocide-level implications! — the description still leaves much about Ridley Scott's "Alien"-DNA project unknown.

All in good time. Back at San Diego Comic-Con, though, "Prometheus" writer/producer Damon Lindelof kicked us a ton of info about his collaboration with Scott, the nature of the roles Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron play in the film, and who might actually turn out to be the hero-heir to Sigourney Weaver's Ripley. With the "Prometheus" synopsis on the web, we figured now is the right time to roll out our interview. Read on for insight into the 2012 flick, in Lindelof's own words. . . .

MTV Movies Blog, September 28

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