by Michael Clancy
While Avengers Assemble wows cinema audiences, and the internet is a-buzz with renewed interest in the comic book movie ahead of upcoming releases such as The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man, every self-respecting sci-fi film fan knows that we are now only weeks away from the release of Ridley Scott’s new sci-fi epic ‘Prometheus’. A film surrounded in mystery, and with definite connections to Scott’s 1979 classic ‘Alien. Here are ten reasons you should be excited (and believe me, you really should be!).
1. The Return of the King:
Ridley Scott is a renowned film director who has worked in many genres,but it is his work in the realm of science-fiction that has been his most influential, and has earned him the respect of genre fans. With Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982) he has influenced many film-makers, and captured the imaginations of over three generations of film audiences with his bleak visions of future worlds. Prometheus marks his first foray into science-fiction since Blade Runner in 1982.
2. Alien Prequel?:
While Scott and screenwriter Damon Lindelof have remained vague on the extent to which Prometheus is connected with the Alien mythos, after watching the various trailers that have been released, there’s no denying that both films take place in some kind of shared universe, with the Space Jockeys and the derelict spacecraft both being tantalisingly glimpsed. Both the Space Jockey and the ship have been the source of intense debate and speculation, since Alien’s release in 1979. What or who are the Space Jockeys? Why were they carrying a cargo of xenomorph eggs? Is that even the same ship from the original movie? All the questions will hopefully soon be answered.
3. The Trailers:
Trailers are often viewed as revealing the best parts of a film, and are for that reason avoided by many. Fear not spoiler-phobes, the teasers and trailers for Prometheus, while seeming to reveal a lot, only serve to intensify the mystery of the film and demonstrate the film’s epic scale and tense, eerie atmosphere. They do seem to give many hints as to the direction of the film’s plot, but knowing Scott’s reputation for maintaining an intense level of secrecy surrounding the project, I think we can continue to expect the unexpected.
4. A Different Breed:
While the summer release period is usually dominated by the likes of superhero movies, mindless action epics, and high-concept comedies; Prometheus, with it’s blend of epic action and big philosophical ideas offers an alternative to the usual blockbuster season fare.
Scott revealed in interviews that he had cut two versions of the film for review by 20th Century Fox; a PG-13 version, and a more intense cut. Considering the summer release date and the tendency of major studios to ‘play it safe’ and draw in larger profits with a larger audience, many were surprised (and delighted) when news broke at the beginning of May that 20th Century Fox had approved the R-rated version of Prometheus with no cuts. This means we’ll be getting Ridley Scott’s uncompromised vision on the screen come June.
6. The Design:
The film went through a lengthy design phase during pre-production in order to produce unique, yet believeable, craft, spacesuits, and alien designs, like none seen on the screen before. Fans of Alien’s distinct visuals will be pleased as H. R. Giger was brought in as a consultant during the design process, with one of his murals apparently being used in the film.
7. The Impressive Cast:
The cast features an eclectic selection of well-respected actors and surprise choices, including Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, and Guy Pearce. The actress with the formidable job of stepping into Sigourney Weaver’s shoes in the ‘Ellen Ripley’-type role, is the original ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, Noomi Rapace. While the role will no doubt be compared to Sigourney Weaver’s, Rapace has the acting chops to forge her own place as a sci-fi hero.
8. The Viral Campaign:
While viral campaigns are used quite regularly to promote films, Scott has approached the marketing for Prometheus in a suitably unique way. Two videos have been released so far, both featuring a cast member in character. The first features Guy Pearce as Peter Weyland, the founder of the Weyland Corporation from the Alien universe, giving a conference on scientific advances at TED 2023. The second video features Michael Fassbender as android David 8. Scott has said that his aim with the videos was to create interest in Prometheus that was separate to the inevitable interest drummed up by it’s connection to the Alien mythos. I think we can agree they do just this, setting up some of the film’s big themes (discovery, origin and creation), while also leaving us with even more questions to be answered.
9. Influential Potential:
Alien and Blade Runner were both unique takes on science-fiction mainstays. Scott managed to successfully blend tense action with big themes and ideas, and Prometheus looks set to continue this vision. Considering the legacy created by his earlier films, Prometheus has the potential to influence new generations of film-makers and writers.
10. Xenomorph Cameo?:
The cast and crew have been enthusiastic in their efforts to separate this film from the confines of the label of ‘an Alien prequel’, with Scott and Lindelof going as far as saying that the original xemomorph does not appear in the film. Clever misdirection or the truth? Let’s hope for even the smallest of cameos from the iconic creature. Whether or not it will appear, all will be revealed June 1 as Prometheus hits theatres in Ireland and the U.K.