As we inch closer to the release of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, details surrounding the film are starting to crystallize. What was first billed as a prequel to his beloved sci-fi horror flick Alien has morphed into a film that is only tangentially related to that classic movie, although Scott himself has gone to great lengths to assure us that we’ll see the strands of Alien’s DNA in the finished project. What that means has been a bit of a mystery, but Scott clarified some important points in an interview with Icelandic film magazine Myndir manadarins back in August. Now, Filmophilia brings us a longer version of that discussion, one chock full of interesting details.
For those still wondering if the infamous Xenomorphs of Alien will be in the film, we bring disappointing news. When asked about the topic, Scott answers glibly, “No. Absolutely not. They squeezed it dry. He (the xenomorph) did very well. (He laughs) He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!”
The lack of the Xenomorphs running amok mostly means that Prometheus won’t be a direct prequel to the original Alien. However, as Scott has pointed out, it does tie in – mostly because Prometheus builds off the idea of the infamous “Space Jockey” seen in the original film.
“I was always amazed that, I mean, I’ve only done two science-fictions, but I was always amazed that no one asked who the hell the Space Jockey was. He wasn’t even called the Space Jockey. During the film they started to call it the Space Jockey. I don’t know who started that one off. I always thought it was amazing that no one ever asked who he was, and why was he there? What was all that about? I sat thinking about this for a while and thought, well, there’s a story! And the other four [films] missed it! So, here it is.”
He then goes into a little more detail concerning the thought process behind the character.
“I think one of the reasons why I’ve never gone back to science-fiction, even though I’ve often noodled around, thought about it, looked for story, looked for material, is that there’s a nice purity to the original Alien. It’s fairly pure. And this one does actually raise all kinds of other questions, because if someone could, a being, could be as monstrously clever to create something like we experienced in the very first one – I always figured it’s a weapon, and I always figured that [the ship in the first Alien] was a carrier of weapons. Therefore, who is that, inside that suit? That wasn’t a skeleton, that was a suit. And if you open up the suit, what do you get inside it? And why were they going, where were they going?”
Scott doesn’t answer those questions – we’ll have to see the film – but he does talk a bit about HR Giger’s involvement with Prometheus, which is one more strand of Alien DNA linking the two films.
Giger, who designed the biomechnanical look of the Xenomorphs and their environments, has returned to work on Prometheus as well. Early shots for the film showcased some Giger-esque architecture, which was intentional – and some of it created by the artist personally.
“I brought him in, I showed him what we were doing, showed him the story and he liked it a lot. So he’s doing a little bit of work for me. He’s been doing some murals, big murals, which we’ll see in almost one of the first chambers we encounter when we land where we’re gonna go.”
Finally, Scott talks about actress Noomi Rapace, comparing her to Sigourney Weaver in a very favorable way.
“I would say that Noomi’s even more volatile and passionate. And sure, she looks good. But the combination of that and intelligence is a great combination.”
Rapace first caught the filmmaker’s eye after appearing in the original version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but he found the actress quite different than the Lizbeth Salander character she played on screen.
“She came to L.A. and I met with her, and discovered that she’s in fact extraordinarily posh, as opposed to punk. So there was a real actress. A real actress, very, very good. So, I don’t know, she will just do great.”
For more details, including Scott’s thoughts on evolution, swing by Filmophilia for the complete interview. Prometheus takes us back to the Alien universe next June.