It was a big day for Fox and Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” yesterday, the film that started as prequel to his original 1979 classic “Alien” and has turned into its own sci-fi epic with connections to “Alien”. It also marks Scott’s first sci-fi film since 1982’s “Blade Runner”.
At a presentation in Hall H at the San Diego Comic Con, the film’s writer and “Lost” showrunner Damon Lindelof appeared alongside actress Charlize Theron and Scott himself who joined the fray via satellite from Iceland where the project is currently shooting. Scott is reportedly in the final stages of filming right now, but the sequence being shot will be for the very beginning of the film.
Footage was screened giving us glimpses of scenes including Theron performing near naked pushups, walls with very HR Giger Alien-esque designs on them, and various shots of the cast members. No xenomorphs were on display however and the footage is more concerned with drama, pure sci-fi and horror rather than action as such.
In the Q&A afterwards, Scott revealed he’s shooting both PG-13 and R-rated cuts of the film – “I have a responsibility to my studio, but I always make sure we have both options. You’re crazy not to. Tom and I will both look at it and decide what the best way of going. I’ve fundamentally covered our ass. But there will still be naked push-ups.”
Tone wise Scott says “what I want to do is scare the living sh** of out you” and has reportedly enjoyed himself so much shooting the film that he joked about buttering Lindelof up in an attempt to get him to get started on writing a sequel. He also revealed he’s a huge fan of the Swedish-language “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and watched it repeatedly – that lead to him casting Noomi Rapace.
Of the film’s “Alien” connection he said that “the DNA” of “Alien” is there but “everything else is original”. What in the world does that mean? Scott says “in the last few minutes of the movie you’ll understand what we’re talking about.” He went onto say “I never thought about science fiction until I started to realise that there was something in the first Alien that no one ever asked questions about. I thought, well, that could be the centrepiece of what we’ve just completed.” Asked to confirm if we’ll see a robot character, Scott says there “might be two”.
Speaking about the project with The Playlist during press rounds before the panel, Theron revealed she will be playing the head of the Weyland-Yutani company, “she’s a character that Lindelof fleshed out more once Theron signed on. Her character is “the machine that runs the machine that takes this mission into space.”
One great bit of news – little to no green screen in the film. Scott was very detailed and careful with set construction to try and make the production as practical as possible, so much so that after three weeks of filming Theron asked the director where is the green screen to which he responded “‘I’m not doing green screen. What are you talking about?’.” She added that “Everything was built and if it wasn’t built and you were looking out a window ship, he would have computerized this CG imaging that would play out the scene of what was happening outside. It just kind of grounds everything so much for actors. it’s all there and it’s all physically being lit.”
Scott is also both designing and shooting the film in 3D, not converting it. Lindelof said there were massive HD screens on set with glasses which showed the 3D in use as they were filming it. In the Hall H presentation, Scott said that now that he has worked in 3D, he will “never work without 3D again, even for small dialogue scenes. It opens up the whole universe.”
When will we see a trailer? Lindelof says “You’re going to see some things in the late fall and certainly in January and February of next year that are going to start overtly declaring what ‘Prometheus’.” He adds that the mystery surrounding it right now is something they aim to keep up for the rest of the year – “we do want to keep that fun interplay alive. I think a lot of what’s driving interest in this movie is this idea of, ‘Just what the fuck is it?’.”