Film Comment: In space, no one can hear how excited I am about Prometheus…

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Consider the scope and worth of Sir. Ridley Scott‘s seminal science-fiction classics Alien and Blade Runner and you might be forgiven for wondering why the renowned director has only given up two films to the genre. But ask yourself this: what more could he really have done?! The man practically reshaped big screen sci-fi TWICE with a pair of masterstrokes that seldom fail to make it onto critics’ all-time lists. And it’s not as if the Brit has been resting on his laurels these past 3 decades: Ridley Scott has gone on to direct some absolute corkers (Gladiator, Thelma and Louise, American Gangster, Body of Lies).

So why, over 30 years on from Alien, has Scott returned to space with a film hastily billed and branded as its “prequel”? “I always thought it was amazing that no one ever asked the question.” he explains, “I sat thinking about this for a while and thought, well, there’s a story. And the other three Alien sequels missed it.” This 33 year-old question is a simple one with a potentially complex answer: what exactly is the story behind that eerie vessel and so-called “Space Jockey” the Nostromos crew happened across in the original Alien?

For those who’ve never seen Alien, first- give yourself a slap around the head. Next- order the blu-ray, like, now! While Scott’s latest film is not a direct prelude to his horror-opus, those familiar with the classic will probably get alot more out of this titanic summer spectacle. Plus Alien really is one of those films you have to see before you croak. The fact it looks set to play into Prometheus‘ final third is but a bonus.

That said, Prometheus is said to be autonomous and original film with a plot and form that relies little on links, nods and similarities to its predecessor. Otherwise it would’ve been called something moronic like Alien Rising. Why “Prometheus” though, you ask? Well, in Greek mythology, Prometheus was a Titan who stole from the Gods and gave to mankind“our first real piece of technology”: fire. An untold benefit that changed the human race forever. Scott believes this morose myth encapsulates the themes of his upcoming film well. Plus Prometheus sounds pretty cool. Kinda like Inception. Anyway, let’s hope that the film’s mythical title and history are mere signs of things to come.

And if the prospect of Ridley Scott returning to the source of his breakthrough vision to answer his age-old question wasn’t enough, then grafting the likes of Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron and Guy Pearce onto its set-up ensured Prometheus is going to turn its fair share of heads and profit before it hits a single screen. A teasing viral campaign continues to add more to the plate: entrees of pictures and posters and trailers and clips; a rousing talk from ominous inventor Peter Weyland (Pearce) and an Apple-esque ad’ of Fassbender’s creepy android, David. Hell, Scott’s even recalled HR Giger– the surrealist painter who inspired Alien’s hair-raising critters and decour. Bar the possibility, then, of a shitty script and/or score, it would appear that Prometheus absolutely cannot fail….

Prometheus (2012), directed by Ridley Scott, will be released in UK cinemas on June 1 2012. The Edge’s review will be published on or shortly after that date. 

 

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