The Dark Knight Rises’s early online and print advertising campaign and subsequent fan attention has overshadowed many other films efforts to garner attention and for deserved reasons. But there is one film which is quietly bubbling under the surface: Prometheus.
After watching The Dark Knight Rises trailer I can confidently say that never before have I seen a teaser which is so gripping, so intense and so absorbing. But that was before I watched the Prometheus trailer just days later. It is the most mesmerising and hypnotic preview I have ever seen. It does not give too much away, which many other films are so often guilty of and it whets the appetite in a measured fashion: only hinting at a few key themes, revealing the main players and the landscape and setting they will be battling against.
The director is Ridley Scott, helmer of the original Alien film. Say no more.
The cast: Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Noomi Rapace (in what looks to be the leading role), Patrick Wilson, Idris Elba, Michael Fassbender and Rafe Spall to name a few. Not only is this a stellar cast of ‘celebrity’ status actors, but an ensemble who are individually recognised for their exceptional acting ability. Here are a group of actors who would not usually expect to ‘share’ screen time, but as is the expectation of the film’s success and quality, each will undoubtedly play important roles and bring significantly differing complexities to each individual character.
The director is Ridley Scott, helmer of the original Alien film. Say no more. But he is also joined by a host of off-screen talent, most notably in the shape of Writer, Damon Lindeloff (Lost, Star Trek (2009)), Cinematographer, Dariusz Wolski (Dark City, Pirates of the Caribbean) and the Producer of Alien, Walter Hill.
Is Prometheus a prequel to Alien?
The question has been asked (repeatedly): is Prometheus a prequel to Alien? Some cast members have hinted that it is and the trailer features not only similar stylistic traits (even the title graphics employ the same design), but also plot similarities and even shots of the same terrain and ‘alien’ artefacts which Ellen Ripley and the rest of the Nostromo crew originally stumbled upon. Even the derelict spaceship where the ‘facehugger’ is first introduced features, albeit in a seemingly more functional state. In the few glimpses we see, characters are running from the colossal craft as it crashes down, eventually hitting the floor in the position it is found by the Nostromo crew. These are just a few examples within a short teaser of Prometheus’s connection with Alien.
Scott has not explicitly said it has no connection at all, but instead that Prometheus will share similar themes and possibly explain or at least further explore the xenomorph’s existence and connection with the human race. The ‘Space Jockey’ which is partially overlooked by the characters in the 1979 film, but is revealed to the audience, is also rumoured to be given a back story and could feature in the plot substantially.
…“the ‘Alien vs.’ films ruined the credibility of the franchise”.
It is no secret that Scott always had a prequel in mind, but that was until he observed that “the ‘Alien vs.’ films ruined the credibility of the franchise”. It is also clear that he wanted to expand on the mythology of the alien race: the deceased Space Jockey does not reappear in Scott’s original and has no explicit link to the other aliens, so would have no need to feature unless it was going to be explored in an additional film.
Although it is shaping up to become a film which would complement the first two, instead of potentially ruining (or marginally disrupting) their integrity, Scott has instead decided to only allow for a few connections and opts to build a ‘new’ fictional landscape which I am sure fans and critics alike will be studying and dissecting for many years to come: hopefully, as I am confident it will be, for all of the right reasons.
…a universe which has broader themes than the menace of a seemingly random alien encounter and therefore more prominent concerns.
A clever move as Prometheus will essentially expand the Alien universe and build upon its history and possibilities rather than just extending one linear path of storytelling. It also uses the Alien story as a springboard, making it just one tangent of the films narrative, thus creating a story which has broader themes than the menace of a seemingly random alien encounter and therefore more prominent concerns. Hence the tagline “The search for our beginning could lead to our end”.
Early signs look as if Prometheus will commit to the challenge of creating an epic scope rarely seen since 2001: A Space Odyssey and as well as its Sci-Fi and universal themes, it will surely be jam-packed full of action and suspense also.
I do not expect to see much more pre-release advertising for Prometheus. This is a positive, as, if Ridley Scott has as much control over the process as he deserves, his vision and collaboration with the rest of the talented cast and crew will undoubtedly create many more surprises which we can all salivate over when the scheduled early July release finally comes around.