|Directed by||Ridley Scott|
|Produced by||Ridley Scott, David Giler, and Walter Hill|
|Written by||Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof|
|Distributor||20th Century Fox|
Prometheus is a science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof. The story follows the crew of the spaceship Prometheus as they explore an advanced alien civilization in the late 21st century, and although the film was originally conceived as a prequel to Scott's 1979 science fiction horror film Alien, rewrites determined that it would not be directly connected to that movie despite being set in the same universe. Lindelof's rewrites of Spaihts' script developed a separate story that precedes the events of Alien, and according to Scott, despite the film sharing "strands of Alien's DNA, so to speak", Prometheus will explore its own mythology and ideas.
Principal photography began in March 2011, with filming taking place in England, Scotland, Iceland, and Spain. Prometheus was released on June 8, 2012. This film will be released on Blu-ray & DVD Tuesday, September 25, 2012.
In the late 21st century, a star map is discovered within the archaeological imagery of several otherwise unconnected cultures, including Magdalenian, Mesoamerican and Mesopotamian civilizations. The crew of the vessel Prometheus is sent on a scientific expedition, sponsored by the Weyland Corporation, to follow the map to find the origins of mankind. Exploring the advanced civilization of the Space Jockeys, they soon face a threat to humanity's existence and it supposedly leads to how the Space Jockeys created the Xenomorphs.
In the distant past, the spacecraft of an advanced humanoid alien race arrives on Earth. One of the aliens consumes a dark liquid, causing its body to disintegrate and fall into a nearby waterfall—seeding Earth with the building blocks of life, DNA.
In 2089, archaeologist couple Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway discover a star map among the remnants of several otherwise unconnected cultures. They interpret this as evidence of humanity's forerunners. Peter Weyland, the elderly founder of the Weyland Corporation, funds the creation of the scientific vessel Prometheus to follow the map to the distant moon LV-223. The ship's crew travels in stasis while the android David monitors their voyage.
In 2093, the ship arrives, and its crew are informed of their mission to find the ancient aliens, called "Engineers". Mission director Meredith Vickers orders them to avoid any direct contact and return if the aliens are found. The Prometheus lands near an alien temple. A team including Shaw, Holloway and David explores the temple, while Vickers and Captain Janek monitor their progress onboard the ship.
They find several ampoule-like artifacts, a monolithic statue of a humanoid head, and the corpse of a giant alien, thought to be one of the Engineers. Other bodies are later found and the species is presumed to be extinct. David secretly returns an ampoule to the ship, while the remaining ampoules begin leaking dark liquid. An approaching storm cuts the expedition short, and the crew is forced to return to the Prometheus. Botanist Milburn and geologist Fifield are separated from the expedition and stranded in the temple. In the ship, Shaw and medic Ford analyze the Engineer's head, and discover that its DNA is almost identical to that of the human species. Meanwhile, David investigates the ampoule and discovers a dark liquid substance. He intentionally infects Holloway with the substance. Later, Shaw and the infected Holloway have sex.
In the temple, Fifield and Milburn are attacked by snake-like creatures. Milburn is killed, and a corrosive fluid from one of the creatures melts Fifield's helmet, exposing him to the dark liquid leaking from the ampoules. The crew return to the temple and find Milburn's corpse. David discovers an uncharted room containing a living Engineer in stasis and a star map highlighting Earth. Elsewhere, Holloway's infection rapidly ravages his body, and he is rushed back to the ship. Vickers refuses to let him onboard, and burns him to death at his own request. A medical scan reveals Shaw is pregnant, despite being sterile. A desperate Shaw uses an automated surgery table to cut a squid-like creature from her womb. Weyland is found to have been in stasis aboard the ship, and explains to Shaw that he intends to ask the Engineers to help him avoid his impending death.
A horribly mutated Fifield attacks the hangar bay and kills mechanics Wallace and Barnes, mercenaries Taplow, Sheppard and Vladimir, as well as several other crew members before being killed himself by Jackson, Janek and Chance. Janek suggests Shaw that the planet was used by the Engineers as a military base until they lost control of their biological weapons; the ampoules. The remaining crew return to the temple and awaken the Engineer. David explains their situation to the Engineer, who responds by decapitating David and killing Weyland, Ford and Jackson. Shaw escapes the alien ship as it is activated by the Engineer. The still-active David reveals it is going to Earth to unleash the ampoule on humanity. Vickers orders Janek to return to Earth, but Shaw convinces them to stop the Engineer ship by any means necessary. Janek, Chance and Ravel crash the Prometheus into the Engineer ship while Vickers uses an escape pod. The disabled Engineer ship crashes to the planet, killing Vickers. Shaw goes to the escape pod to retrieve supplies. Inside, she finds her squid-like offspring, which has grown to gigantic size. The Engineer survives the crash and attacks Shaw, who releases the tentacled monster. After a brief struggle, it subdues the Engineer by thrusting a tentacle down its throat. Shaw recovers David's remains from the alien ship, and together they activate another Engineer ship to travel to the Engineer homeworld in an attempt to understand why they created humanity and then attempted to destroy it.
The principal cast members of the film are:
- Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth Shaw, an archeologist. Rapace met with Ridley Scott in August 2010 for the film's lead role. Other actresses in talks for the role included Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Gemma Arterton, Carey Mulligan, and Abbie Cornish. In January 2011 Rapace was confirmed for her role as Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, a character she has likened to the Alien franchise's Ellen Ripley. Rapace further described her character as initially a "believer [...] in God [...] full of hope," but that "things happen and she changes into more of a warrior."
- Michael Fassbender as David, an android from Weyland-Yutani corp. Lindelof described his character as an inspiration from Blade Runner, emphasizing on the relationships between androids and human beings: "What does the movie look like from the robot's point of view? If you were to ask him, 'What do you think about all of this? What's going on? What do you think about these humans who are around you?.' Wouldn't it be cool if we found a way for that robot to answer those questions. Fassbender shared that "there are a lot of interesting quirks and niches to him." The actor did not look to Alien for inspiration, but watched Blade Runner and looked towards Olympic diver Greg Louganis, "Louganis was my first inspiration. I figured that I'd sort of base my physicality roughly around him, and then it kind of went from there.
- Guy Pearce as Peter Weyland, the Chief Executive Officer of Weyland Industries. Lindelof described him as having a massive ego and suffering from a god complex. Pearce has claimed that his appearance in the movie is brief, saying "I'm only [in the film] for a minute". It took five hours to apply the necessary prosthetics and make-up to transform Pearce into the elderly Weyland, and one hour to remove it.
- Idris Elba as Captain Janek. Elba described the character as "a longshoreman and a sailor", with a military background. He noted "[being the captain is] his life and the crew is his responsibility," and said "he's a realistic, pragmatic character. He has to get involved...in a film with huge ideas, you need a character like this, who can go 'Wait...why are we doing this?'".
- Logan Marshall-Green as Holloway, an archeologist and Elizabeth's love interest.
- Charlize Theron as Meredith Vickers a corporate figurehead. Theron described the character as "a suit who slowly sheds [her] skin through the film", somewhat of a villain ... [who] definitely has an agenda". Michelle Yeoh was previously rumored to play the character, described as "a fortysomething, tough-but-sexy woman". Sigourney Weaver downplayed any likeness between her character Ripley and Theron's Vickers: "I’m sure they’re not trying to create a blonde Ripley or anything. (Charlize is) a wonderful actress, she’ll want to do her own thing with it and not be in the shadow of the other one," she commented at the 2011 Marrakech Film Festival.
- Kate Dickie as Medic Ford
- Benedict Wong as Pilot Ravel
- Emun Elliot as Pilot Chance
- Rafe Spall as Botanist Milburn
- Sean Harris as Geologist Fifield
- Branwell Donaghey as Mercenary #1 (Jackson)
- Vladimir Furdik as Mercenary #2 (Vladimir)
- CC Smiff as Mercenary #3 (Sheppard)
- Shane Steyn as Mercenary #4 (Taplow)
- Ian Whyte as Last Engineer
- John Lebar as Ghost Engineer
- Daniel James as Sacrifice Engineer
- Patrick Wilson as Shaw's Father
- Lucy Hutchinson as Young Shaw
- Dr Anil Biltoo as Linguist Teacher
- Louisa Staples as Greeting Message Violinist
- James Embree as Mechanic #1
- Florian Robin as Mechanic #2
- Matthew Burgess as Mechanic #3
- Eugene O'Hare as Mechanic #4 (Wallace)
- Giannina Facio as Shaw's Mother
- Richard Thomson, Jenny Rainsford, Philip McGinley, and Rhona Croker as archaeological assistants
- Wambui Wa Ngatho as Automated Voice (Swahili)
- Rienjang as Automated Voice (Thai)
- Zed Sevcikova as Automated Voice (Chech)
- Sonam Dugdak as Automated Voice (Tibetan)
- Reynir Thor Eggertsson as Automated Voice (Icelandic)
- Shin-Ichiro Okajima as Automated Voice (Japanese)
- Charalambos Dendrinos as Automated Voice (Greek)
- Berhane Woldegabriel as Automated Voice (Amharic)
- Annie Penn, Robin Atkin Downes as Ship Computer Voices
The title of the film is an allusion to Prometheus, a titan of Greek mythology who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mankind — an act which brought eternal punishment upon him. While actually the name of the humans' spaceship in the story, the name "Prometheus" is used in a greater metaphorical sense. The film will focus on the mythology within the Alien universe. Set in the late-21st century, Prometheus will explore the advanced civilization of an extraterrestrial race responsible for the origins of modern humans on Earth, as well as the background of the alien creature which made its first appearance in the 1979 film.
Former commercial director Carl Rinsch had originally signed on May 2009 to direct a prequel film to Alien. Ridley Scott and Tony Scott had decided to function only as producers, with filming to begin in 2009. However, Fox was hesitant about making the film without Ridley Scott's direction. In July 2009 it was confirmed by Jon Spaihts that Ridley Scott would be returning to direct the Alien prequel. In June 2010 Scott stated during Q&A that the story will be developed and produced as two seperate prequel fims, and that project was being prepped. In October 2010, it was reported the production had been put on indefinite hold.
It was said that Scott wanted a $250 million budget along with an R rating, but 20th Century Fox had the film gone into production with a smaller budget. It was reported that Natalie Portman and Noomi Rapace were on the short list to star in the film, with Rapace as Scott's favorite, while the studio prefered Portman. Some reports have said that films' release would be delayed until 2013 or 2014. However, more recent reports indicate that the first film will be released on June 08, 2012. Production is slated to begin on March 2011, and the film will reportedly have an R rating. It was also reported that Michael Fassbender was being sought for a role as an android named "David", while Michelle Yeoh was tapped for a role as Meredith Vickers,"a forty something, tough-but-sexy-woman", but that role went to Charlize Theron. There will also be a character referred to only as "Engineer 1" who will be portrayed by a 6'5"actor in entirely CGI. Noomi Rapace is still Scott's choice for the main female lead,"Elizabeth Shaw". However, these title and casting claims were later refuted, and Scott confirmed that only the first film was in development at this time. The first drafts of the screenplays were writen by newcomer screen writer Jon Spaihts, and Damon Lindelof is rewriting at least the script of the first prequel. Ridley Scott stated that the story will take place in 2085, approximately three decades prior to the events of the first Alien film, before the birth of Ellen Ripley. The story, which originally went through several drafts, features a female lead character and will present a "Techonologically Feasible" view on the early stages of "Near Faster-Than Light Travel". It will also focus on terraforming and Weyland Industries before its merger with Yutani Corporation. The films will explore the nature and origin of the unknown extraterrestrial race, the Space Jockeys, who only had a brief appearance in the first Alien as the Derelict Spaceship's pilot. Scott stated that the films would be about "Gods"and [...] engineers of space" and hinted at the possibility that the Xenomorph (Alien) was designed either as a Biological Weapon or as means to "Clean up" planets. Scott also announced that the original Zeta II Reticuli planetary system will be part of the prequel story, a system famous in reality for being the system home to the alleged alien race "The Greys". Roger Christian art director on the first Alien, speculated that the films will be shot in 3-D, which was eventually corfirmed by Ridley Scott. Since 3-D films need high lighting levels on set, the hallmark atmosphere of the Alien films with darkness and shadows will be added in post-production through grading processes, while the 3-D equipment will be based on post-Avatar technology. Production design has commenced, and Arthur Max is heading a small Pinewood Studios art department, whose task is to deconstruct the first Alien and reverse-design the prequels from the original art and visuals. The Alien itself will be reenvisioned as a progenitor of the received form of the Xenomorph, and Scott reported that he had planned to contact H.R Giger for possible artistic collaboration. Despite rumors that the movie would be released under the title of "Paradise", these rumors were later debunked by 20th Century Fox & Devin Faraci, formerly of CHUD.com. The First trailer revealed that the ship was sent following a picture of the stars shown in many different cultures all over the world that never had any contact with one another, this may be evidence that Predators were actually in the plot, but again, it is doubtful that they will make an appearence outside of text. On Friday, December 23rd, 2011, The first trailer was released for the film.
Prometheus was given very positive reviews and holds 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, whose consensus reads: "Ridley Scott's ambitious quasi-prequel to Alien may not answer all of its big questions, but it's redeemed by its haunting visual grandeur and compelling performances -- particularly Michael Fassbender as a fastidious android". Metacritic provides a score of 65 out of 100 from 42 critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews. CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was a "B" on an A+ to F scale, with audience members under 25 rating it the highest at A-.
Reviews were frequently praising of both the film's visual aesthetic and design, and Fassbender's performance as the android David received almost universal acclaim. However the plot drew a more mixed response, with criticism of plot elements that remained unresolved or were predictable, tempered by appreciation for the action and horror set-pieces. The Hollywood Reporters Todd McCarthy called the film's visuals vivid, stunning and magnificent on a technical level, singling out the performances of Fassbender, Rapace and Theron for praise, but lamented that the film catered too much to audience expectations, making it predictable. Time Out Londons Tom Huddleston felt the plot was "flat" and "predictable", the characters "emotionless", and that while the film was "perfectly entertaining", it did not live up to pre-release expectations. Emanuel Levy cited the plot as his only complaint with the film, stating that it is unable to follow through with its philosophical ideas.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times gave the film a four-star review, labeling it a "magnificent ... blend of story, special effects and pitch-perfect casting, filmed in sane, effective 3-D that doesn't distract." Ebert positively compared Rapace to Sigourney Weaver's performance in Alien as continuing "the tradition of awesome feminine strength", but considered Elba the most interesting performer. Ebert thought that the plot, in raising questions and not answering them, made the film "intriguing" and in the "classic tradition of golden age sci-fi".
Total Film's Jonathan Crocker however offered that the plot successfully integrated itself with Alien's mythology while offering its own original ideas. Entertainment Weeklys Lisa Schwarzbaum was positive towards the cast, particularly Rapace, and the cinematography. Salons Andrew O'Hehir offered that the film was "somber, spectacular and ponderous," but that the " portentousness and grandiosity...is at once the film's great strength and great weakness" criticizing characters for lacking "common sense". O'Hehir also mentioned Wolski's cinematography and Max's production design.
The New York Times' A. O. Scott criticized the story as weak, undermining its "lofty, mindblowing potential" with "bits of momentarily surprising information bereft of meaning or resonance", but described Rapace as a "fine heroine, vulnerable and determined". In a negative review, Variety film critic Justin Chang described the film's structure and genre as being unable to handle the philosophical undertow of the plot, and felt Prometheus was "lazily deferring" key plot points under the presumption that a sequel would be made. The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw was less critical but thought that Prometheus "[lacked] the central punch of Alien", calling the film "more grandiose, more elaborate – but less interesting".
Ian Nathan of Empire was unimpressed by Rapace — whom he described as an unconvincing lead — and summarised the film as lacking suspense. The Village Voice's Nick Pinkerton stated that the film is "prone to shallow ponderousness", that can "mimic the appearance of an epic, noble, important movie", but fails to "payoff". He criticized Rapace and Marshall-Green for failing to instill interest in their character relationship, but added: "there are a few set pieces here that will find a place of honor among aficionados of body horror and all things clammy and viscous". Writing in The Atlantic, Govindini Murty provided a comprehensive guide to the film's mythological, literary and cinematic influences – from H.P. Lovecraft to the drawings of William Blake.