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Comic Con 2011 : Prometheus

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Fox ushered out the cast and [some of; Ridley was on location in Iceland but was patched in via video-call] crew of the film they’re scared to market as an Alien prequel “Prometheus” to a crowd of very excited fanboys today. The film, a science-fictioner that shares “DNA” with the original “Alien” (1979), stars Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron and, judging by the footage shown, looks like it’ll be quite a treat (A Naked Charlize doing Push-ups? Yes, ‘nuf said!).

The Panel

Here’s a quick summary of some of the things learnt at the Panel :

  • Charlize Theron is playing a suit named Vickers… who likes to do push-ups naked.
  • Vickers, says the actress, is a “machine in charge of the machine”. And no, we have no idea what she’s talking about either
  • Scott said that Fassbender is playing a robot.. but there might also be another robot.
  • Scott said that the film is connected to “Alien” in the last few minutes of the movie we will learn exactly how
  • The film will hit theatres in PG-13 but will likely have an R/Unrated cut for Blu-ray and DVD

And here are some direct quotes, transcribed by our friends at The Playlist :

”…she is really the suit, she’s the one that runs the company,” Theron said about her role in the film and how it was developed. “Ridley always kind of grounds it and brings it back to reality. I watch the Trump family for instance and I don’t really know much about it but I know Ivana is running that ship. I don’t ever set out to play a character with strength. I kind of find the circumstance. It was once we found the world and what we wanted to explore with her that we kind of found [the character].”

As it turns out, Theron has to thank the delays on another high profile tentpole film for even giving her the opportunity to work on “Prometheus.”

“When ‘Mad Max’ pushed, Ridley reached out to me and it was like, read it in 30 minutes or its going to explode. You can ask any actor, there’s always that one director that’s a dream and Ridley was that for me. This character is so different from everybody else that’s on this mission, somebody who comes from a cold, economic suit business. We explored how to make her more layered and that’s when I really got excited. There’s something incredible when you see that potential and really want it to work out. You’re just throwing these crazy ideas at someone you admire and a week later I get this draft and I’m like, Wow. It was really flattering and exciting.” - Charlize Theron

It was most definitely an ‘Alien’ prequel and Ridley really wanted to push it into original territory. We worked together for a few months until he was satisfied that it was its own movie. Ridley and I were sitting right across from each other talking about each scene. He would write something on a napkin and pass it over to me and I’d be thinking, ‘I’m keeping this napkin forever.’ You’re going to see some things in the late fall that are going to start proclaiming what ‘Prometheus’ is. We sort of joke about it, but it’s a pretentious title possibly. We’re aware of that – Damon Lindelof

”…she is really the suit, she’s the one that runs the company..Ridley always kind of grounds it and brings it back to reality. I watch the Trump family for instance and I don’t really know much about it but I know Ivana is running that ship. I don’t ever set out to play a character with strength. I kind of find the circumstance. It was once we found the world and what we wanted to explore with her that we kind of found [the character].” – Charlize Theron

”There were massive screens. You walk in and they hand you glasses. You’re like, ‘Oh my God, they actually designed this movie for 3D. Any movie in 3D has to justify, ‘Why is this in 3D.’ The 3D helps bring you into that immersive environment. One of the most visionary directors in the world has really used this movie and I think it’s going to be very special” – Damon Lindelof

The Footage
Firstly, here’s the verdict on the footage that was screened – and a description of it – courtesy of some our colleagues :

There is quite a lot in the footage shown that looked very specifically Alien: a giant open space that looks like it is missing only a huge fossilized Space Jockey; other massive spaces with curved striated walls and floors covered with ordered rows of what look very much like xenomorph eggs. The tone of Alien was there, too — the environments we see aren’t quite as blue-collar and run down, but the feeling of dread and atmosphere is there in spades. Oh, and when the title screen came up at the end, letters in Prometheus formed in much the same way the title for Alien forms in that film.

The footage we see of Michael Fassbender seems to support the rumor that he plays a Bishop-like android. He’s got a slightly stylized look that isn’t quite human. (Ridley Scott said there might be two androids in the film.) Other elements of the design depart slightly from the core Alien template, but don’t feel out of place. Keeping with the sense that this isn’t taking place on the same sort of working-class ship seen in that film, the space suits are a little nicer and more pretty, the environments are more clean and gleaming. Some of the shots bear a rather stylized look that is somewhere between the clean, symmetrical aesthetic of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 and a slightly different ‘clean space’ vision that is a little bit Blade Runner and a little bit Mass Effect. (/Film)

…the footage confirmed completely that this is an Alien film. The production design was familiar and, not to put too fine a point on it, there were glimpses of bits and pieces of the alien biology we recognise. Something like a full size humanoid alien was seen in the burn of a flamethrower, tail and all, and if you were looking in the right place, you could see something like the alien eggs.

Michael Fassbender’s character does look like the Android characters from the previous alien films but in one shot, we see him cry; in another, he appears to prick his finger and draw blood.

Scott is currently on screen via link-up to Iceland and has confirmed that “there may be two” robots in the cast of Prometheus.

As Lindelof has noted on stage, there is a shot in the clip that appears to show a naked Charlize Theron doing press-ups. There’s also another of Noomi Rapace dropping to the floor in a smilier pose – but she’s allowed the dignity of wearing something a bit like Leeloo’s bandage outfit from The Fifth Element.

Darius Khondji’s cinematography is absolutely stunning. We have just watched it in 2D, but Scott has described his commitment to getting the 3D correct. He’s said that he’ll never shoot in 2D again, not even for “small dialogue scenes.”

There are several shots in the footage which appear to show characters meeting sticky ends, including some of the big name stars, but I wouldn’t want to spoil that. These are painful images, though, and I can’t see that Scott is flinching under his commitment to a PG-13 rating. (Bleeding Cool)

And finally,

The First Official Image – click to view!

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