Its been quite a journey since 20th Century Fox announced way back in May 2009 that an Alien "re-boot" was in the works, shortly after that the studios renamed "Reboot" to "Prequel." Since then a lot has continued to change, writers, directors and even the Film's place in the franchise itself. We look back and try to cut through the Hype and find the blueprint for one of the most highly anticipated films of the decade.
Commercial director Carl Rinsch was somewhat described as the front runner to direct potentially one of most highly anticipated prequels possible, a prequel to Ridley Scott's 1979's Alien [coincidentally Rinch was dating Scotts Daughter.] Scott was attached with brother Tony, albeit as producers. But there was a problem, Fox was unhappy with the choice of director, so they refused to green light the project unless Ridley Scott himself took the reins, inevitably the director decided to take over from Rinsch in bringing "Alien Prequel" to the big screen. Newcomer Jon Spaihts, the new kid on the block of space thrillers was drafted in and work began. Flash forward twelve months to June 2010 where Scott stated during a Q&A that the story was being developed and produced but as two separate prequel films, and that the first project was being prepped. Then in October things stalled, there was reports of conflict between Scott and Fox over Budget and Rating. Scott wanted a $250 million budget along with an R rating, but 20th Century Fox was reluctant to invest so much money in a film that was not PG, despite having a huge global fan-base. Things eventually got rolling again, Damon Lindelof was brought in to hone and develop Spaihts script. Casting begun, Noomi Rapace was cast as the lead, shortly followed by Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elbe, Sean Harris and Katie Dickie. During this period a lot of information emerged on the themes, elements and story construction but so did a lot of confusion as big changes were ahead.

Scott always envisioned returning to Alien, discovering the Space Jockey's role and finding out as he put it "who is that guy". A prequel had been on the cards for almost a year, then suddenly in the middle of it all, Scott announced in January that the now officially titled project "Prometheus" was a prequel no more but a singular tale:

"While Alien was indeed the jumping off point for this project, out of the creative process evolved a new, grand mythology and universe in which this original story takes place. The keen fan will recognize strands of ALIEN’s DNA, so to speak, but the ideas tackled in this film are unique, large and provocative. I couldn't be more pleased to have found the singular tale I'd been searching for, and finally return to this genre that's so close to my heart"

So what exactly do we know? well very little, we know the script is locked away in tight security at Scott Free productions in London. We know it has been constantly developed by Damon Lindelof and Scott since Spaihts turned it in. So we look at its construction in what has come before, been referenced, evolved and ultimately re-named.

The Title: "Prometheus"
We speculate as we discussed last month that the title: "Prometheus" is linked to an earlier script by Spaihts entitled Shadow 19, this was one of two [the other being Passengers] of the writers spec-scripts which resided on the highly respected insider's Black list for quite some time. In fact both of these scripts were so impressive that the writer became known within the industry as a "go-to-guy for space thrillers." To cut it short [read long version here] Shadow 19 a hard action sci-fi thriller, the story centers on terraforming on an ultra grande scale, just like what we have been hearing about Prometheus, whats also interesting is that a ship, the Prometheus makes an appearance in Shadow 19 in the form of a gigantic secret terraforming ship, sent out to transform a planet into a habitable world. The Prometheus in Shadow 19 has no passenger compartments, no cockpit. It's a super-intelligent machine which travels at near light speed. Their is reportedly a ship mentioned in Scott's Prometheus which is piloted by a giant biomechanical semi-Human Head. No Cockpit? Is there a connection, possibly ..probably. Spaihts was brought from obscurity into developing projects on the back of his two Spec-scripts, the themes and concepts he explored in Shadow 19 are very congruent with what has been openly discussed by Scott and some of the Cast in Prometheus. There are even "biomechanoid killers" discovered on the world that Prometheus is sent to in Shadow 19. What we are almost certain of is that the title of the Film "Prometheus" even if changed further [quite possible] is a spaceship and has a mission, which is directly involved to the central storyline of the Film. It may be a Terraforming vessel it may be a life searching ship, hopefully more will be revealed soon.

The Settings:
Prometheus we know takes place partially on a ship. We also know Scott is returning to themes which originated in Alien, notably an isolated vessel and a crew. We also have heard that the Alien's that are involved in Prometheus are "Proto-Aliens", i.e they have not merged with the DNA of any foreign entity as of yet, as we all know Aliens DNA meges with its host, David Fincher's Xenomorph in Alien 3 ran on all four feet, just like the Dog [or Mule depending on the version of the Film you saw] that Alien gestated inside. Thus meaning the Aliens in Prometheus may well have been manufactured and are being utilized as a bio mechanical weapon, to go in and "clean out planets". Scott has been discussing this since he agreed to take the directors chair. He has also theorized that the Space Jockey’s ship was used to drop Alien eggs on a planet as a way of "conquering the planet’s citizens", and for a time planned this for his prequels. This theme is quite old and can be traced back to Alien, its noticeable that the original design of the Space Jockey and Xenomorph Drone are quite alike. That the eggs present on the derelict seem to be in status. So whats the connection? Origin. 

Prometheus also reportedly takes place on a planet, that has been terraformed to create the perfect environment in which a particular bioweapon would prosper. Now this terraforming may not necessarily be engineered by Humans, Scott has stated: "It’s the dark side of the moon. We are talking about gods and engineers. Engineers of space. And were the aliens designed as a form of biological warfare? Or biology that would go in and clean up a planet?" Its possible another species I refer to here as an "Engineer" may be responsible, as the terraforming appears deliberately constructed to farm a weapon, a biological weapon. We have heard the reports that Space Jockeys are being currently re-designed at Pinewood Studios, it would be easy to assume their involvement in that capacity if one was to observe the concurrency of that narrative, that Prometheus was to act as a Prequel. What does seem likely is the involvement of a far superior species, "Gods and Engineers of space." as Scott put it.

The Story:

"Elizabeth Shaw" [Noomi Rapace] is a scientist and lead character and we have heard her story initially is a story of exploration. We know that a lot of the action in the film takes place on board the ship and what details have emerged is that the ship is on route to the actual home-world of the Aliens. This is a very significant point because if indeed the ship is called "Prometheus" [Especially by classical definition] and if this ships mission is to search for lets face it, the first Alien species encountered other than human in this particular universe. Then things begin to get a little clearer. Is the Prometheus a life searching craft capable of near light speed? Scott has also mentioned on numerous occasions "time dilation and the effects of essentially de-materializing and re-materializing" being a prominent factor in the Alien Prequel phase of the project. It was revealed early on that the Alien Prequel would feature a female lead character and will present a "technologically feasible" view on the early stages of "near faster-than light" travel. In fact when you observe the hypothetical changes which take place in matter during relativistic space travel, the quantum physics, and related phenomena and counter effect in real time, it would seem that the mere time-frame and technological sophistication present in this script "Prometheus" would be too advanced to set it 30 years before Alien. Or at least too fabricated a construction to legitimately fit in and sync with the 1979 original Film. Yes there was ships capable of such speed [USCSS Nostromo  Capable of 0.12 light years per sidereal day, a commercial towing vehicle of 2116, with a hypothesized FTL speed of 4,783,050,655.738 KMH [or 79,717,510.929 KM/Min]. Based on a distance of 37 light years [11.35 parsecs] to Zeta 2 Reticuli and 10 months travel time.] which was controlled by "Mother", a 2.1 Terabyte intelligent mainframe which monitors all of the ship's flight and autonomic functions but would this precede what Scott refers to as a "technologically feasible" view on the early stages of "near faster-than light" travel to which plays a highly significant factor in the the upcoming Film. But back to "home-world", by having a ship searching for the origin of Alien DNA, we may not necessarily mean anything more than a place or origin, and definition of origin is not necessarily defined as natural. It may well have been manufactured. Its been inferred that Alien DNA was discovered during an archeological dig on a desolate planet, the sources say the dig was related to an asteroid impact where coordinates were formulated to the origin of that rock. So a mission ensues, and a crew is assembled to search for life. So has Scott decided to label this as: "Alien was indeed the jumping off point for this project, out of the creative process evolved a new, grand mythology and universe in which this original story takes place. The keen fan will recognize strands of Alien’s DNA, so to speak, but the ideas tackled in this film are unique, large and provocative." by proxy of timeframe and technological advancements, I really am beginning to think so.

"They're Big" was the description given from a source close to the production, This was later confirmed by Michael Fassbender while briefly chatting about his casting in the Film. What we believe and what Scott refers to as "recognizable DNA strands" may well be the "Proto-Alien". The artificial and original bio-weapon. Described by sources as "unrecognizable at the begining of the film, then later we are introduced to the more recognizable Xenomorph.Arthur Max is currenty heading an art department at Pinewood Studios, whose task is to deconstruct the first Alien and reverse-design the original art and visuals. The Alien itself will be "re-envisioned as a progenitor of the received form of the Xenomorph." The truth may lay in the fact that the original 1979 Film was confined by its technology at that time, a more technically cerebral and engaging Film is now being constructed that if it were to act as a prequel to that Alien Universe it would be confined and somewhat crippled by its redundant technological capabilities. But make no mistake the original Alien is probably the most significant work in thirty five years of science fiction, no other movie including Star Wars has had such an impact on our interpretation and psychological bearing of our outside Universe in modern media.

The Characters:

Noomi Rapace will play a scientist "Elizabeth Shaw." Scott saw her portrayal of fictional "Lisbeth Salander" in the film The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, for which she was lauded by Time magazine as a 2010 Performance of the Year. Scott then offered her the lead and she accepted.

Michael Fassbender will play "David", which reportedly at one point was described as an earlier version of the Bishop 341-B character which Lance Henriksen famously played in Aliens. Since Prometheus no longer takes place in that same Universe, then possibly Weyland Yutani does not exist.

Charlize Theron is reportedly set to play "Vickers", a fortysomething, "tough but sexy woman". There is also information linking the role to that of military hierarchy.

Edris Elbe, Katie Dickie and Sean Harris have also been officially been cast albeit no specific roles have been announced. Scoot McNairy is in talks for a role in the Film

The Film is slated to hit theaters on June 8, 2012. Produced by David Giler, Walter Hill and Tony Scott.

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