Damon Lindelof, I love that guy. There is something about that face that says Cappuccino? Unless you have been living in a bunker for the last 2 days you will know that the writer previously hailed for his work on ABC's Lost [Exec Producer & writer] has been walking the walk and talking the talk @ComicCon in San Diego. Lindelof presented Prometheus to the audience for 20th Century Fox at the convention & discussed amongst many fine nuggets of info the process of working with director Sir. Ridley Scott, what is not a Sequel & when fans will finally begin to see some Prometheus marketing. Hit the jump to check it out.
On the importance of Secrets, [like the ones deep in your heart].
"I have to take responsibility for the fact that I keep gravitating towards things that have a little bit of mystery around them. And I know certainly that Lost has taken its rightful lumps for the idea of perhaps being too secretive but I feel like this was Ridley’s thing. At this phase in my career, it’s been really exciting to, after having the responsibility of Lost which was mine and Carlton [Cuse's] thing, to be at the service of someone who really inspired me to do this. And I really learned so much from Ridley in the way he thinks and the way he talks. The fact that this wasn’t ‘We have a meeting and I go off and I write a draft.’ He and I were sitting across a table from each other, talking about each scene and the vision for the scene and he’s very visual. He draws things on little napkins and pushes them across the table to me and I’m like ‘I’m fucking keeping this napkin.’ I have to constantly keep pinching myself about the experience that I’m having."
How much is Prometheus linked to Alien?
"If there were a sequel to Prometheus, it would not be Alien. It would be it's own movie entirely because it goes off in an entirely different direction"
Sounds like the sequel has already been discussed. When will we see some Marketing?
"I can guarantee you all that our desire to sort of keep secrets is really just driven by the fact of we don’t want to tell you everything about the movie right now. I think you’re going to start seeing a lot of very cool things, probably in the late Fall and certainly in January and February of next year. They’re gonna sort of overtly declare what Prometheus is so, by the time you buy your ticket it’s not going to be ‘Oh my god. What the hell is this movie?’ But at the same time, we do kind of want to keep the fun interplay alive. I think a lot of what’s driving interest in this movie is this idea of ‘What the fuck is it?"
What is the significance of the title 'Prometheus'? [Apart from the obvious].
"By calling it Prometheus were certainly not doing anybody any favors by just saying like ‘This thing is called Batman. It’s gonna be about Batman.’ It’s a slightly headier, we sort of joke about it, pretentious title. So we understand that the bar is very high. But I think that for Ridley to be coming back to this genre, for him to be directing a movie in 3D for the first time – he’s shooting it in 3D, it’s not a conversion – just the way that it’s gonna look and the way it’s gonna feel has to be special and part of the game is being a little bit secretive about it. And I like to keep secrets."
What is this world like when the story starts? Where does it start?
"Where do we begin? Well, we begin at the beginning. Ridley [Scott] has been very cryptically obtuse about everything and he’ll probably kill us if we say too much about the movie. Suffice it to say, there are some very big ideas in Prometheus and, therefore, it covers a very vast expanse of time. That’s all we’re willing to say. It’s past, present and future. Is that oblique enough? But, it’s all three."
This began as an Alien prequel, so how did it evolve into something different?
"A gentleman by the name of Jon Spaihts wrote an early draft of the script and, at the time, it was going to be a prequel to Alien. And, I think Ridley really wanted to move the movie into more original territory. The idea of a prequel, leading up to the original movies, as opposed to thematically being about something else, but also giving the opportunity to introduce new characters into the movie, was a big deal. Obviously, in order to get an amazing cast, including an Oscar winner (Charlize Theron), it really had to be driven by the people. So, although the ideas of the movie are very big, we wanted to set it and make it feel like it was an alien in that same universe. Ridley hasn’t directed a science fiction film in 25 years, so now that he’s coming back and doing one last heist, as it were, the bar was very, very high. So, over time, the movie began to become much more original. Although there might be some familiar things from the alien universe, this movie has a heart and mind of its own."
On adapting the script to suit actors like Charlize Theron.
"I remember in the early draft of the script that Vickers was exactly as Charlize just said, and then Ridley called and said, “I think we might have a shot at getting Charlize Theron to play this part,” and I said, “Vickers?! We’re going to have to make this worthy of her.” A lot of the writing of the script, particularly for that role, is about making suits so that they’re custom designed for the person who’s ultimately going to be wearing them, as opposed to, “This is exactly what it is. You’ve gotta put it on.” Once we had Charlize, it really completely changed the tenor of the entire movie for the positive. Having seen large sections of it, I’ve never seen her play a part like this before, which is pretty rad."
How does the name Prometheus fit into the story? Is it related to Greek mythology, or is it the name of a ship?
"We’re not going to talk about specifically how it connects into the movie, other than yes, Prometheus was a Titan who stole fire from the Gods because they were keeping it to themselves and they were worried what mankind would do, if we got our little paws on it. So, that theme is a resonating idea – what humans are doing that we probably shouldn’t be doing, in terms of technological innovation and, perhaps, exploration. Is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed? Part of the fun of the movie is understanding exactly why we called it Prometheus. And also, it sounds really pretentious, like Inception, so we were just like, “Yeah, that makes the movie sound really smart!” It’s so much better then my original title, Explosion. Well, there might be an explosion in the movie."
Is the fire the aliens, and are the Greek Gods the space jockeys?
"Although Ridley has made a lot of comments, over the course of the development of the movie, in terms of how this might tie into the original Alien series, or its relation to the space jockeys, a lot of the fun in going to see the movie is seeing if and how we’re going to try to connect that. But, I don’t think that any of us would have been doing our jobs right, if this movie couldn’t stand on its own. If you’re a fan of the original film, there will be little Easter eggs in there for you to find, but the idea of connecting it in, in an incredibly profound way, would denude its originality a little bit. Maybe there’s a way that it can be both. At least, that was the intention behind it."
You said there are big ideas in this film.
"That was just more pretentious bullshit."
What are some of the ideas that you wanted to explore?
"I think that one of the really interesting ideas that the movie is dealing with is this sense that space exploration, particularly in the future, is going to start to involve this idea that it’s not just about going out there and finding planets, so that we can build colonies, or anything else. There’s also this inherent idea that, the further we go out, perhaps the more we learn about ourselves. And, I think the characters in this movie – some of them at least – are very preoccupied with the idea of, “Where did we come from? What are our origins? What is our place in the universe? Are we the only sentient beings, or are there others?” That was not really a part of the original Alien movie, where it was just, “Hey, we’re miners. Oh shit, we ended up stepping in this huge pile of very frightening shit!” So, although there are elements like that in this movie, and there certainly are scares, the idea of fundamentally and thematically exploring this idea of creation was always a big deal for Ridley."
Sci-fi is always trying to predict the future. Will you be exploring any of that?
"Obviously, Blade Runner was an incredibly influential movie, in terms of the way that it envisioned what the future was going to look like. I think the amazing thing about what Ridley does, as a director, is to try to ground that in some sort of fundamental reality. He was the first one to really think of how prevalent advertising might be, in the future, and what Los Angeles looks like. What’s cool about this movie is that it doesn’t take place on Earth, in any real significant way, so the way that we’re experiencing the future is really away from Earth. It’s more about what people are like now. What have they gone through? What are the things that they’re thinking of? The idea that we’re basically all going to be the same a hundred years from now, but we might be driven by different ideas, is what’s driving the movie. So, you will probably see some things that prognosticate what the future is going to look like, that maybe you haven’t seen before, but the movie isn’t really interested as much in the gadgetry and the flying cars of it all, as it is in what these people are going to do, what’s driving them and what’s motivating them as humans to even be there, in the first place."