It’s unlikely at this point that anybody interested in films isn’t familiar with Prometheus, but just in case you have somehow missed it, it’s only one of Hollywood’s all-time greatest directors revisiting the world he created which helped define not one, but two genres, for decades to come. So, no big deal, then…
Prometheus is Ridley Scott’s return to the universe he began exploring in 1979’s sci-fi horror classic Alien, and while it might not feature the famous aliens themselves (although anything’s still possible!), it will go some way to filling in a lot of the back-story of that masterpiece.
The film tells the story of a team of scientists who discover ancient markings all over the Earth, all of which seem to have been left by an alien civilisation, inviting us to find them.
CultBox were recently lucky enough to be present at a special preview event in London, where we were amongst the first people in the world (outside of the studio working on the film) to be presented with around 15 minutes of footage from the final cut.
The first scene we’re shown depicts Noomi Rapace’s archaeologist Elizabeth Shaw excavating a cave on a remote Scottish island, and it’s immediately apparent that Scott hasn’t lost his touch, as the shot of Shaw’s eye appearing through the soil as she scrapes it away is masterfully framed. When the drawings are discovered – older than any previously found – and a single tear rolls down her cheek, the weight and significance is fully felt, and the sense of heavy wonder fully established.
We’re also shown a scene on the Prometheus itself, as a hologram of Guy Pearce’s aged – and long deceased – Peter Weyland (a name that will mean plenty to Alien fans) introduces the project and some of the characters. Weyland’s god-complex and his introduction of Michael Fassbender’s David, the android he designed, helps lay down one of the main themes of the film – the nature of humanity itself (with that old sci-fi mainstay science vs. faith being the other main one).
Next up we witness the crew of the Prometheus being roused from their time in stasis, and their reactions upon waking tell us more about the characters. While Rapace and co are busy being violently sick, Charlize Theron’s steely Weyland Corporation project overseer is no sooner up on her feet than she’s down on the ground shocking her body back to life with press-ups.
The scenes aboard the ship help dispel fears about the production design, given the leap forward in CGI/technology since 1979, in that the ship’s interior keeps close to the designs of those in Alien, but is also suitably futuristic. The Nostromo was meant to be a piece of junk, while Prometheus is state of the art, so the fact that it’s much shinier and generally more impressive isn’t really an issue.
The scenes we’re shown are all clearly from the very early parts of the film, and they serve to set the scene wonderfully. Prometheus – both film and ship – is eye-meltingly gorgeous, and the classy cast seem to be completely assured in their performances (minor concerns about Idris Elba’s accent aside).
Of particular interest is Fassbender’s mysterious and stoic android David, whose struggle with his own “humanity” looks like providing a fascinating character arc.
After rapturous applause for the clips has died down, director Ridley Scott and stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron come out for a Q&A session…
Released in UK cinemas on Friday 1st June 2012 by 20th Century Fox.
Watch the trailer…
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