Prometheus: Ridley Scott's Return To SF Cinema
March 21, 2012
I am well aware that most of you (myself included) are champing at the bit while waiting for this weekend's release of The Hunger Games. I expect that The Hunger Games (and the sequels) will go down in history as one of the great SF/fantasy film franchises of all time: up there with the Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter films. But for me, the SF cinema event of 2012 will be the June 8th release of Ridley Scott's Prometheus.
I think that this film has the potential to be one of the greatest SF films of all time. In fact, I expect that this film might even have the potential to be a serious 2012 Oscar contender, which is rare for a genre film. Let me explain why this film is the one that has hardcore SF film fanatics like myself so worked up. First, let's take a look at the trailer, which you should definitely watch in 1080p full-screen mode.
Prometheus marks the return of director Ridley Scott to SF. Why is this such a big deal? Well, Mr. Scott made two of the seminal classics of modern SF cinema: Alien and Blade Runner. Both films had a lasting impact on the look and atmosphere of SF film and wind up in most Top 10 of lists of "the best SF films of all time." What's more, after viewing the trailer, it is clear that Prometheus is a prequel of sorts to Alien. And what a stellar cast Mr. Scott has assembled: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba and Guy Pearce! What's more, the screenplay is co-written by Damon Lindelof of Lost and Star Trek (2009) fame. Add in the potential of modern CGI and 3-D technology for spectacular visual effects, and I think that this film will steal the mantle of "greatest modern SF epic" from Avatar, which was visually spell-binding but somewhat lacking in depth of plot and characterization.
What do we know about the film? Ridley Scott has played his cards pretty close to his chest so far. Only recently has the film's link to Alien been made public. However, Prometheus doesn't appear to be a mere prequel to Alien. Instead, it seems to have something to do with human origins, the mysterious horseshoe-shaped ship found on the planet LV-426 by the crew of the Nostromo and the iconic H.R. Giger-designed "space jockey" creature found in that ship. Of course, we know what else the crew of the Nostromo found on that ship: the egg-cases of the eponymous aliens and the terrifying face-hugger. Some hints are definitely being dropped in this clever "future TED Talk" by Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), the founder of the powerful and possibly sinister Weyland Corporation, referred to as "the Company" in the Alien franchise.
Just remember: in space, no one can hear you scream.