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Prometheus Trivia

Below you’ll find plenty of Prometheus Trivia.

Pre-Production

  • Ridley Scott originally said the movie would be released in late 2011, possibly 2012. In December 2010, it was rumoured that the prequels had been pushed back to 2013 and 2014. This was untrue and was apparently a failed attempt to cast Leonardo DiCaprio in the film who would have been busy filming another movie. The film is to be released June 8, 2012 in the US. It’s released a week or so earlier in various other countries.
  • It was originally announced that Carl Rinsch would be directing the prequel with Ridley Scott producing it. Things stalled for a while and Fox weren’t keen on doing the movie unless Ridley Scott was the director. In July 2009, it was confirmed that Ridley Scott would be directing the prequel.
  • There was quite a few rumours for the female lead. Gemma Arterton, Carey Mulligan, Abbie Cornish, Natalie Portman and Olivia Wilde. Anne Hathaway and James Franco were also rumoured for parts. Apparently, Fox wanted Leonardo DiCaprio too.
  • It was revealed in September 2010 that Ridley Scott wanted an 18-certificate movie (Hard R Rating) and a $250M budget but Fox refused. In another report a few weeks later, Damon Lindelof had apparently finished the rewrites on Spaihts’ script cutting large set pieces out and making the script PG13 friendly. In that report, it was stated that Ridley wanted a $150M budget.
  • Some title considerations were Alien: Origin, Alien: Genesis and Paradise. 
  • Early drafts of the script had a scene on a colony on Mars where Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) had his office. Though concept art was completed, the scene was removed for pacing reasons and never filmed.
  • According to Ridley Scott, the film’s plot was inspired by Erich von Däniken’s writings about ancient astronauts: “Both NASA and the Vatican agree that it is almost mathematically impossible that we can be where we are today, without there being a little help along the way. That’s what we’re looking at: we are talking about gods and engineers, engineers of space. Were the Aliens designed as a form of biological warfare, or biology that would go in and clean up a planet?”
  • Ridley Scott decided against featuring xenomorphs in the film, as “the sequels squeezed him dry, he did very well… and no way am I going back there.” Instead, this being an indirect prequel to Alien, he decided to feature a xenomorph ancestor/parent.
  • In 2002, Aliens director James Cameron discussed ideas for a fifth Alien film with Ridley Scott, with the intention that Cameron would produce the film with Scott directing, and Sigourney Weaver returning to star in the lead role of Ripley. However upon discovering that 20th Century Fox were developing the crossover film AVP: Alien vs. Predator, Cameron ceased all work on the project, believing that the crossover would “kill the validity of the franchise”. Though Cameron went on to state that he would never again work with the Alien franchise, Scott eventually ended up reworking their idea into this film.
  • Ridley Scott approached SOAS, University of London, in 2011 to find experts who could help create a new language for the film. Anil Biltoo from SOAS’ Language Centre worked to create the language, as well as the alien script, which can be seen throughout. Anil Biltoo can be seen briefly in a scene with Michael Fassbender. Other SOAS staff members appear briefly and are credited, including Wambui Kunya, Sonam Dugdak, Shin-Ichiro Okajima, Kay Rienjang, Zed Sevcikova and Reynir Thor Eggertsson.
  • Producers Walter Hill and David Giler rejoin Ridley Scott for the first time in over 30 years since they first collaborated on Alien.

Production

  • H.R. Giger had a little involvement in production. Ridley Scott said he worked on the movie for 11 months just creating some murals for the first chamber the characters come across. On the Prometheus Blu-Ray, Giger was seen meeting with Ridley Scott and he did some sketches of the creatures. Scott said some of his ideas were interesting but he didn’t enough time to pursue them. No mention of Giger creating the murals was mentioned in the Blu-Ray features.
  • The film contains approximately 1300 digital VFX shots.
  • The “beginning of time” sequence that opens the film was shot in Iceland. The whole shoot took two weeks to complete.
  • Ridley Scott instructed Charlize Theron to stand in corners and move in lurking movements, in order to accentuate Vickers’s distant, enigmatic nature.
  • During production, Ridley Scott kept the use of computer-generated imagery as low as possible, using CGI mainly in space scenes; Scott recalled advice VFX expert Douglas Trumbull gave him on the set of Blade Runner: “If you can do it live, do it live”, and also claimed that practical VFX was more cost-effective than digital VFX.
  • While Ridley Scott suggested that the cast could have slept and effectively “lived” on the Prometheus interior set during initial filming, this didn’t happen due to health and safety precautions.
  • Ridley Scott stated that he was filming “the most aggressive film [he] could” by not caring about MPAA ratings, having support for such bold movement from 20th Century Fox CEO Tom Rothman, who addressed Alien fans by saying that he was “very aware of their concern”, and that “they can take it that the film will not be compromised either way. So if that means that the film is R, then it’ll be an R. If it’s PG-13, then it’ll be a PG-13, but it will not be compromised.” Scott shot the film with both adult-only R and more accessible PG-13 film ratings in mind, allowing the more adult content to be cut if necessary without harming the overall presentation, given the case it was asked to be cut down. Eventually, the film was rated “R for Sci-Fi violence including some intense images, and brief language”, and it was released without any demanded cuts.
  • Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski convinced Ridley Scott that it would be possible to shoot the film in 3D with the same ease and efficiency of typical filming. 3D company 3ality Technica provided some of the rigs and equipment to facilitate 3D filming, and trained the film’s crew in their proper operation. Since 3D films need high lighting levels on set, the traditional dark shadowy atmosphere of the Alien films was added in post-production through grading processes, while the 3D equipment was based on post-Avatar (2009) technology.
  • When Elizabeth Shaw is having a C-Section to remove the alien from her body, the alien was wrapped in a condom filled with fake blood so that when it was pulled from her body, the condom could be punctured and explode violently.

Cast

  • To prepare for his role as the android David, Michael Fassbender watched Blade Runner, The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Servant and Lawrence of Arabia (mentioned by Peter Weyland). Fassbender also studied Olympic diver Greg Louganis, drawing inspiration from Louganis’s physicality.
  • Noomi Rapace, who plays British character Shaw, worked on set with a dialect coach to help her achieve the closest accent she could manage. 
  • During the on location segment shoot in Iceland (the movie’s opening sequence), Noomi Rapace was able to visit her family who still reside there where she was partly raised.
  • Noomi Rapace landed the role of Elizabeth when a scheduled meeting in Los Angeles with producer Michael Costigan instead led to an unexpected meeting with Ridley Scott. When Scott announced that he’d seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo three times and was very keen to work with her, Noomi accepted the offer right away.
  • Charlize Theron found herself struggling during her action scenes due to her smoking habit, particularly the segments that required her to run through sand in boots weighing 30 pounds.
  • Charlize Theron was originally cast as Elizabeth Shaw, but had to decline the role due to scheduling conflicts. Later, another change in schedule freed Theron to do the film, thus allowing her to take the role of Meredith Vickers, as Noomi Rapace had already taken the role of Shaw.
  • Ian Whyte  (who plays the main Engineer) is no stranger to the Alien franchise. He also played the Predator  in Alien vs. Predator and AvP Requiem.
  • Ridley Scott initially wanted Max von Sydow for the role of Peter Weyland. However, Scott and Damon Lindelof conceived of a scene in which David the android (Michael Fassbender) would interface with Weyland while in hypersleep, and that Weyland’s dream would reflect his looks as a younger man since he is obsessed with immortality. Though the scene was cut from the script and never filmed, Guy Pearce had already been cast in the role and thus underwent extensive make-up to appear elderly.
  • Michelle Yeoh and Angelina Jolie were originally considered for the role of Meredith Vickers.
  • James Franco was considered for the role of Holloway.
  • Ben Foster was rumoured for a role.

Other Things

  • The androids’ names in the Alien films follow an alphabetical pattern: in Alien it’s Ash, in Aliens and Alien  3 it’s Bishop, in Alien Resurrection it’s Call and in this film it’s David.
  • Director Ridley Scott named the film “Prometheus”, seeing the name aptly fit the film’s themes: “It’s the story of creation; the gods and the man who stood against them.” In Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus was a servant of the gods, who stole and gave to mankind the gift of fire, an immeasurable benefit that changed the human race forever (for better AND worse).
  • When Prometheus approaches the landing zone, straight marks on the ground can be seen which are very similar to the Nazca lines located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. The Nazca lines are considered by few rogue scientists/archaeologists to be runways of an ancient airfield used by extraterrestrials. This idea was popularized by Swiss author, Erich von Däniken, and is generally regarded as pseudo-science. One of the more prevailing and accepted theories posits that the lines were part of the religious practices of the local people. Other theories place astronomical, cosmological or topographical significance to them.
  • The first shot of the cave paintings at the beginning of the film, which showed a horse in motion, originate from the Chauvet Cave in the South of France, which was the subject of the Werner Herzog documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams, also shot in 3D.
  • Marks Ridley Scott’s first venture in 3D feature filmmaking and his third sci-fi movie after Alien and Blade Runner.
  • In one of the screenplay drafts for Alien, there was a sex scene between Ripley and Dallas, to show how crew members would engage in casual sex during long space travels, simply to fulfill their needs. Ridley Scott never filmed the scene, but the idea was reused for this film in the exchange between Vickers and Janek.
  • When Shaw is discussing her finds around the world in the conference, the words “Eilean a’ Cheo” can be seen in the background. This means “The Island of Mist” in Scottish Gaelic, and is a nickname for the Isle of Skye, properly called “An t-Eilean Sgitheanach”.
  • The three-triangle logo of the Weyland corporation (while visually similar to that of the actual Weinstein Group) is actually derived from a pattern appearing on the wall in the background of an early Ron Cobb production painting of the Space Jockey for the original Alien film. the logo can be seen as part of David’s fingerprint.
  • In May 7th, 2012, Guillermo del Toro declared that his long proposed adaptation for “At the Mountains of Madness” was indefinitely delayed as he felt Ridley Scott’s film was extremely similar to the approach he penned for H.P. Lovecraft’s novella, even to the point of having “scenes that would be almost identical. Both movies seem to share identical set pieces and the exact same big revelation (twist) at the end.”
  • Shaw’s final message at the end of the film closely mirrors that of Ripley’s final log entry at the end of Alien. Both messages include indication of being a “final log entry”, description of the fates of the ships’ respective crews, and identifying themselves as the “last surviving crew member of the (Nostromo/Prometheus)”.

Marketing

  • The Prometheus marketing featured viral marketing. Which included:
    ProjectPrometheus.com, a viral site.
    WeylandIndustries, Another viral site.
    – Four Viral videos were released. The first viral video was of Guy Pearce’s character Peter Weyland talking on TED and another viral video entitled ‘Our family is growing‘ was released in March 2012. An extended version of the David Viral video was released in April. Most recently, the newest viral video was ‘Quiet Eye‘ which was an interview with Shaw.
    – Various countries had some unique Prometheus marketing. In France, a train station in Paris was transformed to promote the movie. Billboards and posters were seen. The giant ‘head’ was also featured in a lot of the marketing. Check out the gallery for lots of pictures.