Comic-Con 2011: PROMETHEUS Panel Recap

     July 21, 2011

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Fox brought the goods today in their Hall H panel, with Ridley Scott’s return to the sci-fi genre Prometheus front and center. The film, which may or may not be a prequel to Scott’s Alien, stars Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, and Guy Pearce. Hit the jump for my recap from the panel.

Moderator Damon Lindelof begins by telling the story of how Ridley Scott contacted him to write the script for Prometheus. He recounts how he sat down with Scott and Co. after reading the existing script for the Alien prequel and telling them what he would do differently.

The footage kicked off with a sizzle reel of Ridley Scott’s past films, followed by a featurette-style trailer for Prometheus. We saw the gigantic sets that Scott and Co. are shooting on, followed by a great deal of footage from the film. We see Charlize Theron in captain-style getup, Michael Fassbender as an android (he looks fantastic by the way), Noomi Rapace looks to be a crewmember but she’s apparently the lead role in the film.

Scott narrates the footage which shows the crew traveling to a distant planet and encountering some biological specimens that look like rudimentary versions of the things we’ve seen in the Alien films. Basically, this looks to be a completely original story set in the universe of Alien. Scott ended the footage by saying “Basically, I just want to scare the shit out of you.” Judging by the footage, he’s doing a damn fine job. The cast looks great, and the film looks to be old-school horror just like Alien instead of a bang ‘em up action film.

Theron came out to speak with Lindelof and she tells him that she’s “a suit” essentially, and she runs the machine that sends this ship into space. She says she’s not a scientist or a believer, but it seems like she’s in it for the economics, she’s a bit of an enigma and comes across as mysterious. We saw footage of her doing push-ups in clothing that looked like it came from The Fifth Element. She hints at something revelatory about her character in the third act.

Scott isn’t present at the panel, as he’s currently in Iceland still filming. Lindelof shows us some “high-tech shit” in the form of Google Maps explaining where Iceland is in relation to San Diego. Theron says it’s “bullshit” that he’s not here, then the Oscar-winning director appears live on the screen from Iceland. He’s standing in front of a waterfall and says his last day of shooting completes the beginning sequence of the film, which wil take place at this waterfall location.

Lindelof asks Scott why it took him so long to come back to the sci-fi genre. Scott says he was too busy doing other movies and he didn’t think about returning until he realized that there’s something in the first Alien that no one has ever asked or answered (he’s talking about the Space Jockey, presumably), and that will be the “DNA” that Prometheus shares with Alien.

Talk about shooting in 3D. Scott explains that they’re shooting in 3D and using minimal digital effects. He says he was brought up as a camera operator and with the help of his technical team he’s gotten the hang of it. Scott says after this experience he will never work without 3D again, even for small dialogue scenes.

Effects-wise, Scott recounts an effects coordinator telling him 28 years ago “if you can do it live, do it live.” He says it’s cheaper and it looks better.

Lindelof asks Scott if he is a replicant, and if not why does he keep leaving origami shit on his chair. Scott replies that he thought he was a robot. Lindelof asks Scott if there are robots in Prometheus, to which Scott replies “There may be two.”

Scott says he’s honestly had a better time with this film than he has in many years. Says he felt extremely comfortable with Lindelof’s script, saying the only reason he’s buttering Lindelof up is so Lindelof will pen the sequel.

Scott talks about the cast. Says he saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and thought it was one of the more interesting films he’s seen in the last 3 or 4 years, and thought to himself he had to get Noomi Rapace. The camera then pans and reveals Rapace standing next to Scott.

Lindelof asks Rapace about the physical demands of the role. She says it’s been many long and hard days, both physically and emotionally.

Scott talks about the PG-13 rating and says it hasn’t inhibited him in making the film. He says he always makes sure that he has both options (R and PG-13) so that he and the studio can look at it at the end of the day and make a final decision.

Overall, the footage looked great. Super happy to see that Scott is going for more horror/drama than action, not to mention the fantastic cast.

Click here for all our Comic-Con 2011 coverage.

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