Does the Title of Ridley Scott’s PROMETHEUS Refer to Name of a Terraforming Ship?

     January 19, 2011


Last week, we reported that Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel wouldn’t be a prequel at all but a new sci-fi film called Prometheus.  Keen fans will recognize “Alien‘s DNA”, but this evolved version creates “a new, grand mythology and universe in which this original story takes place.”  But what does Prometheus means?  The name itself comes from Greek mythology.  Prometheus was a Titan who stole fire from Olympus and gave it to mankind.  Zeus punished Prometheus for his crime with one of the more gruesome and creative punishments in mythology: Prometheus was chained to a rock and forced to have an eagle eat his live every day, only to have it grow back that night.  Rinse, repeat, eat liver, regrow liver.

Since Prometheus the movie is sci-fi and not Greek mythology/torture-porn, the folks at Scriptflags think they know what the title means.  They noticed that Jon Sapihts, who wrote the original script for the Alien prequel before Damon Lindelof was hired for a re-write, also penned a script called Shadow 19.  And Shadow 19 has a terraforming ship named…Prometheus.  Hit the jump for more on why they believe elements of Shadow 19 have been incorporated into Prometheus.

Here’s how Scriptflags describes Shadow 19:

Shadow 19 takes place in the distant future. There are two superpowers on Earth fighting each other for what’s left of the remaining natural resources spread out across the solar system. It begins with space battles, sentient machines, mech carnage and off-world battles. One of these superpowers have created and sent a giant terraforming ship [also referred to as a super-intelligent machine] to a distant planet. Their hope is to take this living world and reshape it so that humans can live there. This enormous terraforming spacecraft lands on “Erix,” a harsh and uninhabitable planet where it dispenses six smaller mobile units called Crawlers which spread across 125 kilometers of the planet and sow seeds which in turn terraform the planet. And the name of this secret sentient terraforming spaceship is “Prometheus.” The Prometheus is connected to Earth by a device called a Lang Transporter. It allows objects to “travel” instantaneously from one point to another. There is a problem, one of Prometheus‘ submachines, i.e Crawlers, has broken down with the ship so a special science agency sends offworld Marine Corps to repair it via transporters.

Scott has previously signaled that he’s interested in concepts of “time dilation” as he’s been circling an adaptation of Joe Haldeman’s 1974 novel The Forever War.  According to Wikipedia, The Forever War “tells the contemplative story of soldiers fighting an interstellar war between humanity and the enigmatic Tauran species [and has] pithy, insightful explorations of the inhumanity of war and of bureaucracy, and of the psychological effects resulting from time dilation space travel.”

It’s also important to note that the concept of “terraforming” wasn’t foreign to the Alien franchise as planet LV-426 in Aliens was home to a terraforming colony.  It will be interesting to see if and how Scott and Lindelof have mixed all these movies together for Prometheus.

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