‘Prometheus’: Damon Lindelof promises an epic

Jan. 14, 2012 | 1:00 p.m.
prometheus1 Prometheus: Damon Lindelof promises an epic

Noomi Rapace in a scene from "Prometheus." (Kerry Brown / 20th Century Fox)

When the enigmatic television series “Lost” came to a close two years ago, show co-creator Damon Lindelof thought he was done working on scripts with shadowy plot lines. Then he got an offer to write “Prometheus,” a Ridley Scott-directed science-fiction film whose story has been kept tightly under wraps since its inception.

prometheus3 Prometheus: Damon Lindelof promises an epic

A monolithic figure towers over explorers of a distant planet in the movie "Prometheus." (Kerry Brown / 20th Century Fox)

“Coming out of ‘Lost,’ I was like, ‘What a relief it’ll be to leave mystery and secretiveness behind,’” recalled the 38-year-old, who also was one of the writers who penned last year’s “Cowboys & Aliens.” “Then I found myself in the same situation, and I thought, ‘Here we go again.’”

Months before the film’s June release, little is still known in Hollywood about the 3-D “Prometheus,” whose ensemble cast includes Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron and Idris Elba. The movie was initially billed as a prequel to Scott’s 1979 hit “Alien,” but the filmmaker and the studio behind the picture, 20th Century Fox, have since tried to distance it from that label.

“Alien,” which starred Sigourney Weaver, centered on scientists who encounter extraterrestrials while exploring an alien planet. “Prometheus,” meanwhile, has explorers seeking the origins of human civilization to save future generations of mankind.

prometheus2 Prometheus: Damon Lindelof promises an epic

Charlize Theron, left, and Idris Elba on the bridge of the ship Prometheus in a scene from the upcoming film of the same name. (Kerry Brown / 20th Century Fox)

What the two do have in common, Lindelof said, is that the universe in which each takes place shares a similar aesthetic. When the writer signed on to the film, Scott was already deep into discussions with production designer Arthur Max, whose résumé includes work on “Se7en” and “Gladiator.” Scott took Lindelof to what he described as a “thick, dramatic vault door” where five twentysomethings who “looked like they were playing video games” were rendering images of planets, creatures and space suits.

“The movie is definitely epic in its scope. One of the filmmakers that we ended up talking about to a fair degree of redundancy was David Lean, who directed ‘Lawrence of Arabia,’” he said. “We wanted to make the movie feel big by having the characters be small in big spaces. That connected to the larger themes we were talking about — that we’re all just these little gnats crawling around on our little planet.”

— Amy Kaufman


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18 Responses to ‘Prometheus’: Damon Lindelof promises an epic

  1. pweasel says:

    "“Alien,” which starred Sigourney Weaver, centered on scientists who encounter extraterrestrials while exploring an alien planet."

    mmmnope, Alien is about a group of space teamsters that get shafted by some obscure contract clause on landing over an alien infested planet. They HAD a science officer, but that's the limit of it.

    • Nena999 says:

      Yes. I see that the 1 percenter corporate overlords haven't changed any even by the future time of "Alien."

    • luuk says:

      yea they were just moving cargo werent they?

    • Bob Lechleiter says:

      Yes! Thank you. In Alien we had a commercial towing vehicle bringing titanium ore or whatever to Earth. Grunge ship like a tanker. No splendid accommodations. Crude men in crew, tugboat types. While In Prometheus, its clearly a corporate sponsored exploratory mission with anticipated reward finding. ships like those operated by marine archaeologists et al are more accommodating to the well educated crew. I had no issue accepting this in Mr. Scotts excellent film

  2. Chance_X74 says:

    Please… They need to stop lying about this not being what it is… even the Space Jockey's ship looks remarkably similar to the Space Jockey's ship in the movie they are "distancing" themselves from. This spade is a spade.

    • EdGoz says:

      no one is lying. It's stated that it takes place in the same universe as that of the Alien movies. The only thing is that they don't want to market the movie as an Alien movie when there might not be a single Xenomorph present, the main plot for this is not the same as the Ripley saga. It's just a simple revisit.

      It's like if they made a Jaws movie that mostly takes place on land and the shark is only mentioned briefly in the dialogue.

  3. Nemo says:

    Hope it is good. Cowboys and Aliens was a good idea but a terrible film.

  4. db73 says:

    Is that 'Space Jockey' suits in the background of that picture?

  5. Jacob says:

    Lindelof's full of it. He promised for years he knew the ending of LOST then after the show was ended he finally admitted he was making it up as he went along! And it showed. By the last two seasons, the show was internally inconsistent, repetitious and boring.

  6. Oliver Thompson says:

    I hope this as good as it looks, I loved the Geiger sets in Alien. Fingers crossed.

    I am making a new sci-fi short film, if you like Book Of Eli or Children Of Men please take a look.

    If you want to help us make 'The Dark Age' check out the link below. http://www.indiegogo.com/THE-DARK-AGE-Short-Sci-F



  7. Cory Jameson says:

    I have to admit that Damon Lindelof's involvement is disturbing. But from the way "Alien" was made, Ridley Scott changes the script as necessary.

    The trailers look fantastic. Let's hope that Lindelof's influence was minimized and that his presence was only to appease the Studio bosses who wouldn't know good science fiction if it came up and bit them on the **s.

  8. Adler Monroe says:

    I agreed totally with the film review here. The film is stunning in visual graphics, and the acting is not bad at all. However, the plot is plain stupid, lacking in cohesion and relevance to the basic story line. I could not believe that the producers hired the stupid Damon Lindelof to write script for this film. No wonder 'Prometheus' resembles a badly written episode of ‘Lost’. Throughout the entire film, one has to ponder what the plot is really about (Space Jockeys, human origin, Xenos, or rather Weyland's quest for immortality). For sci-fi fans who were hoping that this film will help explain where the “xeno” alien eggs came from, they will in for a big disappointment.

  9. lindelhandjob says:

    Another Lindelof circle jerk. I am a big sci fi fan but will not go near any crap that comes from this so called writer. I stole 6 years from his audience for Lost and he’s not going to steal 2 hours on this go around.

    The big reveal as to why the engineers want to infect earth– the engineers did not create mankind – dinosaurs came first. The engineers work for saurian masters.

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