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Androids, Sex & Sequels: 15 Things Learned About Ridley Scott's 'Prometheus'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist June 8, 2012 at 10:57AM

Over thirty years after the 'space jockey' first appeared in "Alien," and after a couple of months of speculation and rumor, Ridley Scott's "Prometheus," his return to sci-fi for the first time since "Blade Runner", and his continuation/prequel/spin-off/whatever to his 1979 space horror classic, finally hits theaters today. It's one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year, and is already inspiring fierce debate (The Playlist team are split down the middle on the project, with wildly divided reactions from those who've seen it).
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Idris Elba, Prometheus
Idris Elba sees his character as the equivalent of an old sea captain.
One of the film's highlights is the lovely turn by Idris Elba (who worked with Scott previously on "American Gangster") as Janek, the captain of the Prometheus. The actor says that he saw his role as a representation of the working-class aesthetic seen in some of the earlier "Alien" films. "...my character’s functionality in the film is to represent a working man. Yes, we’re going to space, but so what? Usually I take monkeys, today I’m taking scientists, so what? [My accent] was just a choice based on some of the history, looking at who would choose this type of profession," he said. "It wasn’t boys from Chicago who could play the piano. These guys were working seamen, lived by the shore, didn’t have much going on in their lives. I brought the Southern thing into it, nothing specific." [Film.com]

Could Meredith Vickers be an android? Charlize Theron ain't telling.
Any "Blade Runner" fans will get a kick out of the suggestion by Idris Elba's Janek that Meredith Vickers, Theron's character, might be a robot. While Vickers offers to sleep with her captain to prove otherwise, Theron says they didn't decide on anything for certain on set, particularly when it came to her relationship with her "brother," David. "We played around with a lot of stuff, I’ll just say that. We threw a lot of stuff out there very loosely. There was definitely something that happened once David and I kind of stood next to each other, where I started feeling like his posture was overtaking my posture. There’s the good age-old question like, 'Is the chicken before the egg?' Like, is it him or is it me or is it part of my DNA in him? We did talk about that a lot, that it was nice to have something ambiguous about the origins of both of us, maybe, like why do we look so much alike? Why am I walking so much like him? Is it that I am an android or is it that I gave him human qualities, that I gave him my DNA?" [Collider]

Prometheus Michael Fassbender David
Lindelof says the sequel could begin 2000 years ago.
One of the big questions the film hints at is why the Engineers were seemingly intent on wiping out Earth. For the answer, which may follow in a sequel, Damon Lindelof says it may lie in Earth's past: "When they do the carbon gating on the dead engineer and realise he has been dead for 2000 years then you wonder about when, 2000 years ago, the Engineers decided to wipe us out. What happened 2000 years ago? Is there any correlation with what happened on the Earth 2000 years ago and this decision that was already in motion? Could a sequel start in that time period and contextualize what we did to piss these beings off?... If a lot of people go to see this movie and there is a critical sense of people wanting there to be another one, the second movie would clearly answer the question of 'what did we do to deserve this?'" Jesus as a space jockey? Yeah, we'd pay to see that. All that said Lindelof isn't sure if he'll be back for any prospective follow-up, especially given he's got TV work and the Brad Bird-directed "1952" coming up. "I do feel like the movie might benefit from a fresh voice or a fresh take or a fresh thought. Sometimes the baton should be passed, if that’s what the story demands. I had ['Prometheus'] for the period of time that I was running the race, and if that story continues, it could actually benefit going into someone else’s able hand." [Bleeding Cool/THR]

The other big unanswered question for the sequel revolves around the nature of the black goo that mutates Holloway.
It's clear that strands are being set up for the sequel to follow up, and aside from the Engineer's plans for Earth, one is exactly what the black goo inside the urns is, and what it does: Damon Lindelof explains: "I think that one of the things that I love about Ridley’s movies, and have loved long before I worked with him, is 30-some odd years after 'Blade Runner' we’re all still talking about whether or not Deckard is a replicant. So there’s a speculative part of it – the question becomes, 'What does the black goo do?' That is the question that you’re supposed to be asking coming out of this movie. The movie demonstrates what it does in certain circumstances. So, here’s what it does if it gets on worms; here’s what it does if it gets on your face; here’s what it does if someone just puts a little bit of it in your drink. Now we see that that lots of this is headed to Earth. [There's] the theory Janek has, because it looks like a payload to him; all these ships are loaded with this stuff, and they’re headed for Earth. The intent has to be to wipe us out, or is it to evolve us, or is it for something else?" [T3]

"Prometheus" is in theaters now.

This article is related to: Features, Prometheus, Ridley Scott, Damon Lindelof, Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba


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