The official “Prometheus” synopsis has been unleashed, and as cool as it is — A discovery about the origins of humanity! An intergalactic voyage! An extraterrestrial battle with genocide-level implications! — the description still leaves much about Ridley Scott’s “Alien”-DNA project unknown.
All in good time. Back at San Diego Comic-Con, though, “Prometheus” writer/producer Damon Lindelof kicked us a ton of info about his collaboration with Scott, the nature of the roles Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron play in the film, and who might actually turn out to be the hero-heir to Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley. With the “Prometheus” synopsis on the web, we figured now is the right time to roll out our interview. Read on for insight into the 2012 flick, in Lindelof’s own words.
Collaborating with Ridley
“Having done ’Lost’ for six years, I felt this tremendous responsibility because I’m one of the visionaries behind the show, so there’s no safety net below you. When I got the call [from Ridley] I had this tremendous amount of relief and comfort that Ridley Scott is going to be the safety net. What ensued was a series of conversations where I was kind of interviewing Ridley to get a sense of the movie he wanted to make. Once I got a sense of that, then it was really about channeling that idea so that I was realizing his vision, as opposed to imposing my vision on it. That was my perspective. His perspective was more kind and generous in terms of ideas that I brought to the movie. But really everything I was coming up with was just a different spin on what he was saying to me.”
“He plays a robot. One of the things that evokes the idea of ’Blade Runner’ is, ’What does the movie look like from the robot’s point of view?’ If you were to ask him, ’What do you think about all of this? What’s going on? What do you think about these humans who are around you?,’ wouldn’t it be cool if we found a way for that robot to answer those questions. When you cast a guy like Fassbender, who’s going to bring a lot more to it than [makes clichéd robot movements] — that was me doing the robot, I don’t know if you could tell — it’s not Anthony Daniels. All due respect. He’s phenomenal. But C-P3O…”
“Her character’s name is Meredith Vickers and she’s sort of a corporate entity. That’s another one of the familiar things from the ’Alien’ movies — that there are corporate interests in play. I feel like Charlize brought a new spin on that old variation. It’s a remix …. I don’t think she’s slimy [like Paul Reiser’s character in ’Aliens’]. She’s not the fast-talking, snake-oil face of the company. By the way, “What company is she a face of?,” I think is a big part of the fun. As we were developing the script, she had some really cool ideas that made it not the suit you’re used to.”
“I think one of the really cool things about the first ’Alien,’ if you watch it cold, Ripley is kind in the background like one of the crew members, and you’re like, ’Skerrit’s [who played Captain Dallas] the hero of the movie,’ and he’s one of the first to go. And then you’re like, ’It’s [the engineer played by] Harry Dean Stanton.’ And, no, he’s gone… and suddenly Sigourney Weaver, in the last 40 minutes of the movie, is the only one left alive. I think the idea of building a really cool ensemble and again presenting the audience with like, ’Who’s going to be left standing at the end of this movie? Maybe all of them. Probably not,’ [that’s] part of the fun of what we set out to do.”
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