Monday, March 19, 2012

Project Prometheus

Weyland Industries has it's own website now. So does "Project Prometheus", but that one is password protected and as of press-time no one had cracked the password. (Or if they have they haven't talked about it.) This is of course all viral marketing for Ridley Scott's new Alien film Prometheus. (It's interesting to note that there was a NASA project called "Project Prometheus" that no longer exists. In the Prometheus universe Weyland Industries takes that project over from NASA.)

They're going to great lengths to prevent information about the exact nature of the film from leaking out. They didn't even have a traditional panel discussion after their event at WonderCon last weekend (Prometheus at WonderCon). They premiered a new trailer and handed out Weyland Industries business cards that would lead you to a video about "David".

From the beginning there has been a lot of misdirection in the marketing of this film. Is it a prequel or isn't it? What's it about? Will there be a "xenomorph" in it? So on an so forth. This is perhaps because there have already been two Alien prequels, albeit indirectly. They are the Alien vs. Predator films. Clearly Scott is pretending those movies didn't exist and ejecting their details from the "cannon". Perhaps that's why they keep saying the film exists in its own universe. How do I know he's rejecting those films? The corporate timeline for Weyland Industries has the founder being Sir Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce). In AVP, the company patriarch was Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen).

Weyland Industries is the ancestor of "the Company" in the Alien films. By then, it is Weyland-Yutani. Yutani Corporation is mentioned briefly in Scott's Weyland Industries Timeline, but I suspect it will play a bigger part in Prometheus. They seem to be the two rival corporate powers that rule the world of the day with Weyland representing the West and Yutani China. In the future, of course, they merge.

The film seems to focus on the other alien species in the Alien universe. That being the one belonging to the crashed ship in Alien. I find that exciting. A lot of emphasis in the early marketing of the film also centers on the androids of the Alien universe. "David", in this case, becomes the ancestor of Ash and Bishop (and whatever the Winona Ryder character was named in that movie that shall not be named). This emphasis on "robots that are indistinguishable from humans" has lead some to believe that Prometheus might end up being a back-door prequel to Scott's other science fiction franchise, Blade Runner. That would seem to align perfectly with Scott's forthcoming Blade Runner sequel, or the similarities could simply indicate Scott's interest in android themes.

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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.