Deadline Comic-Con correspondent Luke Y Thompson files:
The moderator for this panel will be LOST’s Damon Lindelof, who welcomes us to the “20th Century Fox bar mitzvah.” Thanks us for not going to the GAME OF THRONES panel, noting that a real knight will be making an appearance here (Sir Ridley Scott, as it turns out). Lindelof remembers one day he was driving his car and got a call saying Ridley Scott was gonna call him in 5 minutes. After he crashed the car, he says, he got the call, and it was Ridley asking if he could send Damon a script. He did, and they ended up working together on what would become PROMETHEUS. Do we want to see something? You bet.
Clip starts…but it’s just a Ridley Scott sizzle reel from previous movies? Even ROBIN HOOD? Not for long, thankfully. We see Ridley on a new set, then images of a spaceship control room full of lit panels. A giant room that looks like the Giger-designed spaceship in the first ALIEN where they find the eggs, though it’s filled with things that look more like Egyptian coptic jars – though they may still be eggs. It does seem like something bio-mechanical is inside.
We see Michael Fassbender examining them. Green-glass sleep pods. Bubble-helmets – the aesthetic is an odd mix of the original ALIEN H. R. Giger designs and pulp comic-book Buck Rogers-type stuff. Charlize Theron is doing push-ups naked. There’s a large, ringed planet.
Scott is back on, says the cast of characters “find an establishment that is not what they expected it to be.” Somebody collapses, looks like internal injuries. People in space suits freak out. More of the Giant egg cargo hold. Scott says “It is all about everything…it has the DNA of the original ALIEN…what I wanna do is scare the living shit out of you.” It’s being shot in digital 3-D.
Frankly, I’m glad they’re continuing the franchise as such in a creative way. It’s been a while since the original aliens were scary.
Clip ends. Charlize Theron comes out, with much longer hair than usual. “For all actors there is the one, the mighty, and that for me is Ridley Scott.” Scott wanted her, and she couldn’t do it because of MAD MAX. When that got postponed, he called her back immediately – she felt “the script wasn’t yet at its full potential.” With Lindelof and Scott, she helped work on it until it was (seriously? Charlize Theron is telling Lindelof and Scott what to write? Must admit, after watching GLADIATOR I wanted to do the same thing).
Lindelof makes a joke about the naked push-ups being disgusting and exploitative. Theron: “I know how to sell a movie.” Describes her character as “a suit: she’s the machine that runs the machine…She’s not a scientist, not a believer. You can tell she’s gonna be a problem…You think you know who she is,[then] in the third act you strip her from her skin and really see what her bones are about.” (I assume that’s figurative, but this is an ALIEN-like movie, so…)
Surprise – Ridley Scott’s on the big screen via satellite from Iceland! And beside him is Noomi Rapace, cast after Scott became obsessed with THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. She looks much nicer out of that character.
Ridley: “I feel like I’m about to produce a wildlife program.” His last day of shooting will complete the beginning of the film.
Why do this movie? “There was something in the first ALIEN no-one ever had a question about, and that became the center of it.” Says the sequels never dealt with it either, and he was amazed. Though he doesn’t say it, the assumption is that he’s talking about the “Space Jockey” creature in the first flick, the elephantine skeleton with the exploded stomach that was clearly a prior victim of the Alien.
Sets are mostly practical, little CG. He loves 3D, says “I’ll never work without 3D again, even with small dialogue scenes.” As for the CG, “Doug Trumbull once said to me, if you can do it live, do it live…it is not less expensive to do digital.”
Lindelof: “Are you a replicant, and if not, why did you keep leaving origami on my chair?”
Scott: “I thought you were a f**king robot, and you needed origami to get your heart started!” Hints there might be two robots in PROMETHEUS.
Regarding rumored PG-13 rating, Scott says “I’ve got a responsibility to my studio, but I always want to have it both ways.” He’ll make the final decision with Tom Rothman when they screen the final film. Confirms the naked push-ups are in there.
End PROMETHEUS panel.