Prometheus is finally getting its U.S. release this Friday. Although in the beginning the filmmakers were deliberately vague about its connection to the Alien franchise in order to build additional audience participation, there’s no doubt that we’re about to engage with the fifth film of the beloved series.
The film’s UK release last week was a success bringing in over $5.5 million at the box office, reporting that masses love this and it’s going to be big. And why wouldn’t it be? It is one of the most anticipated films ever, which isn’t really a surprise considering its rabid fan base (Hi there, I’m Stacy, rabid fan #1,342,332).
Not to mention of course, the film has been in development in some form or another for over a decade. It was back in 2002 when Alien director Ridley Scott first considered exploring the idea of adding another film to the Alien franchise, with a vision to focus on the origins of the aliens as opposed to the human race.
Scott’s idea of elaborating on the pre-Alien story prompted Aliens director James Cameron to express an interest in returning to the series as well. But Cameron fled when the project was sidelined and studios focused on creating a battle over who was dominating the human race in Alien vs. Predator (2004). Although the duel was undoubtedly a box office hit and prompted its own sequel, Cameron remains a firm believer that this idea strayed far from the idea of expanding on the original franchise and vowed never to return to the series.
So the prequel went quiet while the sci-fi duel series ran its course. It wasn’t until 2009 that it was again reported that the franchise would reboot with a prequel to Alien, heading back towards the original idea of elaborating on the origin of the aliens and their power over mankind. The film went into production in early 2010.
I for one cannot wait to meet Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), the head archeologist leading a group of explorers on a mission to discover new clues linked to the origins of mankind on Earth. In tow are Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), David (Michael Fassbender) the android indistinguishable from humans, and others from the Weyland Corp team. They all end up in a distant civilization where they discover a threat that could cause the extinction of the human race.
Sounds like a good time to me. But what I’m most excited about is resurrecting my long passed passion for the series.
I’m a big fan of a good horror film. The original Alien really got my blood pumping, piquing my interest in the alien universe. And Aliens absolutely blew my mind. Not to mention, I was given a strong female character to admire within my already rampant passion for the sci-fi and horror genres. Ellen Ripley ranked 8th best in hero in American film history by the American Film Institute; she’s proceeded only by A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Nancy Thompson in my eyes.
But when Alien 3 was released, the narrative completely derailed, along with most of my interest in the franchise. This was further confirmed with Alien Resurrection. The whole story was pretty much flushed down the toilet.
So what happened? Probably studios got greedy and threw the story aside, decided to pop out a couple of blockbusters instead. Although I found the whole Alien vs. Predator battle over domination of the human race entertaining, I never even for a second consider it a part of the franchise.
But we’re back on track now, right? Director Ridley Scott has eluded that though the film shares "strands of Alien's DNA, so to speak", and takes place in the same universe, while Prometheus takes place several years prior to the events of the original film and will be exploring its own mythology and ideas. Early fan reviews are reporting that Prometheus doesn’t have a direct link to the Alien movie, and has left plenty of room for another film to help connect the dots.
I’m OK with that as long as creative control remains in the hands of the director, and it sounds like it will. But if at any moment I sense another intergalactic battle with say Aliens vs. Vampires, I’m going to throw my popcorn down on the floor and Charlie Brown shuffle out of the theater like a shamed fool. And I will not return… unless Ellen Ripley tells me to.
About the AuthorStacy Buchanan
Stacy is California born and raised, and happily living in Boston. By day, she’s a seasoned digital marketer, social media enthusiast and pop culture consumer. After studying special effects makeup and film for over 20 years, she is also full-time film buff and by night, produces content for horror publications, focusing on classic and contemporary horror films.
Support for WGBH is provided by:Become a WGBH sponsor