Prometheus
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Prometheus (2012/I) More at IMDbPro »

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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Prometheus can be found here.

In the year 2093, after discovering evidence of yet another ancient star map in a cave on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, a team of scientific explorers, led by archeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), secure funding from the aging CEO of the Weyland Corporation, Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), and journey on the spaceship Prometheus to the distant moon of LV-223 located 34.6 light-years from Earth, hoping to find the answers to humanity's origins. What they find convinces them that they have found the answers to human life, but what they learn also could lead to its extinction.

Prometheus is based on a screenplay by American screenwriters John Spaihts and Damon Lindelof. It is the fifth movie in the Alien franchise, preceded by Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Alien³ (1992) and Alien: Resurrection (1997) and followed by Alien: Covenant (2017). Prometheus is a actually a prequel to the original four Alien films and ignores the storylines of the Alien vs. Predator cinema franchise.

Prometheus is the name of the spaceship in which the exploration team travels, but the name actually has its origins in Greek mythology. Prometheus, a giant Titan born of Gaia (the earth), is credited with creating the human race from clay and stealing fire from the Gods to give to the humans. For this latter transgression, he was bound to a rock in the Underworld where an eagle would come to feed on his liver. The liver would grow back, but the eagle would return each day to feast on it again. The symbolism between the Titan Prometheus and the giant Engineer is obvious.

When the project was initially greenlit, it was seen as two separate movies to be chronologically before the first Alien movie with director Ridley Scott staying on as producer. However, Fox wanted Scott in the director's chair so much that he eventually accepted under the condition that the script be heavily retooled to reflect the concepts that he wanted to explore. The result has been described as both a prequel and an original story. For instance, in an interview, Michael Fassbender confirmed that this is actually an Alien movie, taking place in the Alien universe. In July 2011, however, Scott stated in another interview that "by the end of the third act you start to realize there's a DNA of the very first Alien, but none of the subsequent [films]". The story itself takes place within the same universe albeit not directly connected to the events of Alien, which takes place 30 years later. The film was supposed to cover the origins of the Weyland-Yutani Company. It shows glimpses and links in common with Alien, including imagery inspired by, if not designed and built by, H.R. Giger. Prometheus depicts the so-called "Space Jockey" in Alien as a member of an ancient race who are nicknamed "Engineers" by the Prometheus crew, and also suggests that the Engineers created the "xenomorphs" (the titular creature in the Alien films) as a biological weapon.

Including the AVP series not considered canon, AVP and AVPR take place in 2004, Prometheus in 2093, Alien Covenant in 2104, Alien in 2122, and Aliens in 2179 (57 years after Alien). Alien 3 follows Aliens, but no timeframe is given other than that it takes place not long afterwards (most likely days or even hours later). Alien Resurrection takes place 200 years after Alien 3, so the year in that movie is about 2380.

There had been talks of a fifth Alien movie for years, with alternating contributions from James Cameron and Ridley Scott, but neither Cameron nor Scott were supporters of the Alien/Predator crossover. Ultimately, the project was shelved when the studio opted to make the AVP movies first. After the disappointing box office from AVPR: Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem, however, the studio shelved the AVP series to go back to the original plans for the Alien franchise, bringing back Scott as director.

The humanoid at the beginning of the movie is an Engineer, a member of an ancient race. While standing next to the top of a waterfall, he opens a small container of a moving black liquid and consumes it, as a large spaceship departs in the skies above him. After doing so, he retches and his body begins to disintegrate. Both he and the container fall into the waterfall, where his DNA is shown being released and dispersed into the water. Viewers may conclude that the scene is meant to show an Engineer sacrificing his life to create or modify life on that planet. Whether his sacrifice was an accident or an intentional act is unknown. In an extended scene on the DVD and Blu-ray disc editions, it shows another Engineer hand the container with the liquid to the one who sacrifices himself, suggesting that it might have been a ritualistic sacrifice or possibly a forced sacrifice.

It is likely to be Earth (in the distant past) as it looks very much like Earth and one of the main themes in the film is that the Engineers created humanity, but there is no absolute proof it was Earth.

The paintings were made by humans thousands of years ago, inspired by the god-like Engineers who visited them from the stars at intervals throughout Earth's history. Elizabeth Shaw interprets the paintings as an invitation to seek out the Engineers, a simple constellation map that humanity could use once they reached a level of intelligence and technology. However, it is entirely possible that Shaw misinterpreted this and that the paintings may have actually been a warning about the Engineers. This draws some similarities to the beginning of Alien, where the crew of the Nostromo initially believes a signal to be a distress call only for it to actually be a warning.

Most likely, he does it because Weyland told him to "try harder". Weyland wants to know what the fluid can do, hoping that it could have some kind of "fountain of youth" properties. David goes to Holloway and asks him how far he is willing to go to find his answers. Holloway replies he would do whatever it takes, so David takes this as an invitation to experiment with the liquid on Holloway. David probably chooses Holloway to experiment on for several reasons. First, Holloway is probably the least needed member of the crew. He brings no apparent skills or talents to the expedition. Second, Holloway has been consistently insulting and hostile to David throughout the voyage. Not to mention, the crew has made the most significant find in human history and Holloway is upset that he didn't get to speak with them. David seems annoyed that Holloway is seemingly ungrateful for the discovery they have made. So, David decides to use Holloway to make a new discovery; what the black liquid does. We are told that David, as a robot, has no emotions, but his behavior throughout the voyage belies this notion.

According to the Corporate Timeline in the viral marketing website, Peter Weyland [was] born in Mumbai, India, on October 1st, 1990, to an Oxford-educated Professor of Comparative Mythology and a self-taught engineer. That makes him 103 years old in the film.

Prometheus and the Alien series do not acknowledge AVP as canon. But with a little unofficial speculation one can tie it all together: Charles Weyland is a character from AVP: Alien vs. Predator. He was the original founder of Weyland Corporation and Bishop (from Aliens and Alien 3) is modeled on his likeness long after his death. Prometheus is considered by both Ridley Scott and the film's producers to be the first film in the Alien series. In this film, Peter Weyland is the CEO of Weyland Corporation (most likely re-establishing the company he inherited from Charles'), Bishop being an android built by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation later on. Bishop II claims to be the man who designed the Bishop Android. It's been a long-standing debate among fans whether Bishop II is telling the truth about this or if he's actually an Android himself, after all, his name is never mentioned in the film. Even if he's telling the truth, then he may simply be an employee of Weyland-Yutani and not related to Peter Weyland at all. In some complementary works to the Alien, "Bishop II" is referred to as Michael Weyland, so if that's the case he could be a great-nephew of Peter Weyland's, but as Peter Weyland mentioned he didn't have any sons, unless he had daughters who kept his name, Michael Weyland would likely not be a direct descendant.

Most likely, he believed he knew his way back to the exit and simply got lost. As he and Milburne left the area in a panicked state, they may have made at least one wrong turn. By the time Fifield and Milburn realized their mistake, a static storm was coming in and the rest of the team was in evacuation mode, which meant that they could not catch up with them since Shaw didn't realize that they had been left behind. It is also possible that the static storm could have affected their mapping receivers, much as it did aboard the Prometheus.

Millburn is a biologist. He's interested in lifeforms and the creatures seemed harmless to him. His discovering a new alien species probably outweighed his judgement or his fear. He might have expected the curious-looking creature to hold still or, at worst, run off, since at that point he had no real reason to believe it was hostile. A real-world analogy of this incident is with the Australian wildlife expert Steve Irwin who would regularly touch and pet wild and even dangerous animals such as snakes, sharks and crocodiles, and was killed by a stingray as he was filming a documentary. There is also a deleted scene which may help explain Millburn's actions; in it, the group come across some worm-like creatures in the dirt. Millburn gets extremely excited at the discovery of new life. He immediately runs over to them and starts picking them up and talking to them. He gave no thought to the fact that these creatures may possibly be dangerous. While clearly nervous with the snake creature, it appears he just couldn't help himself from interacting with a new life form.

The film suggests that the mysterious black liquid in the canisters in the alien ship mutate any living organism it comes into contact with. There were some earthworms in the chamber where the canisters were stored and once the canisters leaked, they presumably mutated the worms into the snake-like creatures.

According to Dr. Anil Biltoo, one of the linguists who helped create the Engineer language, David tells the Engineer "This man (referring to Weyland) is seeking more life. He believes you can give it to him." Biltoo also revealed that there was originally more of a conversation between David and the Engineer, but it was reduced to one line. This scene is available in the special features on the DVD and Blu-ray disc releases.

Other structures, the same as where the Space Jockey/Engineer's ship is concealed, can been seen as they land in the Prometheus on LV-223. David also manages to interact with the ship and its navigation system, making it possible that he was able to view the location of other ships. David can also read the writing of the engineers, which may include information about the other ships.

It's never revealed whether or not Vickers is an android, though there is no specific purpose for her being one in the film. Janek casually asks her if she's an android, but this was most likely to prompt her into having sex with him because she was cold and aloof. Some viewers conclude that Vickers is not an android and cite such evidence as (1) she is housed in a separate luxury module with life support (which an android would not need), (2) she spent the journey in cryostasis whereas the android David did not, (3) she was seen doing push-ups in her first scene whereas androids would not require exercises (4) she had sex with Janek, (5) she has strong emotions such as anger, panic, frustration, and exhaustion, as when she displays jealousy at Weyland's remark that David is like a "son" to him and when she screams "No No No!" just before she is crushed by the falling ship, (6) she refers to Peter Weyland as "Father", whereas David does not, and (7) as she evacuates the Prometheus, she is seen frantically putting on the space suit that will supply her with oxygen, which androids do not require.

Others conclude that she may be an android and base it on evidence such as (1) she calls Weyland "Father" but shows little emotion at his death (though it is made clear their strained relationship is one of resentment), (2) the disparity between her age and his (Weyland would have been in his 60s when she was born though men have been known to father children into old age), (3) she pushes David against the wall with ease (though she is seen doing push-ups in her first scene and is clearly physically fit), (4) the surgery-module in her escape pod was calibrated to only perform surgery on males, suggesting that she doesn't need medical assistance (though the pod was obviously there for her father, not her), and (5) androids can be programmed to act human and to eat human food, as did Ash in Alien and Call in Alien: Resurrection.

Alternatively, Vickers could have been programmed in a similar manner to Rachel from Ridley Scott's other science fiction film Blade Runner—designed to pursue a particular agenda but programmed with false memories in order so that she believes she is human. However, there appears to be no narrative reason for doing this and since she is never actually revealed to be an android throughout the entirety of the film, even after her death, it is doubtful she was one.

The med-pod was not for the crew's use. It was kept in the private luxury suite/lifeboat that Meredith Vickers travelled in, and was there presumably for Peter Weyland's use alone. Vickers specifically told Shaw not to touch it and, during their conversation, it is made clear that the med-pod was very expensive and was one of only a few that were made. As Weyland was an old man with failing health, he had good reason (and the financial means) to have one onboard that was programmed solely for his use.

With two minutes of oxygen remaining, Shaw makes her way back to Vickers' module and stabilizes the oxygen levels. She hears noises and finds that her aborted fetus has grown to immense size. David contacts her from the crashed alien ship and warns her to get out of the module because the Engineer is coming after her. The Engineer breaks into the module and tries to attack Shaw, but the huge fetus attacks him first, sending a tentacle down his throat. Shaw grabs her helmet and jumps out of the module. David contacts her again with the news that there are other ships and that he can navigate them. Shaw goes back to the Engineer's ship, finds David's head, but informs him that she doesn't want to go back to Earth but to where the Engineers came from. David agrees to take her. As Shaw and David take off from the planet, a warning message left by Shaw is heard.


Final report of the vessel Prometheus. The ship and her entire crew are gone. If you are receiving this transmission make no attempt to come to its point of origin. There is only death here now, and I am leaving it behind. It is New Year's Day, the year of our lord 2094. My name is Elizabeth Shaw, the last survivor of the Prometheus, and I am still searching.
In the final scene, back in Vickers' module, an alien-like creature is seen bursting out of the Engineer's chest.

The creature that burst out of the Engineer's chest was nicknamed "the Deacon" by the film's crew because its head resembles a deacon's pointed mitre. It was the result of the Engineers' mutagenic black liquid that mutates any living organism it comes into contact with. David infected Charlie Holloway with it, and Charlie later impregnated Elizabeth. This led to Elizabeth having an alien organism inside her womb, which was removed surgically before it killed her. The squid-like organism (nicknamed "the Trilobite") slightly resembled an alien facehugger as seen in the previous Alien films. As it matured, however, it grew to immense size and impregnated an Engineer with the "Deacon" xenomorph. This is not the first xenomorph to have been created. In the room with the large stone Engineer head, we can see a xenomorph on the mural, meaning they must have existed long ago.

No. A minor "crazy credit" appears at the end of the credits in the form of a full screen logo for the fictional Weyland Corporation with the date 11 October 2012. The 101112 site popped up with a Weyland video not previously seen (odd to have a date after the film's release date, but it possibly a plug for the Blu-ray/DVD release). The video has Weyland quoting more Nietzsche just before he walks on stage for the TED Talks video. It links to an interactive Weyland Industries timeline.

Technically yes. As Ridley Scott has stated in interviews, by the third act of the film, you begin to see Alien DNA (literally). After having sexual intercourse, Shaw is unwittingly impregnated with an organism by Holloway after he had been exposed to the black liquid. However, she has the fetus surgically removed from her uterus before it kills her. At first it appears to be similar to an Alien facehugger, though upon closer examination it is revealed to be rather squid-like (the filmmakers refered to this creature as the "trilobite"). At the end of the film, the trilobite has grown to around 9 feet in length/height and attacks the Engineer and sticks an ovipositor down his throat, essentially making the trilobite to be a much larger, earlier version of a facehugger. The very last scene of the film has a "xenomorph" type creature bursting from the Engineer's chest. It is extremely similar to the titular creatures from Alien films apart from a few key differences. The shape of the head looks more like a shark's fin, the creature's body is smoother instead of being skeleton-like, its mouth has rows of tiny, flat teeth (more omnivorous than carnivorous) and the inner "striking" jaw looks and works differently.

The reason is not explained in the movie and is left as the question that motivates Shaw to continue searching for the Engineers' home planet. An idea proposed by Ridley Scott suggests that an Engineer was sent to Earth to correct the path that humans were on. However, the humans crucified that Engineer, which history would translate to be the story of Jesus Christ. They cite the atrocities and genocides committed in the name of Christianity as the reason that the Engineers decided to destroy humanity. Other, non-religious theories include: (1) that the Engineers deemed the human race a failure or even a threat and sought to undo their work or possibly start over, (2) that the Engineers created life on Earth to be used as a breeding test ground for weapons, one of which included the development of xenomorphs, (3) that David misinterpreted the Engineers' mission such that they were not looking to destroy humanity at all.

Yes, during the film's viral marketing campaign there were a couple of videos (no shorter than 20 seconds and no longer than 4 minutes) released that give some background on a couple of key players in the story. The first is the TED Talks video. Next is "The David 8". Third is "Quiet Eye". After the release of the film, an additional video was released, "Thus Spoke Zarathustra", which appears to precede the TED Talks video.

No, Fifield's body becomes mutated by the black liquid but he shouldn't be considered a zombie. When Fifield tries to cut the snake creature off of Millburn's arm, it sprays acidic blood onto his mask. This causes Fifield to stumble and fall face-first into the black liquid that was on the ground which causes him to mutate. His body goes missing until it shows up outside the loading dock of the Prometheus. The crew go to inspect the body, seeing it in a contorted state. Fifield's body stands up, revealing a twisted, mutated head and with superhuman agility, strength and aggression and he begins to kill the crew until finally being run over and torched. It's entirely possible this is what would have happened to Holloway if he didn't get Vickers to kill him.

Apparently so. the Space Jockey's derelict ship is of the same design as the ship found in this film. The pilot's seat (in which the dead Space Jockey was found lying) that looks like a cannon is identical to the pilot seat into which the Engineer climbs. Lastly, the space suits the Engineers wear look identical to the appearance of the Space Jockey (the suits and helmets look like bone, which led Dallas to assume such, "Looks like it's been dead a long time, fossilized. Looks like it's growing out of the chair."). It's possible that when Alien was made in 1979, the Space Jockey was supposed to be a more exotic alien species, then Ridley Scott and the writers decided to retcon this for Prometheus and alter them to look more humanoid as they were the creators of humanity.

No, the ship in this movie was found (and later crashed) on the planet LV-223 whereas the derelict ship in Alien was found on LV-426. However, LV-223 and LV-426 are both in the same star system, Zeta Reticuli. Since the remains of the Engineer found in Prometheus were carbon-dated as some 2,000 years old and Dallas states that the Space Jockey was there so long it was fossilized. A possible explanation is that both ships were docked on LV-223 when the initial alien outbreak took place 2,000 years earlier and that Derelict-223 didn't make it off the planet whereas Derelict-426 did. However, it later crashed on LV-426 where it was found by the crew of the Nostromo. Confirmation that the ship crashed on LV-426 prior to the events in Prometheus is in the special features on the Prometheus Blu-ray disc in the Peter Weyland files. It mentions that Weyland's company used long range scans of the area of LV-223 and found a signal coming from LV-426, which is in the same system. This will likely be the same signal the Nostromo crew picked up 30 years later, and how the Company were aware of it beforehand. Other than Weyland, David was the only one that knew about it but was not supposed to reveal the location until "the time is right." Because of this, it wasn't until Alien that Weyland Corporation was able to send a crew to LV-426 with the Ash android to bring back the alien life form.

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