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Prometheus (2012) Poster

(I) (2012)

Trivia

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Composer Marc Streitenfeld had the orchestra play his compositions backwards, and then digitally reversed the compositions for the final film. This made the music sound unusual and unsettling, which he felt was right for the film.
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During production, Ridley Scott kept the use of computer-generated imagery as low as possible, using CGI mainly in space scenes; Scott recalled advice Visual Effects Supervisor Douglas Trumbull gave him on the set of Blade Runner (1982): "If you can do it live, do it live", and also claimed that practical visual effects were more cost-effective than digital visual effects.
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Designer H.R. Giger, who worked on the original design of the Xenomorph from Alien (1979), was brought in to assist in reverse-engineering the design of the Aliens in the film. Giger died of fall-related injuries in 2014, making this the last movie related to the Alien franchise that he worked on.
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Ridley Scott named the film "Prometheus", seeing the name aptly fit the film's themes: "It's the story of creation; the gods and the man who stood against them." In Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus was an immortal servant of the gods, who stole and gave to mankind the gift of God fire, an immeasurable benefit that changed the human race forever (for better and worse). It made mankind dangerous to the gods.
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The "beginning of time" sequence that opens the film was shot in Iceland. The whole shoot took two weeks to complete.
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Ridley Scott suggested that an Engineer was sent to Earth to stop humanity's increasing aggression, but was crucified; the implication being that it was Jesus Christ. He felt though that this would be too obvious a religious allegory for the film.
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Ridley Scott decided against featuring Xenomorphs (the titular Alien of the film series) in the film, as "the sequels squeezed him dry, he did very well... and no way am I going back there." Instead, this being an indirect prequel to Alien (1979), he decided to feature a Xenomorph ancestor/parent.
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Many people believe that the squid-like alien offspring, that attacks the engineer, is a Giant Facehugger. It is in fact, a new type of alien, called a Trilobite. One of three new types named Hammerpede, Trilobite, and Deacon.
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In one of the screenplay drafts for Alien (1979), there was a sex scene between Ripley and Dallas, to show how crew members would engage in casual sex during long space travels, simply to fulfill their needs. Ridley Scott never filmed the scene, but the idea was reused for this film in the exchange between Vickers and Janek.
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To prepare for his role as the android David, Michael Fassbender watched Blade Runner (1982) (another Ridley Scott film), The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), The Servant (1963) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962) (mentioned by Peter Weyland). Fassbender also studied Olympic diver Greg Louganis, drawing inspiration from Louganis's physicality.
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The Orrery was one of the most complex visual effects, containing eighty to one hundred million polygons and taking several weeks to render as a single, complete shot.
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The androids' names in the Alien films follow an alphabetical pattern: in Alien (1979) it's Ash, in Aliens (1986) and Alien³ (1992) it's Bishop, in Alien: Resurrection (1997) it's Call and in this film it's David.
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Charlize Theron was originally cast as Elizabeth Shaw, but had to decline the role due to scheduling conflicts. Later, another change in schedule freed Theron to do the film, thus allowing her to take the role of Meredith Vickers, as Noomi Rapace had already taken the role of Shaw.
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Charlize Theron found herself struggling during her action scenes, due to her smoking habit, particularly the segments that required her to run through sand in boots weighing thirty pounds (fourteen kilograms).
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While Ridley Scott suggested that the cast could have slept and effectively "lived" on the Prometheus interior set during initial filming, this didn't happen due to health and safety precautions.
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According to Ridley Scott, the spherical helmets were inspired by a Steve Jobs story where he built an office entirely out of industrial-strength glass: "If I'm in 2083 and I'm going into space, I want something where I have 360 vision. By then, glass will be light and you won't be able to break it with a bullet."
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Prior to the film's release, Ridley Scott said that he was open to the possibility of an extended Director's Cut, similar to several of his films, for which he created altered versions. There were also previews of several omitted scenes that would clear up some of the questions raised in the theatrical version. However, just before the DVD and Blu-ray release, Scott indicated that he declined the studio's offer that would allow him to make a longer version, as he considers the theatrical version his preferred cut of the movie. Instead, thirty minutes of deleted scenes were included on the home video release of the film. These include several moments seen in the trailers, but not present in the film - most notably, the mutated Fifield attack scene was intended to be much longer and set at a different point in the film (happening just as Weyland, Ford, and the mercenaries head out for the structure).
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Ridley Scott instructed Charlize Theron to stand in corners and move in lurking movements, in order to accentuate Vickers's distant, enigmatic nature.
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Ridley Scott described the Engineers as "tall, elegant dark angels." Concept designers Neville Page and Carlos Huante cite Greco-Roman gods, the works of J.W. Turner (a painter whose trademark was brightness) and William Blake (a painter who employed religious symbolism), the Statue of Liberty, Michaelangelo's David, and Elvis Presley as visual influences for the design of the Engineer.
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Ann Scibelli created the sound of glistening ice forming on the stone cylinders by applying Pop Rocks (carbonated candy) to materials like wet metal and stone and then spraying the materials with water to produce the "popping, cracking" sound.
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When Prometheus approaches the alien solar system, it's mentioned that it's 3.27 x 10^14 (327,000,000,000,000) kilometers from Earth. That's 34.6 light-years, or 10.4 parsecs.
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Noomi Rapace landed the role of Elizabeth when a scheduled meeting in Los Angeles with producer Michael Costigan instead led to an unexpected meeting with Ridley Scott. When Scott announced that he'd seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009) three times and was very keen to work with her, Noomi accepted the offer right away.
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To find a method of depicting the Engineer's DNA destruction, the visual effects experts carved vein-like structures from silicone and pumped black ink and oils into them, and then filmed the changes occurring over an extended period of time.
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Ridley Scott stated that he was filming "the most aggressive film he could" by not caring about MPAA ratings, having support for such bold movement from 20th Century Fox CEO Tom Rothman, who addressed Alien (1979) fans by saying that he was "very aware of their concern", and that "they can take it that the film will not be compromised either way. So if that means that the film is R, then it'll be an R. If it's PG-13, then it'll be a PG-13, but it will not be compromised." Scott shot the film with both adult-only R and more accessible PG-13 film ratings in mind, allowing the more adult content to be cut if necessary without harming the overall presentation, given the case it was asked to be cut down. Eventually, the film was rated "R for Sci-Fi violence including some intense images, and brief language", and it was released without any demanded cuts.
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According to Ridley Scott, the film's plot was inspired by Erich von Däniken's writings about ancient astronauts: "Both NASA and the Vatican agree that it is almost mathematically impossible that we can be where we are today, without there being a little help along the way. That's what we're looking at: we are talking about gods and engineers, engineers of space. Were the Aliens designed as a form of biological warfare, or biology that would go in and clean up a planet?"
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In 2002, James Cameron discussed ideas for a fifth Alien film with Ridley Scott, with the intention that Cameron would produce the film with Scott directing, and Sigourney Weaver returning to star in the lead role of Ripley. However, upon discovering that 20th Century Fox were developing the crossover film AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004), Cameron ceased all work on the project, believing that the crossover would "kill the validity of the franchise." Though Cameron went on to state that he would never again work with the Alien franchise, Scott eventually ended up reworking their idea into this film.
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An innovative viral campaign was used to promote the film, consisting of several videos depicting the near future world from the film. The first was a fake TED Talk given by Peter Weyland (played by Guy Pearce), dated 2023. Later, two different versions of a commercial promoting the David 8 android (played by Michael Fassbender) were released. These viral videos were designed by Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof themselves, and were directed by Scott's son, Luke Scott.
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The three-triangle logo of the Weyland corporation (while visually similar to that of the actual Weinstein Group) is actually derived from a pattern appearing on the wall in the background of an early Ron Cobb production painting of the "Space Jockey" for the original Alien (1979) film. The logo can be seen as part of David's fingerprint.
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When Prometheus approaches the landing zone, straight marks on the ground can be seen which are very similar to the Nazca lines located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. The Nazca lines are considered by few rogue scientists/archaeologists to be runways of an ancient airfield used by extraterrestrials. This idea was popularized by Swiss author, Erich von Däniken, and is generally regarded as pseudo-science. One of the more prevailing and accepted theories posits that the lines were part of the religious practices of the local people. Other theories place astronomical, cosmological or topographical significance to them.
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Noomi Rapace, who plays British character Shaw, worked on-set with a dialect coach, to help her achieve the closest accent she could manage. Ironically Idris Elba, who plays Janek, is actually British but plays Janek with a Southern accent.
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Costume Designer Janty Yates gave the characters unique clothes that would represent their nature:
  • Vickers is dressed in an ice-silver silk mohair suit, which signifies her icy nature.
  • David's outfit was given finer lines to produce a more linear appearance and emphasize his robotic nature.
  • Holloway is dressed in hoods, fisherman pants, and flip-flops to look casual and relaxed.
and Janek wears a canvas-greased jacket to represent his long career at the helm of a ship.
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The scene where Vickers refuses to allow the infected crew member on board is almost exactly like the scene in Alien (1979), of which this is a prequel, where Ripley refuses to allow the crew to bring the infected Kane on-board. Including some of the same dialogue.
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Producers Walter Hill and David Giler rejoin Ridley Scott, for the first time in over thirty years, since they first collaborated on Alien (1979).
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The film was originally envisioned to be a straight-up prequel to Alien, via a script written by Jon Spaihts (who was in-demand at the time due to his previous script being on the unofficial Hollywood "black list" of best screenplays) called "Alien: Engineers". Ridley Scott then contacted Damon Lindelof for advice on the script, and was told to rein in many of the parts that made it an identifiable Alien film (including the fact that it was originally set on LV-426, the site of the Derelict Ship from the first two films) and make it an original creation. This, coupled with Spaihts supposedly constraining Scott's vision, led to Lindelof being hired to re-write the screenplay. It took another four drafts (and more than a year of pre-production time) to get the script to a point where everyone was happy with it, and even then, the cast and crew (as evidenced by their remarks in the Blu-ray materials) seemed convinced that they were shooting a prequel that led into the original film.
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In the sequence where a holographic Peter Weyland addresses the crew of the Prometheus, the musical underscore heard quotes the original theme to Alien (1979) written by Jerry Goldsmith but never used in the 1979 film.
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This is not Ian Whyte's (who plays the Last Engineer) only attachment to the Alien (1979) films. Whyte also played the Predators in AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007).
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The clip David watches showing a man extinguishing a lit match with his fingertips and saying, "The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.", features Peter O'Toole and comes from Lawrence of Arabia (1962).
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Was originally conceived as a prequel to Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), but Scott announced his decision to turn it into an original film with Noomi Rapace (who was already set to star) still in the cast as one of five main characters. Some time later it was confirmed that while the movie would take place in the same universe as Alien and greatly reference that movie, it would mostly be an original movie and not a direct prequel.
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Ridley Scott approached SOAS, University of London, in 2011 to find experts who could help create a new language for the film. Anil Biltoo from SOAS' Language Centre worked to create the language, as well as the alien script, which can be seen throughout. Anil Biltoo can be seen briefly in a scene with Michael Fassbender. Other SOAS staff members appear briefly and are credited, including Wambui Kunya, Sonam Dugdak, Shin-Ichiro Okajima, Kay Rienjang, Zed Sevcikova, and Reynir Thor Eggertsson.
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Ridley Scott initially wanted Max von Sydow for the role of Peter Weyland. However, Scott and Damon Lindelof conceived of a scene in which David the android (Michael Fassbender) would interface with Weyland while in hypersleep, and that Weyland's dream would reflect his looks as a younger man since he is obsessed with immortality. Though the scene was cut from the script and never filmed, Guy Pearce had already been cast in the role and thus underwent extensive make-up to appear elderly. Fortunately, Pearce was also allowed to appear as the younger Peter Weyland giving a TED Talk in one of the promotional clips of the movie. A longer version of this clip is available as a bonus feature on the home theater edition.
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The first shot of the cave paintings at the beginning of the film, which showed a horse in motion, originate from the Chauvet Cave in the South of France, which was the subject of the Werner Herzog documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010), also shot in 3-D.
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The Hammerpede's design was inspired by translucent sea creatures with visible arteries/veins/organs and cobras.
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As mentioned in the film, the original Prometheus was a character from Greek mythology. He was a Titan (an immortal older god), who gave the gift of gods fire to human beings. Prometheus was punished for this by being bound to a rock on Kaukasus, where each day an eagle, the emblem of Zeus, was sent to feed on his liver, only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day. In some stories, Prometheus is freed at last by the hero Heracles (Hercules) as one of his Twelve Tasks. Among the ancient Greeks, Prometheus was venerated as a deity. Prometheus may derive from the Greek for "forethinker", or the Proto-Indo-European for "thief", Prometheus also tricked the gods, which is of relevance to this film.
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For the scene of the Prometheus' descent to the alien moon LV-223, Visual Effects Art Director Steven Messing referenced NASA imagery, and aerial photographs of locations in Iceland and Wadi Rum. Messing painted over these images, and combined them with 3-D set extensions, to create a realistic altered landscape.
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Early drafts of the script had a scene, on a colony on Mars, where Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) had his office. Though concept art was completed, the scene was removed for pacing reasons, and never filmed.
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The film takes place in 2089 and 2093.
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The make-up process to age Guy Pearce took five hours to apply and an hour to remove it.
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The hologram star map scene was inspired by a painting "A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery." by English painter Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-1797).
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When Janek talks with Vickers, he mentions that his accordion was property of Stephen Stills. Stills is a singer, former member of Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and composer of "Love the One You're With", that Janek sings often times.
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When Shaw is discussing her finds around the world in the conference, the words "Eilean a' Cheo" can be seen in the background. This means "The Island of Mist" in Scottish Gaelic, and is a nickname for the Isle of Skye, properly called "An t-Eilean Sgitheanach."
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Ridley Scott was determined from the outset to have Michael Fassbender play the part of David despite his agents asking too high a price as his fee.
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During the on-location segment shoot in Iceland (the movie's opening sequence), Noomi Rapace, who was partly raised there, was able to visit her family.
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Fifield's bright red mohawk hairstyle was designed by Sean Harris and Ridley Scott, based on Scott's sketch of a man with a "severe haircut".
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Ironically, back in 1979, Ridley Scott fought bitterly with the 20th Century Fox executives over including the space jockey in Alien (1979). The irony is that this very character forms the nucleus of the plot to Prometheus (2012) and its subsequent sequels.
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Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski convinced Ridley Scott that it would be possible to shoot the film in 3-D, with the same ease and efficiency of typical filming. 3-D company 3ality Technica provided some of the rigs and equipment, to facilitate 3-D filming, and trained the film's crew in their proper operation. Since 3-D films need high lighting levels on-set, the traditional dark shadowy atmosphere of the Alien films was added in post-production through grading processes, while the 3-D equipment was based on post-Avatar (2009) technology.
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Marks Ridley Scott's first venture in 3-D filmmaking, and his third science fiction movie, after Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982).
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It took the CEO of the company, Tom Rothman, to name the film Prometheus, because the filmmakers couldn't decide on what title to use (with their previous suggestion being "Paradise"). "Alien: Paradise" was then suggested as the title of the sequel, before it was re-titled to Alien: Covenant (2017).
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According to Ridley Scott, the decision to film in 3D added $10 million to the film's budget.
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The original plan for exterior shooting was to film in Morocco but this was moved to Iceland as the Arab Spring uprisings in North African Arab nations made things unpredictable.
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Charlie Holloway says the same line, in the same manner as Corporal Dwayne Hicks in Aliens (1986). Prometheus: "David, we are leaving!" In Aliens: "Drake, we are leaving!"
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The Vatican's official newspaper L'osservatore Romano gave a negative review of this film saying that it "mishandles the delicate questions raised by... the battle eternal between good and evil."
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Gemma Arterton, Carey Mulligan, Olivia Wilde, Anne Hathaway, Abbie Cornish, and Natalie Portman were considered for the role of Elizabeth Shaw.
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Damon Lindelof's contributions to the script took approximately eight months.
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Logan Marshall-Green described his role of Charlie Holloway as "an ESPN X-Games (1994) scientist" who leaps before he looks.
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Michelle Yeoh and Angelina Jolie were originally considered for the role of Meredith Vickers.
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The Orion constellation can be seen in the holographic star chart, during the explanation of Shaw and Holloway about Engineers. It appears to the left of Shaw.
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The myth of Prometheus is a Creation myth: Prometheus shaped man from mud and Athena breathed life into him.
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One of the viral videos has various names cycling through over the image of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, including, for a split second, Lisbeth. This was the name of Noomi Rapace's character in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011).
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The 15th highest grossing film of 2012.
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The film was originally to be called "Paradise" (December 2010).
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Noomi Rapace wasn't yet born when Alien (1979) was released.
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James Franco was considered for the role of Holloway. He later played Captain Branson in the sequel, Alien: Covenant.
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Ridley Scott originally chose Carl Rinsch to direct, something Fox objected strongly to. They were only prepared to move forward with the project with Scott at the helm.
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Elizabeth Shaw is also the name of the Third Doctor's scientific assistant in Season 7 of Doctor Who (1963). Ridley Scott was offered the chance of designing the Daleks, but was unavailable.
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Patrick Wilson, playing Elizabeth Shaw's father, is only six years older than Noomi Rapace.
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Principle photography took 82 days and involved the use of eight sound stages at Pinewood Studios outside London. Two weeks of filming took place in Iceland and three months of further interior shooting occurred in Alicante, Spain.
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Idris Elba has been called a master of American accents. His Stringer Bell from The Wire was so specific, some refused to believe he was actually a Brit. In this movie, however, his southern accent is very non-specific with a little bit of Texas, Tennessee, and possibly Alabama. This is either because of the Smokey and the Bandit Effect, where Jackie Gleason did the Dick VanDyke equivalent of a southern accent, or it may just be that in the future, the south melds into one amorphous region.
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The film contains approximately 1,300 digital visual effects shots.
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This was the first Alien film to be Specially Formatted in IMAX.
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Ever since the 1990's, there was been two Alien movies every decade. This includes Alien3 (1992) and Alien: Resurrection (1997), moving on to AVP (2004) and AVP: Requiem (2008), and ending with Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017). That also means within every decade, the year of release ended with either 2 or 7 (with the exception of AVP).
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There is an alternate and extended version of mutant-Fifield's violent attack in the cargo bay where it shows the Black Liquid has mutated him into a human-Xenomorph hybrid instead of transforming him into a Neanderthal-like creature.
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Max von Sydow and Rutger Hauer were considered for the role of Weyland, until the story requirements (temporarily) changed, and Guy Pearce was subsequently cast.
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The first film to feature two actors who played Charlotte Brontë's creation of Edward Rochester in two different literary adaptations involving the same character in the same cast. Rafe Spall played Edward Rochester in Wide Sargasso Sea (2006) and Michael Fassbender played the same role in Jane Eyre (2011).
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The effect with the shifting slime on the vases was accomplished with a mixture of corn oil and alcohol placed on a speaker hidden inside, which produced the movement in the fluid.
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At about 10 minutes David's ability with a basketball harks back to Ripley's in Alien3.
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At 06:50 we see that Dr. Holland's flashlight has three lenses set as a triangle, much like the 3-beam lasers used by the Predators to tag their targets.
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Numerous white Stelton vacuum jugs appear in various interior shots of the Prometheus ship, including the ship's lab and Shaw's bedroom.
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Elizabeth Shaw was originally named Elizabeth Watts, but was renamed due to fear of confusion for Fox's President of Production, Emma Watts.
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Quite a few of the actors in this movie have also appeared in movies based on comic books. Michael Fassbender appears in the X-Men franchise, Charlize Theron was in Hancock (2008) and Æon Flux (2005), Idris Elba has been in the Thor films and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011), Guy Pearce was in Iron Man Three (2013), Patrick Wilson was in Watchmen (2009), and Benedict Wong was in Kick-Ass 2 (2013) and Doctor Strange (2016).
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Ben Foster was rumored for a role.
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The subtitle of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" is "The Modern Prometheus".
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Rafe Spall later appeared in The World's End (2013) which made reference to the Alien franchise. It also features humans revealed to be androids, one of which was Martin Freeman, who shares the role of Bilbo Baggins with Ian Holm from the original Alien (1979).
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At 1:17:40 Dr Shaw makes the first reference to the edifice as a "pyramid" which also was the setting for much of the action in Alien vs Predator.
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This is the second movie Michael Fassbender has worked on that has a main character named Shaw, the other was X: First Class (2011).
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Unlike other films in the Alien franchise, Prometheus was the first film to be rated 14A in Canada.
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Michael Fassbender also appears in X: First Class (2011) as Magneto, a role previously played by Ian McKellen. McKellen also appeared in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), opposite Ian Holm, who played Ash in the original Alien (1979).
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Charlize Theron and Patrick Wilson previously appeared in Young Adult (2011). However, they don't share any scenes in this film.
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Later in the film, David asks Shaw if all people wish one time or another that their parents are dead, to which Shaw vehemently says is impossible. However, upon returning to Vickers' escape pod following the crash of the Engineer ship, Shaw is confronted by the Engineer who attempts to kill her and she sends her bizarre offspring after him to destroy him, screaming the words 'DIE!'. Since the Engineers are the supposed parents of the human race, Shaw is killing her race's creator in that scene.
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Kafka wrote a short story called Prometheus.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

For the scene where Vickers sets an infected Holloway on fire, Charlize Theron wielded a real flamethrower emitting real fire. She was excited to perform the scene when reading the script, but began to have second thoughts upon realizing she'd actually be setting a stuntman on fire. She ultimately agreed to perform the stunt, but the shot of her appearing shocked while setting him on fire was her natural reaction. The shot was kept in the film, because the filmmakers thought that the break in character was a good reaction for the normally icy, emotionless, Vickers.
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Sound Designer Ann Scibelli recorded sounds of her pet parrot over several weeks. The vocalizations were then used in the film as beeps, alarms, and the cries of Shaw's alien offspring.
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During the scene in which the Hammerpede erupts from Millburn's corpse, Ridley Scott did not inform Kate Dickie about what was to occur in the scene, and thus her screaming reaction was real. This trick for authenticity went one step further than what Scott did during the filming of the infamous chestburster scene from Alien (1979), where the cast knew that something would come out of the body, but not that they would be sprayed in blood.
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When Elizabeth Shaw is having a C-Section to remove the alien from her body, the alien was wrapped in a condom filled with fake blood so that when it was pulled from her body, the condom could be punctured and explode violently.
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In May 7, 2012, Guillermo del Toro declared that his long proposed adaptation for "At the Mountains of Madness" was indefinitely delayed, as he felt Ridley Scott's film was extremely similar to the approach he penned for H.P. Lovecraft's novella, even to the point of having "scenes that would be almost identical. Both movies seem to share identical set pieces, and the exact same big revelation at the end."
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Ridley Scott repeatedly told the crew not to tell the actors certain things or to let them see storyboards to procure more genuine responses, notably in the scene where a snake-like creature bursts from the dead Millburn's mouth; the actors were unaware that that was going to happen, and Kate Dickie's shriek of surprise is quite real.
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Shaw's final message at the end of the film closely mirrors that of Ripley's final log entry at the end of Alien (1979). Both messages include indication of being a "final log entry", description of the fates of the ships' respective crews, and identifying themselves as the "last surviving crew member of the (Nostromo/Prometheus)."
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The final Alien-esque creature that bursts from the Engineer's body was nicknamed "Deacon" due to its pointed head, which gave it the appearance of a Catholic mitre.
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The film was originally intended to be a true prequel to Alien (1979), and the first draft of Jon Spaihts's original script (titled 'Alien: Engineers') included far more elements from the Alien franchise. For instance, it would have taken place on LV-426, the original planetoid from 'Alien', which contains a mysterious pyramid. It has cannisters which contain Facehuggers, and one of them 'impregnates' Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green). Unaware of what happened, he returns to Prometheus, and an Alien bursts from his chest while he is making love with Shaw (Noomi Rapace). David (Michael Fassbender) is a much more malicious character in this draft, hating his human makers to the point where he even plans to help the Engineers kill them all. Shaw tries to stop him, but David ties her down, and releases a Facehugger upon her, impregnating her with an Alien as well. The creature is surgically removed before it can burst through her chest, but it is ejected from the medical device, and while Shaw recovers over several hours, the creature grows and starts killing people. Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) only appears in the beginning, and doesn't come along. His obsession is not with eternal life, but with a desire to retrieve the Engineers' profitable terraforming technology. Finally, Shaw was to battle with the creature that emerges from the dead Engineer, and the movie was to end on a more ambiguous note, with Shaw and the remains of David being stranded on the planet. The mutagenic black compound which turns Fifield (Sean Harris) into a raging monster, as well as David's demise were all part of Spaihts' original treatment. According to Spaihts, Fox studio executives requested that the recognizable elements were toned down in order to make the film more stand alone and have its own mythology, so major re-writes were done by Damon Lindelof.
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We first meet the character of David as he is meandering around the ship, while the rest of the crew is in cryosleep. This is to quietly imply to the audience he is in fact an android, without outright saying it just yet. Several years earlier, Lance Henriksen admitted during an interview about the film Aliens (1986) that James Cameron was considering introducing the character of Bishop in a similar way, and wanted to have Bishop working throughout the Sulaco, while the Marines were in cryosleep. This idea was scrapped, and Cameron decided to film the famous knife trick scene instead, as a way to reveal to the audience that Bishop was an android.
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The moon's name in the film (LV223) is arguably a reference to the the bible verse Leviticus 22:3 - "Say to them, 'If any man among all your descendants throughout your generations approaches the holy gifts which the sons of Israel dedicate to the LORD, while he has an uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from before Me; I am the LORD.'" (New American Standard Bible). This foreshadows the events of the film, including the fates of the crew.
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David idolizes British World War I hero T.E. Lawrence. In World War I, the British Army, including Lawrence, used a machine gun called the Vickers. Also, Peter Weyland, who quotes Lawrence of Arabia (1962), is the inventor and synthetic father of David, but also the biological father of Meredith Vickers.
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There is a scene where characters discuss whether or not they should bring weapons to a scientific expedition. The same happened in AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004), which similarly focused on scientists discovering that extraterrestrial life visited ancient Earth. Both films also contain two separate alien species hostile to the humans; they feature attempts by the protagonists to stop one of the species from reaching Earth, and end with a hybrid creature bursting through the chest of one of the hostile aliens.
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At 1:41:25 the Engineer is seated in his command chair just as the crew of "Alien" will find him.
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In the scene where Peter Weyland is being awakened from hibernation, a prop in the background is an ACL TOP coagulation analyzer.
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Early in the film, Shaw comments on the Pauline Med-Pod Vickers has in her quarters. When asked why she needs it, Vickers avoids the question. Later, when Shaw runs to the Med-Pod to have the alien removed from her abdomen, she tells the computer to perform a C-section (Cesarean section). The computer explains that it cannot because it is programmed for the male anatomy. This not only feeds into the theory that Vickers might be an android (like David, who also calls Peter Weyland "Father" in "Alien: Covenant"), but also hints at the fact that Weyland is on the ship, and the Med-Pod is for him.
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At 1:17:00 as Holloway asks Vickers to kill him he repeats "Do it. Do it. Do it." echoing Dallas' command to the creature in the original Predator.
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At 1:30:39 a close up of Dr. Shaw's abdomen shows the post surgical staples but the incision itself has completely healed and disappeared.
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At 1:36:59 the schematic of a ship is that of the ship discovered by the crew in the original Alien.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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