Original Release: June 01, 2012 (United Kingdom)
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Written by: Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof
Produced by: David Giler, Walter Hill, Ridley Scott
Running Time: 124 minutes
Box Office: N/A
A team of explorers (Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall Green, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba) discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race, test their physical and mental limits and strand them on a distant world, where they will discover the answers to our most profound questions and to life’s ultimate mystery.
Cast & CharactersNoomi Rapace (Elizabeth Shaw), Michael Fassbender (David), Charlize Theron (Meredith Vickers), Idris Elba (Janek), Guy Pearce (Peter Weyland), Logan Marshall-Green (Charlie Holloway), Sean Harris (Fifield), Rafe Spall (Millburn), Emun Elliott (Chance), Benedict Wong (Ravel), Kate Dickie (Ford)
Production Notes"Prometheus" began development in the early 2000s as a fifth entry in the Alien franchise, with both Ridley Scott and director James Cameron developing ideas for a film that would serve as a prequel to Scott's 1979 science fiction horror film "Alien". By 2003, the project was sidelined by the development of Alien vs. Predator, and remained dormant until 2009 when Scott again showed interest. A script by Jon Spaihts acted as a prequel to the events of the Alien films, but Scott opted for a different direction to avoid repeating cues from those films. In late 2010, he brought Damon Lindelof onto the project to rewrite Spaihts' script, and together they developed a separate story that precedes the story of "Alien" but is not directly connected to that franchise. According to Scott, though the film shares "strands of Alien's DNA, so to speak", and takes place in the same universe, Prometheus will explore its own mythology and ideas.
For the title character, Elizabeth Shaw, Damon Lindelof felt it was important that she be distinct from Alien's Ripley, to avoid inevitable comparisons between the two female leads. In Spaihts' draft, Shaw was directly responsible for the events of the plot because of her desire to seek out potentially dangerous knowledge. Spaihts originated the idea that David, the android, is like humans, but does not want to be anything like them, eschewing a common theme in "robotic storytelling" such as Blade Runner. He also developed the theme that while the human crew are searching for their creators, David is already among them. Scott liked these ideas and had them explored further in Lindelof's rewrite. Lindelof spent approximately eight months developing the script, finishing in March 2011, as filming began. Actresses Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Gemma Arterton, Carey Mulligan, and Abbie Cornish, were all considered for the role during development. Noomi Rapace was invited by Ridley Scott after he had seen "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and was soon after offered the lead. Rapace described Shaw as a believer "in God" with a "very strong faith", but that "things happen and she changes into more of a warrior." To aid her method acting she developed a complete backstory for Shaw in her head, and worked with a dialect coach to help achieve an appropriate British accent, she also had her make-up artist apply extra blood and sweat during filming to more accurately portray her character. Rapace noted, "I was out there filming for about six months and it was super-intense, my body was in so much pain sometimes but it was absolutely amazing." She has dismissed comparisons to the Alien franchise's Ellen Ripley. Besides Rapace, the lead roles were cast with Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall and Kate Dickie.
Principal photography began on March 21, 2011, on an estimated $120–130 million budget. Filming was scheduled to take place over six months, but it took longer than forecast: the film was still being shot in September 2011. Filming began at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England, part of the Pinewood Studios group, where Scott used eight sound stages for filming, including the 007 Stage. Studio space was limited and the crew were forced to make the stages work for over 16 different sets, and also increase the size of the 007 stage by over 30 percent. In July, filming moved to Iceland for two weeks, commencing at the base of the active Hekla volcano in southern Iceland on July 11, 2011. Speaking about working at the base of an active volcano, Scott stated "If one is afraid of nature in this profession then it would be best to find a different job". Filming also took place at one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe, the Dettifoss waterfall in the Vatnajökull National Park in the north of Iceland. The Iceland shoot involved 160 Icelandic crew members and over 200 imported crew. Scott claimed that the Iceland filming comprised approximately fifteen minutes of footage for the film, and that the area represented the "beginning of time". Exterior shots of the alien world were shot in Iceland. In her workouts for "Prometheus," with a trainer in London, Rapace tried to cultivate an explosive power. She wanted to be like a cat, she says, nimble and powerful but still feminine. Shaw, Rapace says, is more innocent than Ripley: "She’s actually the least cracked soul I’ve ever played." In the first part of the movie, she is wide-eyed and wondering, illuminated from within by her conviction — and then, like Ripley before her, she has to battle some nasty stuff and toughen up in the process. "It was a marathon for her, this movie," says Logan Marshall-Green, who plays Holloway. At one point in the shooting, "her stunt lady really banged herself up on the leg, and Noomi went with it and really used it as a physical bruise, an internal limp. She collected these snares and snags and bruises and cuts and embraced them." Four days of the shoot were devoted to a scene that takes Elizabeth Shaw’s desire to have children and twists it into "everyone’s worst nightmare" — the surgery scene. During that week, "the reality and the scenes melted together, my whole spirit was really captured," she says. "I actually dreamt a couple of times that I was dead."
The premiere of "Prometheus" took place on May 31, 2012 in Leicester Square, London. The film was released in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2012, and in North America on June 8, 2012. "Prometheus" was considered a financial success overall. After a strong start in North America, the film failed to meet the studio's expectations, but it continued to perform strongly in other territories until the end of its theatrical run, earning $126,477,084 in North America and $276,877,385 worldwide, making it the 15th highest grossing film of 2012. Likewise, the critics responded positive but not overwhelmingly. The Hollywood Reporter called the film's visuals vivid, stunning, and magnificent on a technical level, and praised the performances of Fassbender, Rapace, and Theron, but wrote that the film "caters too much to imagined audience expectations when a little more adventurous thought might have taken it to some excitingly unsuspected destinations." Roger Ebert gave the film 4 out of 4 stars, labeling it a "seamless blend of story, special effects and pitch-perfect casting, filmed in sane, effective 3-D that doesn't distract." He also wrote that Rapace's performance "continues here the tradition of awesome feminine strength begun by Sigourney Weaver in Alien". New York Magazine wrote, that "Rapace, misused in the last (lousy) Sherlock Holmes picture, the Swedish actress is a charming English-language heroine, not too hard, not too soft, just tremulous enough to make her ultimate resourcefulness a happy surprise - although the cross she has to wear to suggest her character’s stubborn doctrinal faith is more like a cross she has to bear" and The New York Times added, that "Ms. Rapace is a fine heroine, vulnerable and determined. Her physique and features suggest a Hello Kitty version of Ms. Weaver’s Ripley, though, as in the "Dragon Tattoo" movies, her pixieishness is accompanied by superhuman endurance. This is evident, above all, in a scene of self-inflicted surgery capable of reducing a packed, rowdy theater to stunned, appalled, almost reverent silence".