Recently I watched a lengthy DVD special feature called Furious Gods: Making Prometheus from the 4-disc Blu-ray and felt the need to share what I learned for anyone who enjoyed the movie as much as I did.
If you don’t have to time to watch Furious Gods, just know that Ridley Scott is a brilliant visual director and artist who, like Tarantino and del Toro, is not a huge fan of green screen filmmaking.
Also, he changes his mind every three seconds. (Applicants to work with him have to be patient and on their toes at all times, this is called “The Ridley Factor”).
Here are 10 interesting facts about the sci-fi prequel:
1. Before Ridley Scott settled on “Prometheus,” the script was labelled “Untitled Alien Prequel.” A variety of other names were tried out including Alien Engineers, Alien Genesis, Alien Tomb of the Gods, Alien: Origins, LV-426, and Paradise.
2. In early drafts, Shaw (Noomi Rapace) was called “Watts,” and the ship Prometheus was known as “Magellan”
3. The famed alien abortion scene featured a shot of Rapace simply “belly dancing” while a later one was of a body mold of her torso. The tentacles moved using around 30 tiny internal cables
4. Two possibilities were filmed for Fifield’s transformation scene in the hangar bay, one using the actor in makeup and the other with CG, giving him a more monstrous appearance. Ultimately, Scott liked the original with Sean Harris better.
5. With the exception of the outdoor shots (Iceland), most of what you see in the movie was built in England on the old James Bond stage.
6. The Last Engineer was played by 7’1″ actor/stuntman Ian Whyte
7. The space helmets worn by the crew would oftentimes not come off when the actors wanted. Charlize Theron (Vickers) and Rapace both struggled heavily with them.
8. Theron was very hesitant and not thrilled with having to repeatedly light a stuntman (in a specialized, flame retardant suit) on fire for the infected Holloway hangar scene.
9. Jon Spaihts wrote a scene where an alien intruder burst out of Holloway’s chest and/or back during sex with Shaw, which was later cut out for its lack of subtlety.
10. Scenes that were created using CG:
- The disintegration of the Engineer in the opening sequence
- Mountains and lightning digitally added during Prometheus’ landing on LV-223
- Entire exterior shot of Janek suicide-crashing Prometheus into the Derelict ship
- Derelict crashing/rolling towards Vickers and Shaw
- Adult Trilobite consuming the Last Engineer
- The “Hammerpede” Millburn and Fifield encounter (only the “face” was CG)
- Shots of the ship, planet, and sky from space