My weekend was peppered with some NCAA hoops (Go 'Cuse!), some Knicks (three in a row, baby), some 21 Jump Street (a hilarious, meta action-comedy), and of course some green beer and bagels. But my mind, my thoughts, my focus was elsewhere. For the last 72 hours, I’ve been unhealthily fixated on the slew of new Prometheus content slung onto the web.
There’s been such an overabundance of visuals, dialogue, and talking points to sift through. So in an effort to piece them all together in some king of satisfyingly comprehensive way, I figured it’d be best to break them all down into three categories.
What We Saw
Much of the hype around this film is centered on the question of “is Prometheus a prequel to Alien”? As I previously stated, I believe the answer is unequivocally yes, and much of the confusion is due to cleverly crafted talking points delivered from Ridley Scott (the film's director), Damon Lindelof (the writer), and 20th Century Fox (the studio). And why not? It’s hard to make a summer film stand out, much less one possibly (definitely) linked to a once-praised but now irrelevant and mocked movie series. So I have no problem with these folks stoking the fanboy fire with vague and sometimes conflicting messages.
For those who don't know, Prometheus is a new sci-fi thriller directed by Ridley Scott. Since it first went into development, the film has been touted as Scott's return to "the genre he redefined" with films like Blade Runner and Alien. (That would be, well, Sci-Fi). The film has also been rumored to be a prequel to Scott's own Alien film. Up to this point, fans have been given very little a few leaked photos, some official photos, a poster, and lots and lots of speaking through the media (by Scott, the writer Damon Lindelof, and Fox studios).
And now, with the release of the teaser trailer, we finally get a glimpse of the actual film.
Gerard Butler will star in a Ridley Scott directed film about ex-British Army officer Simon Mann, who in 2004 tried to overthrow the president of Equatorial Guinea with a group of mercenaries. Mann was arrested in Zimbabwe, spent five years in prison there, and then taken to Guinea, where he was sentenced to 34 more years – until a presidential pardon set him free. Well, this certainly will not be the president of Equatorial Guinea’s favorite movie. Everyone knows the president of Equatorial Guine’s favorite movie is Flubber. Grade: B- [Deadline]
It’s been a decade since the book was released and almost as long since producer Scott Rudin first attempted to turn it into a movie, but, finally, an adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections is just about actually happening. If all goes as planned, it'll be an HBO series directed by Noah Baumbach and co-written with Franzen. The project is nearing a pilot order with Anthony Hopkins in talks to play the Parkinson's-addled patriarch of a troubled Midwestern family. In related news: Freedom the movie! Coming 2027! Grade: A [Deadline]
Stellan Skarsgard says Lars Von Trier has cast him as the lead in Nymphomaniac, an exploration of female sexuality from ages zero to 50. According to Skarsgard, “Lars called me and said 'Stellan, my next film will be a porno and I want you to play the lead in it.’” Also, "I want you to sit uncomfortably next to me, Kirsten Dunst–style, when I say something inappropriate while promoting it at a film festival,” Von Trier did not add. Grade: A- [HR]
“Art is never finished.” So spoke Leonardo Da Vinci and, while he probably meant it as a cover for the outrageous expense reports he was sending to the de’Medicis on the regular, it still holds true today. Hollywood, ever desperate for sure things — or at least, reasonably certain things, has gone reboot crazy, pillaging its vaults for properties or screenplays to modernize and re-monetize. Recently, a particularly fruitful crop of idea harvesting has come from the eighties, resulting in a lousy reimagining of Arthur, a potentially OK redo of Fright Night (opening this week with the always-worthwhile Colin Farrell behind the fangs), a probably terrible remake of Conan the Barbarian, and newer, no-doubt Twitter-ier versions of Footloose and even Short Circuit on the unoriginal horizon. (Of course not every remake requires a long-term memory: Sony let five whole Earth years elapse before restarting the Spider-Man franchise from scratch.)
One of the biggest and most-anticipated projects at Comic-Con this year is Prometheus, a secrecy-shrouded possible-prequel to Alien directed by the man responsible for creating the franchise back in 1979, Ridley Scott. Wisely, the 73-year-old Scott declined to make the trek himself, instead sending screenwriter Damon Lindelof to face the seething, geeky masses. (Scott made a cameo appearance via Skype, no doubt interrupting a cracking polo match or some well-deserved Scrooge McDucking.) Lindelof was a perfect choice: Not only did he spend much of the last decade perfecting the art of getting people excited (and, inevitably, furious) by saying very little of substance he also speaks fluent Klingon, er, Nerd. (Actually, he very well might also speak Klingon.)