This is just speculation based on the writer but Scott seems to be speaking in very cryptic tones in this interview and referring to the MPAA. This couldn’t happen… or could it? I can’t see Scott ever agreeing with FOX overing going with anything but an R rating from the beginning.
but it is a summer movie and it cost a lot of dough and this is Fox so….
Well, knowing Scott, there are gonna be about a million different cuts in a few years, so…
I just cannot see a filmmaker like Scott returning to an R Rated franchise he started and then agreeing with Fox on a PG13. He isn’t some new filmmaker the studio has leverage over. You think that since day 1 at the meetings he was like… “I want 80 million and its gotta be R” and then fox started signing cheques.
20th Century Fox? Check.
Potential relaunching of a once profitable franchise? Check.
Huge budget? Check.
Released in the summer? Check
Director coming off a series of underwhelming films, several of which outright flopped? Check.
I would be more surprised if it was an R than if it was PG-13.
“Well, knowing Scott, there are gonna be about a million different cuts in a few years, so…”
yeah, and ones that he supposedly didn’t want too ;_)
He’s been pretty vocal about delivering commercial products to make money for the studios who hire him (whether or not that has been the end result, given his many flops), so if this was demanded of him, I wouldn’t be surprised if he agreed to it.
I don’t know if Scott is really in ‘Do what he wants without studio leverage’ territory. He seems to mostly do what he pleases, but I doubt the money he makes for the studios is exceptional enough for them to be entirely disinterested in the results, and conventional thinking in that system goes you’re only as successful as your last two movies.
Scott’s last two movies were Robin Hood and Body of Lies. Both made money, even under Hollywood accounting standards, but it’s been a while since Gladiator really cleaned up.
Robin Hood made money but I was pretty sure Body of Lies flopped.
Correction, I made a mistake. I was looking at BoxOfficeMojo to compare numbers for Scott’s last movies, and was accidentally reading the “opening weekend” column as the “budget” column.
No, Robin Hood made its budget plus half, and only a third of that money was domestically. It could easily be considered a failure under Hollywood accounting (it’s a mystery, really). Body of Lies did the exact same thing. At best an executive probably looks at Scott’s numbers and says, “Decently dependable, but it could be better.” And his name recognition may not help because they may be thinking that the money he is making is based off of that recognition, and not off of the commercial viability of his projects.
I don’t think either film’s respective budget includes money spent on advertising, which would make Robin Hood’s grosses far more modest and Body of Lies pretty close to a flop. If we go back to A New Year and Kingdom of Heaven it gets worse.
In any case no, Ridley Scott does not have enough clout to be awarded mythical “final cut” status nor would he be provided with a huge budget carte blanche.
Scott is one of those filmmakers that has always had his films be more successful when released overseas. This is true even with Gladiator. In the case of this project Fox basically rolled out the red carpet to get him to direct it. Most of the advertising is pushing the fact that he is making it while the great cast isn’t even promoted.
But then I forget that Fox made him release Kingdom of Heaven in a cut under 2hr30 and it hurt that film critically and commercially. So my fingers remain crossed very tightly…
Prometheus Officially Gets an R
high five to that Santino! I just had how much fuss this has caused because heaven forbid a filmmaker release an R-Rated film during the summer…
Yeah, I was ecstatic when I read that. Ecstatic and relieved.
I think this movie maybe a box office hit or box office flop.
I have to say, I took some pleasure in hearing the kids whimpering and their parents comforting them after the Prometheus trailer played just before The Avengers when I saw that film this past weekend.
Bodes well for the intensity, atmosphere and horror elements of Prometheus. Just the trailer does the trick!
Glad that Ridley Scott and the producers stuck to their vision and delivered an R.
I hope I am not alone in my contempt for the tedious practice of releasing PG-13 films (Live Free or Die Hard, anyone?), with the director knowing full well that inserts will be added later to pump up the DVD release to an “unrated version” or some half-assed director’s cut. It’s a cheap ploy to make money.
Prometheus looks like an expensive thrill with some intelligence behind it. This is shaping up to be a lean summer at the cinema, so I look forward to Prometheus and hope it is even half as good as the first Ridley Scott movie I saw in a theater, way back in 1979.
I’m also jazzed for this flick Cteve. I was lucky enough to be invited to an early screening this thursday. I will post my review the next day on here.
A mission to uncover the origins of human life yields familiar images of death and devastation in “Prometheus.” Elaborately conceived from a visual standpoint, Ridley Scott’s first sci-fier in the three decades since “Blade Runner” remains earthbound in narrative terms, forever hinting at the existence of a higher intelligence without evincing much of its own. Fox’s midsummer tentpole has generated considerable excitement since it was announced the film would share some story DNA with Scott’s 1979 horror landmark, “Alien,” and a marketing push promising comparable levels of gore and tension should ensure that “Prometheus” catches B.O. fire.
Establishing its intertwined themes of creation and destruction from the outset, the picture opens with eerily beautiful shots of a planet seemingly in the early stages of an evolutionary renaissance, then cuts to the grim sight of a pale-skinned humanoid ingesting a fatal toxin. Some time later, specifically December 2093, scientist couple Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) are aboard the spaceship Prometheus, leading a crew that hopes to make contact with the alien beings that initiated life on Earth.
Holloway is something of a skeptic, which naturally means he may as well have “dead meat” embroidered on his spacesuit. Shaw, however, is a true believer, someone who’s “willing to discount three centuries of Darwinism,” as one colleague snorts, and who pointedly wears a cross necklace under her lab coat. Having studied recurring patterns in ancient cave paintings the world over, she’s convinced the primitive images contain a message from the alien beings that created mankind, inviting people of Earth to meet their makers. This unfortunately turns out to be true in every sense.
Also along for the ride are a dryly efficient captain (Idris Elba); a corporate ball-buster (Charlize Theron) who challenges Shaw and Holloway’s authority at every step; and, most intriguingly, David (Michael Fassbender), a super-intelligent android who nonetheless possesses a dangerously childlike curiosity. Landing in a parched-looking valley on an unfamiliar planet, the scientists venture into an underground cavern whose malevolent contents immediately bring “Alien” to mind, and it seems at first that “Prometheus” will follow a similar outline, as the crew unwisely decides to bring specimens back to the ship.
Yet a key difference between this film and its predecessor is one of volume. Incongruously backed by an orchestral surge of a score, the film conspicuously lacks the long, drawn-out silences and sense of menace in close quarters that made “Alien” so elegantly unnerving. Prometheus is one chatty vessel, populated by stock wise-guy types who spout tired one-liners when they’re not either cynically debunking or earnestly defending belief in a superior power. The picture’s very structure serves to disperse rather than build tension, cross-cutting regularly between the underground chamber, where two geologists (Sean Harris, Rafe Spall) meet an ugly end, and the ship, where efforts to contain the threat are thwarted by the increasingly uncertain chain of command.
Scott and his production crew compensate to some degree with an intricate, immersive visual design that doesn’t skimp on futuristic eye-candy or prosthetic splatter. In the film’s most squirm-inducing moment, Shaw must climb into an auto-surgery machine to eliminate an alien attacker from her body; it’s a cleverly sustained sequence that hits the viewer’s recoil button even as its display of technological innovation fascinates.
Also providing flickers of engagement are the semi-provocative ideas embedded in Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof’s screenplay. The continual discussions of creation vs. creator, and the attitude of one toward the other, supply the film with a philosophical dimension that its straightforward space-opera template doesn’t have the bandwidth to fully explore. Indeed, the crucial question of why the planet’s inhabitants are so intent on wiping out a race they engineered is lazily deferred until a putative sequel.
Still, the film contains the ideal embodiment of its sly existential paradox in David, the man-made manservant whose soulfully soulless presence brings to mind both “A.I.” and “2001”; he’s like HAL 9000 with better cheekbones. In a particularly witty touch, Fassbender’s droll performance takes its cues from Peter O’Toole in “Lawrence of Arabia,” a clip of which David continually watches as a model for how to behave around humans.
Other thesps are just passable, with the exception of Rapace, who gets to express intense physical and emotional agony in a register entirely different from that of her star-making turns in the Swedish version of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and its sequels. For the record, that’s Guy Pearce buried under pounds of disfiguring special-effects makeup in the role of the aging visionary who bankrolled the mission.
The ship’s moniker derives from the myth of a fire-stealing Titan who sought to eliminate the gap between mortals and the gods, and fittingly enough, there’s a warped Greco-Roman accent to the richly imagined visuals, particularly when the characters get a look at the malign beings in whose image they were created. H.R. Giger’s iconic design elements remain a key influence here, particularly in the gratuitous parting shot.
Camera (Deluxe color, Panavision widescreen, 3D), Dariusz Wolski; editor, Pietro Scalia; music, Marc Streitenfeld; production designer, Arthur Max; supervising art director, John King; art directors, Peter Dorme, Anthony Caron-Delion, Alex Cameron; set decorator, Sonja Klaus; costume designer, Janty Yates; sound (Dolby/Datasat), Simon Hayes; supervising sound editors, Mark P. Stoeckinger, Victor Ray Ennis; re-recording mixers, Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill; visual effects supervisor, Richard Stammers; visual effects, MPC, Weta Digital, Fuel VFX, Rising Sun Pictures, Hammerhead Prods., Invisible Effects, Prologue Films, Lola VFX; creature and special makeup effects supervisor, Neal Scanlan; prosthetic supervisor, Conor O’Sullivan; special effects coordinator, Jalila Otky Rogan; stunt coordinator, Stuart Clark; stereoscopic supervisor, Sean Santiago; associate producer, Teresa Kelly; assistant director, Max Keene; casting, Avy Kaufman, Nina Gold. Reviewed at Universal Pictures Intl. France screening room, Paris, May 29, 2012. Running time: 123 MIN.
thanks for the heads up Dennis. This review is sorta similar to McCarthy’s feelings in the Hollywood Reporter.
I talked to a guy at work a couple months ago who worked on the film and he said it’s awesome. I already bought my tickets. I’m excited.
me to Santino! I’m seeing this in 24hrs and it cannot come quick enough. For me this is the must see film of the summer… hell year!
just got back from the press screening and I’m still chewing on it. I have reservations but I cannot stop thinking about it. Cannot wait to see it again next week.
Saw Prometheus last night. Beautifully made, it holds one’s interest thoroughly for slightly over two hours only in the end to be a disappointment. While he’s tried to backtrack on this it’s a genuine prequel to Alien with any number of plot and (more important) visual design elements lined up with the earlier film. There’s nothing “wrong” with it. it’s just that there’s nothing new in it.
Michael Fassbender is great as the ship’s morally ambiguous replicant (referred to curiously as a “robot”) who is a much nice version of Ian Holm in the first film. His character is obsessed with Lawrence of Arabia (a clip from which is shown at one point.) BIG mistake. Nveer compare yourself to a classic.
Overallmildly scary/disgusting in the mode of its predecessor. But it doesn’t stay with one. See it but don’t expect too much.
I’d agree with David’s assessment. A lot of beautiful imagery in it, and I actually thought some of the 3D shots were all the better for being in 3D… I have a feeling this film will be judged a failure but may become a cult favourite over time.
I saw the film. 64/100
The film got extra points for gorgeous visuals. (I also like the realization of the “holodec” and the depiction of the dream.) I’m happy that the HD video worked for me (assuming it was shot in HD video—some of it at least)—especially some of the scenes that had that smooth HD look. Previous experiences on HD TVs (with films not shot in HD) were awful, so I’m glad the film worked with the HD.
With the visuals in the beginning, plus the suggestion that the film intended to explore some of the more fundamental questions about existence a la 2001, I got a bit excited—at least by the ambition. What saved me from being really disappointed is hate that some people expressed towards this film. David Ehrenstein is correct when he says to go in with low-expectations. Indeed, I suspect the people who had a strong negative reaction did so because of high expectations. So, I can thank Santino for this :) (@Santino, at least your viewing wasn’t a complete waste. ;)
But the film never really deals with these questions in a serious way (at least not that I’ve discovered), and it devolves into a silly, stupid horror/suspense film. By this I mean that the characters behave in really stupid and/or implausible ways, typical of horror films. Perhaps that wouldn’t be a huge problem, but the nature of the horror and suspense is very similar to the other Alien films (as David alludes to) and this diminishes the horror and suspense. The film connects some dots involving the xenomorph and the other films, but it doesn’t connect the dots that would be of the most interest, imo.
>Noomi Rapace wasn’t very good, imo. Her performance and screen presence felt flat and bland—especially compared to her performance in the Dragon Tattoo films. (She was also disappointing in the Sherlock Holmes film.)
>So what happened in the beginning of the film with the alien drinking the DNA altering elixir? Was he left behind? Was he trying to create life? Was he supposed to transform into something else or was he altering his DNA to create life? Or was he committing suicide and in the process leaving genetic material that leads to life on Earth? Is the film trying to preserve the mystery of our origins?
>It’s been a while since I’ve seen Lawrence of Arabia. In what ways is David like Lawrence or the film like LoA?
^yes, it was shot on the RED.
And just for the record, my expectations were ridiculously low. I had high “hopes” but given Ridley recent mediocre output, I didn’t think this film would be good.
I had no idea it would be as bad as it was.