Ridley Scott, Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace Tease 'Prometheus' at CineEurope

Issue 52 - Backlot: Ridley Scott
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

The director and cast offer a few details about the highly anticipated sci-fi film to European exhibitors.

Director Ridley Scott and stars Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace touched down at CineEurope Tuesday night to fire up enthusiasm among European exhibitors for their highly anticipated 3D sci-fi film Prometheus.

Scott and his two top cast members flew directly to CineEurope from the Prometheus set in Pinewood, London but did not bring any footage from the new, top secret project. They remained cagey during a Q&A session, only letting a few details of the film slip out. Scott acknowledged that Prometheus, while not a direct prequel to Alien, occupies the same general universe, saying the picture was inspired by a desire to explore the mystery of the "space jockey" the giant fossilized creature with the burst-open chest seen in the first Alien movie but never explained.

Scott also confirmed that the film's title is the name of a space ship sent from earth by an all-powerful corporation of the kind familiar to fans of the Alien franchise. The mythical reference - in Greek mythology, Prometheus stole fire from the gods to give to man -- is deliberate.

"The (space) journey, metaphorically, is about a challenge to the gods," Scott said. But Scott's ambitions with Prometheus go far beyond simply restarting a hit franchise. The British director said the film's storyline, and script by David Lindelof, was partially inspired by the writings of legendary Swiss sci-fi writer Eric van Daniken.

Van Daniken, author of 1968 bestseller Chariot of the Gods, is best known as the first proponent of the so-called ancient astronaut theory, which holds that aliens kick-started civilization on earth. "NASA and the Vatican agree that is almost mathematically impossible that we can be where we are today without there being a little help along the way," Scott said. "That's what we're looking at (in the film), at some of Eric van Daniken's ideas of how did we humans come about."

Fassbender and Rapace were even cagier about revealing details of the Prometheus plot. Fassbender did hint his character, David, might be a version of the infamous corporate-designed android that plays a pivotal role in all Alien films.

Rapace, the Swedish star of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, would only say that shooting with Scott has meant "hard and sweaty" days and that the 73-year-old director "still has more energy than all of us combined." 20th Century Fox plans to bow Prometheus worldwide next summer.