If you have not bought this month’s edition of Empire (on sale today) might I suggest you do, for there is a truly magnificent article on all things Prometheus, with a staggering amount of information. I will be grabbing myself a drink a bit later and sitting down to properly read it myself, however two massive points that director Ridley Scott has touched upon has got fans into a bit of a frenzy.
One of the big questions Scott had for the directors of the sequels to his groundbreaking and astonishing film, Alien, was the fact no one had really investigated further the infamous Space Jockey:
“[I’ve wanted to revisit it for] years! Years, years, years,” Scott stressed about the Space Jockey character found in Alien. “I always wondered when they did [Aliens] 2,3 and 4 why they hadn’t touched upon that, instead of evolving into some other fantastic story. They missed the biggest question of them all: who’s the big guy? And where were they going? And with what? Why that cargo? There’s all kinds of questions.”
An interesting point, and maybe the Space Jockey should have been delved into with the sequels. However, had a film gone into the origins of it, Prometheus may never have happened, or would it? What is great to read is Scott’s enthusiasm, which he has had from the start, and it is clear he is loving every minute of the creation of what I believe could be the best film of the year, Prometheus.
On a more controversial note, Scott discussed the film possible PG-13 certification in the US, which for the UK would normally be a 15 or, heaven forbid, a 12A at a push.
“The question is, do you go for the PG-13, [which] financially makes quite a difference, or do you go for what it should be, which is R? Essentially, it’s kinda R… It’s not just about the blood, it’s about ideas that are very stressful. I’m not an idiot, but I’ll do everything I can to get the most aggressive film I can.”
Now, I remember reading last year that Scott was planning two versions of the film, a watered down version, and a much more adult version. Nothing has been mentioned of this since late last year, so I can only presume this is not the case anymore. However, before fans get all worried that Prometheus will arrive in cinemas a mere 15 certificate, let’s not forget that the BBFC have relaxed since Alien was released back in 1979, and if the film were to be released today in cinemas (now that would be great!), there is a good chance it may pass as a 15?
Either way, whether Prometheus turns out to be a 15 or an 18, it is clear that Scott’s intentions are in the right place, himself stating the films essentially kinda R. Scott said right from the beginning he intends to “scare the shit out of his audience” and there is no doubt he will achieve this, and even looking back at Alien, it it atmosphere and menace that makes the film so frightening, NOT epic amounts of gore and violence. Scott is far too good a director to rely on cheap shock tactics, and if his film ends up a 15, then so be it.
I can’t imagine that Scott, if requested to do so, would allow cuts to his film to get the all important, financially better 15, would he? Alien is his baby, and is one of the most successful horror sci-fi’s of all time, and that is an 18, one of the biggest horror films of all time, The Exorcist is an 18. An 18 certificate does not signal the immediate death of a film as big as Prometheus. Granted some films, like last years Drive or Kill List probably lost a larger audience due to being 18’s, as did Underworld: Awakening, but these films were not on the scale Prometheus is on. This is a different kind of film all together, and could very well become one of the biggest 18 certified films to have ever graced a cinema screen, if indeed it turns out an 18.
All I know for sure is that whatever the rating, Prometheus will be awesome. I doubt Scott will cut anything, and even if he does, there will always be a directors cut opportunity for the DVD & Bluray release. However, even if Fox requested he cut his film, I can’t really imagine Scott being bullied into it if he doesn’t want to, can you? He has worked with Fox for decades, and he demands respect, and even asking him to water down his beloved film would be an insult. I think we can rest assured that Scott will give us, the fans, exactly what we want!
By Matt Wavish