Lindelof explains real reason for all those Prometheus viral vids

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012

The viral promotional material leading up to the release of Ridley Scott's Prometheus was some of the most buzzworthy stuff to hit the web earlier this year—some would argue it was better than the film itself—and now co-writer Damon Lindelof has opened up about the little side projects. So what was the point of all those web extras?

Turns out everything from the awesome fake TED talk, to star Noomi Rapace's screen test, were meant to explain the connection between Prometheus and the larger Alien universe.

Instead of tackling those threads via interviews or over-explanation in the film itself, Lindelof said he thought it'd be cool to do it online for the hardcore fans that care about it, and spend the film telling the story of the Engineers.

He told the Wall Street Journal:

"[Ridley] was open to the idea of engaging with the fan base and so the big question that emerged out of the gate was: What is this movie's relationship to the original "Alien"? Is it a prequel? How is it a prequel? Is it an entirely original movie? ... I thought that instead of us answering questions in mainstream media, was there a way to control the story by releasing content before the movie that just isn't the trailer. They were like 'What do you mean?' I said, 'We can do some cool viral stuff.' And the best viral content stars the actors, the stars who are actually in the movie. I thought if we could talk Michael Fassbender into doing this, or Guy Pearce, that would be awesome. But we are going to have to have these ideas figured out by the time we are shooting the movie because that's when we have those actors."
Though Scott hasn't traditionally been known as a social media guru, Lindelof said he and his team were aware of Lindelof's awesome efforts to connect with fans during Lost, and gave him the freedom to do something special for Prometheus:
"I was working on the script and the story with Ridley directly and this guy Michael Ellenberg who is a producer on the movie. Ridley was aware of "Lost" but Michael was a watcher of it, not just the show, but a lot of the stuff we did virally between the seasons, and the courtship of the fanbase primarily through events like Comic Con. I was aggressively tweeting by the last season of the show, so he understood the idea of a two-way street. He made it clear that Ridley wouldn't be engaging in any of that, not for lack of caring what the fans thought. He doesn't have a Twitter handle or even an email address."
What did you think of all the viral stuff that came out before Prometheus—did it really enrich the universe?

(Via The Wall Street Journal)