No, Sir Ridley Scott's still not willing to spoil any more of Prometheus' plot than he absolutely has to with trailers and such, but that doesn't mean he's not very happy to talk about the film's themes. According to him, the sci-fi epic is about humanity's beginnings, the secret history of Earth, and how you never want to tempt the wrath of the gods.
In a new interview with Australia's Sydney Morning Herald, Scott addresses the origins of his much-anticipated return to science fiction cinema. It had to do, in part, with wanting to counteract the large amount of post-apocalyptic sci-fi that's saturating the market these days. Instead of making a film about our end, Scott said, he wanted to make something about our mysterious beginnings.
"I've got to check [for spoilers] very carefully here, but it is about the beginning of life and 'what if'. It's a giant 'what if,'" Scott said. "Has this ball that we're sitting on right now been around here for three billion years or one billion? Either way, it's a long @#$!-ing time. It's only our kind of arrogance that says 'We're the first ones.'
"Are we the first hominids? I really, really, really doubt it. In recent memory or legend we keep talking about wonderful, weird things such as Atlantis—what is that? Where does that come from? Is that real, was it real, is it a memory, did it exist? And if that did exist, did it exist three quarters of a billion years ago? There'd be nothing left now. How was that created and who was it?"
Scott has touched on how he dealt with the film's challenging thematic range as a storyteller before, but now he's also willing to talk about how his characters—the crew of Prometheus—face the idea that there's much more to humanity's origins than they ever knew.
"They have a different thesis about—what we were first talking about—being pre-visited, which is an old idea. But I think it comes out of a good place because it's an entirely good question," he said. "Is there a God or is there not a God? Are we a petri dish here or not, and if we were a petri dish, of whom? What was the force, what is the entity that we can't possibly even fathom, because it's something we haven't crossed that line yet?"
Then he's asked what the title of the film means to him. Scott responds by summing up the Greek myth of Prometheus, but in so doing he teases us with the brutal possibilities his flick has to offer. If he feels this strongly about what that story means to his film, how much of that did he apply to the fates of his own characters?
"The story of Prometheus is the idea that if you're given a gift from the gods, do not abuse it and do not think you can compete," Scott said. "He stole fire and they had his entrails torn out every day in perpetuity by an eagle as a punishment. Every night they'd repair and then the eagle would come back in the morning and rip his liver and his kidneys out again. It's perpetual purgatory. Basically, don't @#$! around with gods."
We've got a little more than two months to go until we finally find out what this is all about. What do you think? Will Scott's promise of big themes and big consequences make for a masterpiece?