Ridley Scott Conjures Up Alien in the Trailer for Prometheus

Slate's Culture Blog
Dec. 22 2011 1:22 PM

Trailer Critic: Ridley Scott’s Prometheus

Still from the trailer for Prometheus.

Ridley Scott’s last two science fiction films were no less than Alien and Blade Runner—I think easily his best two movies, and two of the all-time greatest in the genre—so my anticipation level for Prometheus could not be higher. Whoever cut the tantalizing trailer Prometheus, which itself has been teased all week long on iTunes Trailers, clearly understands the stomach-bursting hunger we’re all feeling for a follow-up to Scott’s first sci-fi film.


Scott and crew have played down Prometheus’s connection to Alien—it occurs in the same universe, some years before the events of Alien, but they prefer it not be thought of as a “prequel”—which is why it’s odd that the trailer goes to great lengths to conjure up that film. This is most undeniable in the trailer’s slowly appearing title screen, fading in line-by-line and letter-by-letter in a bald homage to Alien’s own iconic titles. The connection is exciting, but the constant presence of the titles also makes it hard to watch the trailer’s first half—it can feel like the letters are just about hugging your face.

Also a little too distracting and undisguised is the pilfering of the Inception brAAHM (I will never pass up on opportunity to link to that), something trailers have been blaring in our ears all year long—but for the most part the trailer is quite a bit quieter, conjuring up the famous “In space no one can hear you scream” tagline of the original.

The cast of the final film, many of whom you're not likely to recognize just from their brief appearances here, includes Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, and Tom Hardy doppelganger Logan Marshall-Green. Rapace looks to once again play a badass woman (she became in international star by playing Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy) à la the original franchise’s Ripley, while the always exciting Michael Fassbender plays Prometheus’s closest analogue to the original’s Ash, as an android inspired by replicants and Greg Louganis. For much more than these flickering glimpses, we’ll have to wait till Jun. 8, 2012.

Grade: B+

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

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