Prometheus Forum
We are the Gods now
Ridley Scott: "Engineers... they are dark angels"
  • ViscalViscal  (12 like this)
    Brometheus
    Ridley Scott shares his thoughts on a sequel, who the Engineers really are, religion, spirituality, and Jesus Christ who the director suggests might have been an… Engineer!

    image


    Movies.com: Thank you, first, for giving us a film that we need to contemplate and discuss and argue about for days without ever really coming close to answering all that it asks. It feels like it has been too long before we’ve been treated to a meal such as this.
     
    Ridley Scott: Thank Christ! I think that’s great.
     
    Movies.com: The film asks very big questions about where we come from as a species, and where we go when we die. It’s not possible to deliver concrete answers, but I’m hoping you can tell me how, in the planning stages of the script and story, you came to decide which open-ended, philosophical questions you would at the very least attempt to answer definitively.
     
    RS: Well, from the very beginning, I was working from a premise that lent itself to a sequel. I really don’t want to meet God in the first one. I want to leave it open to [Noomi Rapace’s character, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw] saying, “I don’t want to go back to where I came from. I want to go where they came from.”
     
    Movies.com: So that was always going to be the natural ending for this film?
     
    RS: Totally. And because they’re such aggressive f**kers … and who wouldn’t describe them that way, considering their brilliance in making dreadful devices and weapons that would make our chemical warfare look ridiculous? So I always had it in there that the God-like creature that you will see actually is not so nice, and is certainly not God. As she says, “This is not what I thought it was going to be, and I think we should get the Hell out of here or there won’t be any place to go back to.”
     
    That’s not necessarily planted in the ground at the tail end of the third act, but I knew that’s kind of where we should go, because if we’ve opened up this door -- which I hope we have because I certainly would like to do another one – I’d love to explore where the hell [Dr. Shaw] goes next and what does she do when she gets there, because if it is paradise, paradise can not be what you think it is. Paradise has a connotation of being extremely sinister and ominous.
     
    Movies.com: We’re not going to get a slow build in this second film, then. These guys are volatile from the start?
     
    RS: In a funny kind of way, if you look at the Engineers, they’re tall and elegant … they are dark angels. If you look at [John Milton’s] Paradise Lost, the guys who have the best time in the story are the dark angels, not God. He goes to all the best nightclubs, he’s better looking, and he gets all of the birds. [Laughs]

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    Movies.com: So Milton was one of your influences for the Engineers?
     
    RS: That sounds incredibly pretentiously intellectual. But in a funny sort of way, yes. I started off with a title called Paradise. Either rightly or wrongly, we thought that was telling the audience too much. But then with Prometheus – which I thought was bloody well intellectual – that wasn’t my idea. It was Fox’s notion, It came from Tom Rothman, who’s a smart fellow. The more I thought about it, the more I thought it was a good idea. This is about someone who dares and is horribly punished. And besides, do you know something? A little bit of an education at the cinema isn’t such a bad thing.
     
    Movies.com: Do you worry that you’ve lost the element of surprise that worked to your advantage with the original Alien? By now, we’ve seen numerous movies in the Alien universe, and like it or not, audiences are coming in with an expectation that deflates tension and suspense. Did you feel the need to pull the audience in to the story in a different fashion this time?
     
    RS: I was hoping I had with the fact that you have a sequence at the beginning of the film that is fundamentally creation. It’s a donation, in the sense that the weight and the construction of the DNA of those aliens is way beyond what we can possibly imagine …
     
    Movies.com: That is our planet, right?
     
    RS: No, it doesn’t have to be. That could be anywhere. That could be a planet anywhere. All he’s doing is acting as a gardener in space. And the plant life, in fact, is the disintegration of himself.
     
    If you parallel that idea with other sacrificial elements in history – which are clearly illustrated with the Mayans and the Incas – he would live for one year as a prince, and at the end of that year, he would be taken and donated to the gods in hopes of improving what might happen next year, be it with crops or weather, etcetera.
     
    I always think about how often we attribute what has happened to either our invention or memory. A lot of ideas evolve from past histories, but when you look so far back, you wonder, Really? Is there really a connection there?”
     
    Then when I jump back, and you put yourself in a situation of a cave painting, you see that someone 32,000 years ago is showing me a little man sitting in the darkness, using a candle light that is fat from a creature he killed and ate. And in the darkness are two or three other family members whose body heat is warming the cave. But he has discovered that from a piece of this black, burnt stick, he has discovered that he can draw pictures on the wall.
     
    In essence, you have the first level of emotion and a demonstration of entertainment, right? Because he’s drawing brilliantly on the God damn wall. Now, you put yourself into that context, it’s 100-times bigger than Edison. And people don’t go back to the basics and ask, “Holy shit, what gave him that knowledge, that jolt to not scribble on the wall but draw on it brilliantly?”
     
    If you go back and look, a completely underrated film is Quest for Fire. That was one of the most genius, simplistic but incredibly sophisticated notion of what it was. The evolution of that was just fantastic. And that got me sitting back on my ass thinking, “Damn! What a fundamentally massive idea.”

    image


    Movies.com: You throw religion and spirituality into the equation for Prometheus, though, and it almost acts as a hand grenade. We had heard it was scripted that the Engineers were targeting our planet for destruction because we had crucified one of their representatives, and that Jesus Christ might have been an alien. Was that ever considered?

     
    RS: We definitely did, and then we thought it was a little too on the nose. But if you look at it as an “our children are misbehaving down there” scenario, there are moments where it looks like we’ve gone out of control, running around with armor and skirts, which of course would be the Roman Empire. And they were given a long run. A thousand years before their disintegration actually started to happen. And you can say, “Lets’ send down one more of our emissaries to see if he can stop it. Guess what? They crucified him.


     

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    I wanna go home and party.
  • kamikazekurtkamikazekurt  (1 like this)
    Colonist
    definitely a lot of "fucking" ambiguity...
    my God, it's full of stars!
  • JonesycatpantsJonesycatpants  (12 like this)
    Catpower
    Jesus was a space jockey.....

    Prometheus 2: The passions of the Jockey.....


    i actually like that idea because its so on the nose, they should have been more ballsy much better pay off.



    Jonesy you little shit..you're staying right here
  • theringisMINEtheringisMINE  (8 like this)
    Colonist
    Can you already hear the noise from Christian/Catholic groups protesting over the anti-christian messages Prometheus 2 would contain, if this were true? Jesus was an alien - o m g ! :)
  • kamikazekurtkamikazekurt  (3 like this)
    Colonist
    all this religious metaphore on the boards is making my head hurt
    my God, it's full of stars!
  • JasonDiazJasonDiaz  (2 like this)
    Colonist

    Can you already hear the noise from Christian/Catholic groups protesting over the anti-christian messages Prometheus 2 would contain, if this were true? Jesus was an alien - o m g ! :)



    I like it. RS is taking us to places that we might not want to go but we end up going willingly. 
    "Not too close, I hope"
  • caroleriouscarolerious  (14 like this)
    Starbeast
    WWRSD
    You always were an asshole, Gorman!
  • ummesterummester  (8 like this)
    AssFlower

    When you think about it, even in this day an age, a mainstream film can't be bold enough to explicitly state:

    The human race was created by humanoids from space and we fell out of favour with them because either they didn't like Jesus, they didn't like what we did to Jesus, or Jesus was our last chance at redemption and we fucked it. Not only that, but the xenomorph was created because of the whole Jesus thing.

    Seems to me that many people are still too narrow minded to accept that science and spirituality can be mixed. Funny, if we put the devil or demons in science fiction tales most people are fine with it. When it's god or Jesus, people don't like it as much. Why is that?

    carol,

    what does WWRSD mean?

    Suck fuddlety!
  • burkeburke  (2 like this)
    Colonist
    yeah carol explain....WWRSD for us thickos
    You're going out there to destroy them, right?
    That's the plan. You have my word on it.
  • caroleriouscarolerious  (6 like this)
    Starbeast
    'What Would Ridley Scott Do?'
    You always were an asshole, Gorman!
  • GabusMaximusGabusMaximus  (3 like this)
    Colonist

    'What Would Ridley Scott Do?'



    Braclets, T-Shirts, Bumper Stickers, STAT!
    "amped out war dance!!!", nivekkevin.
  • ummesterummester  (3 like this)
    AssFlower
    Make a film?
    Suck fuddlety!
  • caroleriouscarolerious  (4 like this)
    Starbeast
    ummester said:

    When you think about it, even in this day an age, a mainstream film can't be bold enough to explicitly state:

    The human race was created by humanoids from space and we fell out of favour with them because either they didn't like Jesus, they didn't like what we did to Jesus, or Jesus was our last chance at redemption and we fucked it. Not only that, but the xenomorph was created because of the whole Jesus thing.

    Seems to me that many people are still too narrow minded to accept that science and spirituality can be mixed. Funny, if we put the devil or demons in science fiction tales most people are fine with it. When it's god or Jesus, people don't like it as much. Why is that?

    carol,

    what does WWRSD mean?





    I really love this take on it. What Ridley's doing is bold. Take, for instace, comedians. Everything is fair game in the realm of comedy. Some of the greastest comedians are the ones who purposefully make crude jokes regarding anything tabu. Those who take offense to these types of jokes are the ones who miss the point. Its what weeds out the actual closed and open minded audiences.
    You always were an asshole, Gorman!
  • CosmikCosmik  
    Colonist
    Viscal said:


    Movies.com: That is our planet, right?
     
    RS: No, it doesn’t have to be. That could be anywhere. That could be a planet anywhere. All he’s doing is acting as a gardener in space. And the plant life, in fact, is the disintegration of himself.
     

     

  • CosmikCosmik  (1 like this)
    Colonist
    ^That quote is very interesting. That could explain some things :p ( sorry double post, my computer lag )
  • VodiVodi  
    Predator
    This is the best RS interview in regards to actually plot detail and concepts

    Some great insights!
    Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.
  • AphexAphex  (1 like this)
    Colonist

    Almost theraputic to get a bit more background to the story!

    Would be intersting to see how far they go with the religious theme. Would they, for instance, go as far as to touch on current tensions involving other religions that have more relevance to us now post 9/11 as opposed to the death of JC 2000 years ago?

    Having said that, 2000 years / JC crucifixion ties in with the engineer massacre and last scheduled mission to earth as confirmed by DNA carbon dating on the engineer head so on that basis maybe this will be a major theme for the plot.

  • WintergreeneWintergreene  (1 like this)
    Colonist
    Really great interview.  Good to have some insight into what they were thinking.  If the Engineers are the dark angels, who is above them? It's all about the sequel to this film.   
  • tgbyhntgbyhn  
    Colonist
    ummester said:

    When you think about it, even in this day an age, a mainstream film can't be bold enough to explicitly state:

    The human race was created by humanoids from space and we fell out of favour with them because either they didn't like Jesus, they didn't like what we did to Jesus, or Jesus was our last chance at redemption and we fucked it. Not only that, but the xenomorph was created because of the whole Jesus thing.



    Because that's probably not what Ridley Scott had in mind.
  • lightsoutluthorlightsoutluthor  (7 like this)
    Colonist
    I want a "Jesus was a Space Jockey" bumper sticker.
  • alandroidalandroid  (3 like this)
    Colonist
    Interesting points of view from Ridley. From what he has said, Prometheus has been left even more open than I had originally thought. Not sure if I like the thought of Jesus Jockey though. 

    image


  • rabidrangerrabidranger  
    Colonist
    I find the parallels to Milton's Paradise Lost to be pretty interesting. If you look hard enough (haha) you can imagine the Engineers to be Satan/demons from that poem. That re-emphasizes to me that despite the Engineers vast power, the are not all-powerful and in fact beholden to a higher power.
  • UBIKUBIK  (1 like this)
    Colonist
    For anyone interested, you can read Milton's Paradise Lost online:

    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/pl/book_1/index.shtml

    There is a argument summary about Book 1 right at the beginning in the above link that seemingly encapsulated the Engineers in Prometheus. I'm sure that Ridley Scott must have read Paradise Lost at some point. My mother own a copy of Paradise Lost, but I have never read it through, I'll probably put it on my to do list (a long one).
  • WintergreeneWintergreene  
    Colonist
    Interesting that originally they were going to call the film Paradise.  I wonder if that will be the title of the sequel?
  • VodiVodi  (1 like this)
    Predator
    Accidental similarities?
    image
    Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.
  • jasonjasonjasonjason  (2 like this)
    Colonist
    so if there is a parallel to be made with paradise lost...then the factions of engineers being discussed could be valid. that originally the seeded life...had to sacrifice themselves on behalf of the greater good. maybe the creator. maybe they get jealous of "their creator's" creation...humans. That's when they decided to go to earth to basically wipe them out...but all hell breaks loose...factions sabotoging the other faction...bio warfare...all die except one.

    and then that leads to the one engineer left...who seems to admire the creation before destroying it/david.

    obviously a bit different...but similar.

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