Few films possess the skin-crawling nightmare sensibility of Ridley Scott’s “Alien,” a claustrophobic classic that has burrowed its way into the minds of moviegoers for decades now. Scott has since dabbled in a slew of genres—everything from gangster yarns to swords and sandals epics—and yet, some argue that he’s never come close to capturing the sinister perfection on display in his landmark 1979 sci-fi picture. For those who consider themselves “Alien” obsessives—and lord knows they are legion—we have here an in-depth interview from 1979 about the film’s conception and production, featuring detailed interviews with the cast and crew (via Eyes On Cinema).
The doc is certainly a product of its time—the agreeably grainy visuals and Tom Skerritt’s epic facial hair mark it as such—but it’s also vital to understanding the tremendous influence “Alien” has had since its initial release. Certainly when compared to today’s more fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled Hollywood entertainment, the slow-burning dread of “Alien” seems retro in the best possible way. Scott, as always, is erudite and perceptive, and displays a scarily intrinsic understanding of how the tools of cinema can be utilized to probe at the viewer’s most basic, deep-rooted fears (it’s telling that “Alien” is by far his most visually subdued picture, teasing the big, slimy baddie in salivating bits and spurts). Members of the cast also weigh in with some telling anecdotes: Sigourney Weaver apparently thought the behavior of her character Ripley was “unattractive” when first reading the script, while Skerritt primarily took the role of Dallas to work with Scott after being wowed by his debut picture “The Duellists.” It’s great stuff, and not just for fans of the original movie.
We’ve still yet to hear critical word on Scott’s upcoming Biblical epic “Exodus: Gods and Kings.” However, Scott has hardly slowed his roll. He’s currently lined up to shoot “The Martian” with Matt Damon next, and it appears that the cogs in the machine of the “Prometheus” sequel are, indeed, still turning. Noomi Rapace, who gave a memorable, soulful performance in the first film, had this to say in regards to expectations for the film’s sequel.
“I know that Elizabeth Shaw wants to go to paradise. I say that in the first one. I don’t wanna go back. She can’t go to earth. There’s nothing left for her there, really,” she told MTV UK (via JoBlo). “She wants to go where they come from, those giants, those creatures. In her head, that’s the dark paradise. What’s there?” She wants answers. She wants to know. I feel like I’m sharing her curiosity and also her anger.”
All well and good, but what about these crazy reports that the “Prometheus” sequel will be Xenomorph-free? Rapace has some thoughts on the potential villain of the second film. She says, “God, maybe? God or the devil. I don’t know. I don’t know where Ridley Scott’s going to take us, but I can’t wait to go there.”
20th Century Fox has slated an “Untitled Ridley Scott Project” for a release date of March 4th, 2016, after “The Martian” gets a release in 2015. Will it be “Blade Runner 2,” or perhaps the Xenomorph-free “Prometheus” sequel? Stay tuned.