There is lots of interesting buzz surrounded Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, a “sort-of-but-not-really” prequel to the Alien franchise. Recently a creative piece of viral marketing surfaced, featuring a TED talk from the year 2023!
In the clip, Peter Weyland (played by Guy Pearce) addresses his mission to create humanoid androids within the next few years, and referencing the Greek myth of Prometheus stealing fire from the gods. With the current advancements of today’s technology he claims, “We are the gods now.”
A few fun bits of note for science-fiction/Alien fans:
1. Does Peter Weyland’s name sound familiar? It should! It is one half of “Weyland-Yutani Industries,” the company responsible for finding the Xenomorphs on LV-426 in the original alien franchise.
2. The video comes to us from the year 2023, and Weyland claims humanoid androids will exist within a handful of years. So in theory we will have lifelike humanoid robots in about fifteen years (say 2027). It still seems a little unrealistic that this will happen so quickly, but it is certainly more likely than Blade Runner’s “replicants” of 2019. Alien, on the other hand, takes place in 2122, and Aliens in 2179. And of course, while the TED Talk may be taking place in 2023, the Prometheus space adventure itself is rumored to take place in 2085, which is 73 years from now. Presumably in that time we’ll have figured out an easier way to travel to distant worlds filled with spooky derelict spacecraft.
3. The clip does bring up some interesting thematic ideas as to why the film is indeed called “Prometheus.” The Greek myth is a story of hubris–of man stealing an artifact from the gods and being punished for it (specifically, his liver is eaten by an eagle every day for eternity). From the teaser trailer and early buzz we know the story somehow involves humanity encountering an advanced alien race and uncovering secrets of our past. It seems a little gutsy for a company to name one’s program after a Greek tale with such a downer ending, and combined with Weyland’s boast of mankind’s achievement of deity status, it seems that maybe the characters in the film are not actually be ready to face our progenitors when the time comes. But we will find out on June 8th of this year!