Fans were ecstatic when Ridley Scott—the director of the seminal sci-fi classic Alien—announced that he would direct a prequel, now called Prometheus, to his horrifying 1979 film about the crew of the commercial towing ship Nostromo that investigates a distress call on a remote planetoid and brings onboard a nightmarish creature. That double-jawed alien—a xenomorph—gestates in a human host, has concentrated acid for blood, and has since appeared on-screen in Aliens, Alien3, Alien: Resurrection and two Alien vs. Predator movies.
But then, after several script adjustments, Scott backpedaled about Prometheus being an Alien prequel. He told reporters that his new movie contains "strands of Alien's DNA." He then revealed to IC Press some more details: "The Prometheus is owned by an entrepreneur called Peter Weyland, and is played by Guy Pearce. That's the connection between the two films, and nothing more. Prometheus is a new film, a new world, and is full of new ideas. And of course new monsters as well."
It is the Weyland company that sends a ship of explorers—including Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace and an android played by Michael Fassbender—to a planet called LV-223 to discover the origins of humanity. In the movie Alien, it is the Weyland-Yutani corporation that has an interest in the xenomorph for its bio-weapons division and uses an android to get an alien onboard from what is called LV-426 in Aliens. Of course, Lt. Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) blows it out the airlock and returns to take on its brethren in three more sequels.
Ripley does not appear in Prometheus, and supposedly neither do any xenomorphs. There are plenty of slithery, gooey aliens around, however, that you can catch glimpses of by freezing frames of the trailer. Besides fleeting glimpses of the new alien threat, there are several other clues in the international trailer that reveal more than just some "strands" of Alien DNA. The giant derelict spaceship design called the Juggernaut that appears in Alien and the director's cut of Aliens can be seen crashing in the Prometheus trailer. Even better, the dead alien called the Space Jockey that Ripley and crew discover in Alien can be seen alive in the Prometheus trailer as well,although it is not the same Space Jockey shown in Alien. Both the Juggernaut and the Space Jockey itself were born out of the mind of genius Swiss artist H.R. Giger, whom Scott has reportedly said contributed to designs in Prometheus as well.
Need more evidence? Watch this promo ad for the Prometheus android David, played by Fassbender. Does the cold, synthetic voice remind you of Ash from Alien, Bishop from Aliens or Call from Alien: Resurrection? Look at the names of the androids, too. A, B, C…and D for David.
More images that fans of the Alien franchise will recognize can be found on this promotional site for Weyland Industries, the company that sends Prometheus on her ill-fated mission. Scroll down to the image of the "Power Loader," which you might recall was used by Ripley to take on the Alien Queen in Aliens. The "Weyland Storm Rifle" also looks like a more primitive version of the one the Marines were supplied with in Aliens. Scott was passed over for James Cameron to direct Aliens—a snub that inspired Scott to return to the Alien universe with Prometheus, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "I was really pissed off, frankly," said Scott.
The final piece of evidence that offers more clues about Prometheus's tie to Alien can be found in the original motion picture soundtrack. Not only can samples of the original Alien score be heard in the new film's soundtrack, but look at the titles: "Weyland," "Hyper Sleep," "Infected," "Small Beginnings," "Hello Mommy," "Planting the Seed," "Space Jockey" and "Birth" all evoke strong images of Alien and, apparently, Prometheus as well.
We might not be sure exactly how the sticky, dangerous aliens of Prometheus are related to the xenomorphs of Alien, but the truth is out there—Prometheus is without question a prequel to Scott's 1979 masterpiece, which should make fans scream with even more anticipation.