In a move unprecedented in film history, 20th Century Fox will be releasing no less than seven alternate cuts of Prometheus to the stateside viewing public on opening day. It’s an incredible gamble for the studio, but director Ridley Scott feels that for one of the most hyped sci-fi epics in recent memory, it’s the only way to go. Man I Love Funny was able to spend some time with Ridley, and he shed a little light on what audiences can expect from the different versions come June 8.
The first question we had for the legendary filmmaker was of course why seven different cuts? “Well it’s simple,” Scott said assuredly. “Movie geeks…um I mean fans are still obsessed with Blade Runner three decades later. Every time I re-cut that film, there were even more nerds…um I mean sci-fi enthusiasts wanting another take on a film I personally find extremely slow and boring so I’m happy to oblige them. In the case of Prometheus, I just didn’t want to be dicking around with the damn thing for years to come. I’ll be seventy five on my next birthday, and that’s bloody old! I figured I’d just get this director’s cut nonsense out of my system early with this movie because I don’t know how much longer I’ll be around you know?” Scott refused to divulge the details of every cut, but was happy to give us a glimpse of at least three versions we’ll be seeing in U.S. theaters when it opens.
The first scene Scott showed us came from what he has dubbed “The Unicorn Cut.” We see Charlize Theron’s character decked out in her space suit staring into the alien skies at what looks like a unicorn shaped cloud. “The only thing different about this particular cut is this scene,” said Ridley. “Perhaps her spacesuit is so tight it’s cutting off the oxygen to her brain and the cloud is a hallucination. But it could also mean that she’s really an android. It could also just be a unicorn shaped cloud. I’m intentionally leaving it ambiguous so audiences can decide for themselves.”
We next got a taste of the “Fury 161 Work Print Cut” which Scott seemed particularly enthused about. “The work print clocks in at about four hours, and this gives the characters a little more room to breathe,” Scott explained. “The crew of Prometheus have to make a small pit stop on Fury 161 to empty their on board septic tanks and the furnace the prisoners have is perfect for that…pardon the pun shit job! As you well know from Alien 3, there’s a lice problem on that planet so we had Charlize shave her head for the scenes there which she wasn’t happy about. We even dusted off Charles Dutton to make a cameo, and I just hate to see this great stuff on the cutting room floor. My hope is that if people hate the other versions they might say yeah but have you seen the work print? It’s a much better film!”
Scott hopes the work print cut will be looked at as a much better film in years to come
Last but not least, we were treated to a bit of “The Harrison Ford Narrated Crystal Skull Cut.” We were initially leery about this one, but Scott assured us it was going to be a smart move. “Just in case audiences are too damn stupid to follow along, the studios figured it might be a good idea to have a beloved actor like Harrison explain things to them in a monotonous droll. When all of the horrific imagery is displayed on screen, it will just be lovely to have his soothing voice there to comfort them and make them ready for what comes next. He has a little experience with aliens after his last couple of films, and that latest Indiana Jones adventure was actually my personal favorite of all of them. He’s also going to reference the crystal skulls in this cut which will be like the DNA that ties the whole universe together!”
It will definitely be an interesting summer when Scott releases the Prometheus septuplets of terror to movie goers in the states. If this bold release strategy works, Scott could be hailed as a total genius that revolutionized the way Hollywood handles new releases. But if it fails, he may have to launch himself into space so no one can hear him scream.