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So is Prometheus an Alien prequel or what?

Short answer yes with an if, long answer no with a but—or at least, that’s the appropriately glib Simpsons reference to characterize the cryptic response director Ridley Scott, screenwriter Damon Lindelof, and stars Charlize Theron and Noomi Rapace gave to this long-burning question during yesterday’s panel for Prometheus, the Alien prequel that still is or maybe isn’t. As Lindelof himself pointed out, the secrecy is absolutely intentional, as Scott doesn’t want the Internet’s natural need to over-speculate ruining any potential surprise when the film finally debuts next year.

Still, they managed to share a few things in there, namely that Prometheus does take place within the same storytelling universe as Alien—as it was inspired by Scott’s desire to explore “something in the first Alien that no one really asked about, and it nagged at me”—and covers the “past, present, future” of the Alien timeframe. That expansiveness is reflected in its thematic relationship to the myth of Prometheus and how it’s expressed, Lindelof says, in the “resonating idea with what humans are doing that we shouldn’t be doing in terms of technical innovation and perhaps exploration. Is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed?”

So that’s the really big picture. As for specifics, Lindelof says that the long-rumored reappearance of the “space jockey” may or may not happen, though he does confirm there will be other “little Easter eggs for you to find.” And Scott also hints that there may be two robot characters—although he wants them to be “unique,” as opposed to the now-familiar androids. And finally, Theron offered some details on her character Meredith Vickers, whom she describes as basically “kind of the suit that runs the company that has nickel-and-dimed this whole thing together, this mission.” So maybe sort of like Paul Reiser’s character in Aliens, except one of the scenes in Prometheus reportedly features Theron doing “naked push-ups,” which is something that Paul Reiser never did, thankfully. Anyway, we told you the long answer was “no with a but”—Charlize Theron’s butt. Huh huh. Sorry, Beavis And Butt-head sort of has us waxing juvenile today. [via Movieline]

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