When Prometheus was first announced, fans were massively excited to see director Ridley Scott once again tackle a hardcore science fiction film. Especially since it was revealed, prior to the film’s release, that it would be set in the same universe as Scott’s 1979 sci-fi/horror classic Alien. However, what if we told you that not only is Prometheus linked to the Alien universe, it also takes place in the same fictional realm as Scott’s other famous sci-fi epic, 1982’s Blade Runner? Sound far-fetched, right? Not if you believe a series of clues recently discovered in the Blu-ray release of Prometheus.
In the special features section of the aforementioned Blu-ray there is an image (seen below) of what seems to be a futuristic email analogue written by Guy Pearce’s Peter Weyland character. As Alien fans will tell you, in that fiction Weyland’s company eventually merges with the Yutani corporation to form Weyland-Yutani. This company plays a major part in the Alien series, most prominently as the group that repeatedly pushes Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley into confronting the ravenous xenomorph hordes. Theoretically this is an effort to capture and study the creatures (with the hopes of somehow weaponizing the beasts), but in practice this almost always results in horrible catastrophe, massive loss of life and something being forced out of an airlock.
Anyway, that message written by Peter Weyland seems to be a diatribe against his “mentor,” who while unnamed here is now widely believed to be Dr. Eldon Tyrell, a character played in Blade Runner by actor Joe Turkel. Though most notable for coining the phrase “more human than human” (and giving Rob Zombie the title for his band’s biggest commercial hit to date), Tyrell is also the man who invented the robotic Replicants that serve as both MacGuffin and key antagonist in Blade Runner. Weyland’s message directly addresses this, saying that instead of following Tyrell’s lead in robotics, the Weyland corporation created humanoid machines that “displayed tremendous intelligence, innovation and compatibility despite their admittedly unconvincing exterior.” This is key because as Blade Runner fans will tell you, the key characteristic of the Replicants seen in the film is that they appear to be normal humans, and one can only discover their robotic nature through intense testing. As we’ve repeatedly seen in the Alien films however, Weyland’s cybernetic humanoids are indiscernible from real flesh-and-blood people (at least until they’re eviscerated by a Gigerian nightmare).
While the above doesn’t serve as anything more than a knowing wink — and we had to make a few logical leaps to arrive at even that — the rest of the Prometheus special features serve to cement the connection. According to Ain’t It Cool News, one of the site’s readers discovered a “Supplementary Pod” on the Blu-ray that includes a chat with concept artist Ben Proctor in a vignette entitled “Merging Ridleyverses.”
“There’s one idea that I’m very sad that we didn’t do. Ridley, one day, came in and said, ‘You know, I’m thinking what if it’s the Weyland-Tyrell Corporation? Is that cool?'” Proctor states. “Maybe the bodyguards, you know, that come out with Weyland, maybe one of them says Batty on his uniform. And we’re like ‘Awesome! Do it, do it!'”
While the accompanying screenshot (on the right) is a bit low-rent, it clearly depicts that aforementioned guard wearing the “Batty” name tag. He’s obviously been drawn to resemble Rutger Hauer, an actor most famous for portraying the psychotic, nihilistic replicant Roy Batty in Blade Runner. Being a mechanical person, it’s possible, within the fiction, that Batty could survive from the era of Blade Runner to that seen in Prometheus (or, for that matter, that Weyland-Tyrell saw his prowess for violence and built a whole army of Roy Battys to serve as security forces on extra-planetary excursions). If he can take mid-80s Harrison Ford, a couple giant bugs shouldn’t be much of an issue, right?
Now, it should be noted, that these ideas didn’t actually appear in the theatrical release of Prometheus. As far as we can tell they were merely neat concepts that Ridley Scott was kicking around which were excised from the final cut of the film for whatever reason. Still, if Blade Runner, Alien and Prometheus all occur in the same reality within Ridley Scott’s head, that’s good enough for us. Here’s hoping that the upcoming Blade Runner and Prometheus sequels can clarify the link a bit further. Sci-fi fans just love that kind of thing.
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