On June 8, 2012 audiences will get to experience Ridley Scott's Prometheus, the much-touted, often-referred-to-as-a-prequel to his 1979 genre masterpiece, Alien. Prometheus takes place several years prior to the events of the original film and extends the Alien universe into existential territory, questioning the origins of xenomorphic and human life. Audiences will get a glimpse of the infamous Weylan-Yutani Corporation (the ubiquitous evil that has stayed mostly in the background of the previous films), which may or may not be responsible for those Gigerian nightmares.
Ridley Scott's Prometheus follows a group of scientists to the planet LV-426 who discover the remains of a civilization that according to the director himself, answers the question that has been burning in the minds of Alien aficionados for over three decades, "Who was the Space Jockey and where did he come from?" For those of you reading this and know what I am referring to, this is a huge boon for the franchise's narrative. Prometheus seeks to make amends with the hardcore fans by not acknowledging the narratives of the more dreadful entries in the canon (the awful, never-shoulda-been-greenlit Alien versus Predator movies) and reroute the audience back into the Alien universe that we know and love.
The first Alien (1979) is responsible for piquing our interest in the Alien universe. Aliens (1986) pushed that interest to the edge and beyond by expanding our knowledge of that universe. Alien 3 (1992) derailed the narrative for many fans, which is where the franchise began to slip from the upper echelons of Hollywood storytelling. Alien Resurrection (1997) took the franchise (along with many fans) and blew it out of the airlock, which began the downward spiral of the Alien film franchise.
It got even worse with the introduction of the AvP "films" which, much to the chagrin of fans, effectively put a pulse rifle blast into the then-rotting carcass of the narrative universe. Aside from the first two films, the Alien franchise has had a few beacons of hope throughout, namely the Dark Horse comics of the 1990s. Despite this writer's own reticence to include Alien 3 in the same class as the first two films, it has now been twenty years since we've had a worthy Alien film.
Flash-forward to 2010: Film industry news and gossip online is rampant and fans begin to chime in on the leaked news that Sir Ridley Scott, one of the most revered filmmakers of our time, was going to be returning to science-fiction. This film geek-erection inducing news alone was met with a collective sigh of relief by Alien fans. Although most preemptive news concerning the production inaccurately labeled Prometheus a prequel to Alien, it has since been confirmed that it is merely an extension of the Alien universe with what the 74-year-old director calls "strands of Alien DNA".
It is only a matter of months before we will see if Prometheus will continue the legacy of the Alien films that will ensure the future of the franchise. I know it is my most anticipated film of 2012.