Posted on Monday, October 8th, 2012 by Russ Fischer
The links between Ridley Scott‘s Prometheus and Alien are explicit. But an image that purports to be a screenshot from the bonus material on the steelbook edition of Prometheus makes a case for something bigger: the Alien films and Blade Runner being set in the same universe. The precise intent of the info in the image snapshot is open to question. That said, eagle-eyed watchers of both Alien and Blade Runner will have long ago realized that the films already had something in common, and that’s after the break, too.
If the image is legit, the clear implication is that Peter Weyland’s mentor was Eldon Tyrell, the man who created the replicants in Blade Runner, and whose office is at the top of a pyramid, and whose creations arguably “blew up in the old man’s face.”
Thankfully in this case, Ridley Scott dates everything, and with Blade Runner set in 2019 the dates don’t really line up. Peter Weyland’s TED talk takes place in 2023, and everything else we’ve seen from Prometheus wouldn’t easily allow the tech in Blade Runner — several generations of replicants along — to jive with the timeline of the Prometheus universe.
What I’d expect is that this might actually be a cheeky nod to the fact that Ridley Scott (or his team) recycled effects shots in Blade Runner that were originally created for Alien. (A fitting thing for Blade Runner’s patchwork world.) Screens seen in the Nostromo and escape shuttle are also seen in the police spinners in Blade Runner, as shown below.
And, if you want to know a bit more about what could have happened in Prometheus, original screenwriter Jon Spaihts talked to Empire about his early pre-Lindelof draft. He reveals that one of the key question points in the final film — David dosing Holloway — was very different, with Holloway infected by a classic Alien face hugger:
I did have facehuggers in my original draft. David, as he began to get fascinated by the science of the Engineers, doesn’t deliberately contaminate Holloway with a drop of black liquid. Instead, Holloway hubristically removes his helmet in the chamber, is knocked unconscious, facehugged and wakes up not knowing what had been done to him, and stumbles back into the ship.” That sounds infinitely more sinister than David doing the equivalent of putting a roofie in his drink.
In my draft, he returns to his cabin, is embraced by Shaw, who is delighted to see him having feared that he had died, and the two of them make love. And it’s while they’re making love that he bursts and dies. So that lovemaking sequence echoed my original lovemaking sequence where he explodes! It was messy… So at one point Shaw goes to stop him and David ties her up and deliberately exposes her to a facehugger. He caresses an egg open and out comes a facehugger… But then he exposes it to her and it goes for her like a shot. He toys with her for a bit and then lets it take her. That, in my draft, was how Shaw was implanted with the parasite that she had to remove with the medpod sequence.