Will Ridley Scott's 'Prometheus' Feature A Giant Animatronic Character?

What can we believe about Ridley Scott's Prometheus? The film stars Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender, and is scheduled for June 2012. The film began life as an Alien prequel scripted by Jon Spaihts, but mutated into Prometheus when Damon Lindelof rewrote the script. After that mutation Fox announced the film as taking place in an all-new universe, seeming to definitively seperate it from all things Alien.

But rumors cropped up that the classic Alien xenomorph would be in the film along with a live version of the space jockey seen in the first act of Alien. The history of the latter character is part of what sent Ridley Scott on the Alien prequel path in the first place. And Michael Fassbender has said that Prometheus is "absolutely" connected to Alien. Now there is further word about the presence of one of Alien's most visually striking elements.

The report comes from Sky Movies (via Badass Digest), which isn't a source that comes out of the gate with a lot of scoops. But they were one of the early voices saying that Prometheus is actually far more tethered to Alien than anyone at Fox was letting on, and that seems to be very much the case.

Sky says that not only will the space jockey be in Prometheus, but that it is being built as an eight-foot animatronic effect, and that HR Giger is consulting — only consulting — on the character. (The source is "an insider.") We'd heard that Mr. Giger might be part of the crew, but the notion of a giant animatronic effect is pleasantly surprising. Animatronics are expensive and not always reliable, and have largely been supplanted by other effects technology. But they give something very real and present for actors to play against, and that can be a great thing. I'd be quite happy if this report is true.

Sky also says that their insider confirms the presence of a giant head that captains a ship in the film, printing "By the way, people are going to be in for a shock when they sit down to watch Prometheus and there's an enormous semi-human head piloting a spaceship."

While I celebrated the notion that Fox might have let Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof go off the map with Prometheus by agreeing to finance an original sci-fi picture rather than something related to Alien, I can't say that I'm not intrigued by all these hints that Prometheus is still, in some way, an Alien prequel. If nothing else, putting some distance between this film and the classic but shopworn series suggests that the creators have something very different in mind. What say you — were you more excited about the film when it looked like a unique story, or do the rumored ties to Alien make it more appealing?