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Michael Fassbender

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The teaser trailer for Ridley Scott‘s Prometheus — his return to the narrative landscape of his 1979 film Alien — was one of the best teasers we’ve seen in a long time. We have no idea if the script, heavily revised by Damon Lindelof from John Spaihts‘ original draft, is any good, or if the picture will hold a candle to Alien. But damn, it looks beautiful.

Here’s something that will give you a slightly better idea of what’s going on in Prometheus, however. It isn’t a trailer, and it isn’t footage from the film. Rather, it is something that plays right into the rumor that surfaced yesterday about the character played by Guy Pearce. What we’ve got is a TED Talk… from 2023. Check it out below.

As mentioned above, note that this is a promo clip only — as you’ll see in the credits below, it wasn’t directed by Ridley Scott, though he did oversee it. It does not appear in Prometheus.

So that’s Peter Weyland of Weyland Corp, aka one of the two companies that joined together to eventually become Weyland-Yutani, the corporate entity that plays a huge part in the Alien series. What does he have to do with the story in Prometheus? That talk should have given you a pretty good idea; it certainly doesn’t leave much to the imagination with respect to the legend of Prometheus and this film’s story.

Here’s what the TED page for this talk offers:

Peter Weyland has been a magnet for controversy since he announced his intent to build the first convincingly humanoid robotic system by the end of the decade.

Whether challenging the ethical boundaries of medicine with nanotechnology or going toe to toe with the Vatican itself on the issue of gene-therapy sterilization, Sir Peter prides himself on his motto, “If we can, we must.” After a three year media blackout, Weyland has finally emerged to reveal where he’s heading next. Wherever that may be, we will most certainly want to follow.

Conceived and designed by Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof and directed by Luke Scott.

There is more info about Peter Weyland at that page, too. And if you want more background on this clip, writer Damon Lindelof has a Q&A at TED where he talks about creating the video. He explains, in part,

I said, “l’ll write this thing, and we’ll put it in front of you guys, and if you think it’s cool, we would love to platform it at TED, and make it only viewable through TED.” Because I liked the idea of exposing a more general audience to, “Wait a minute, I’ve never heard of this thing. There’s more talks here.” I thought it could be mutually beneficial — as opposed to overtly cram-it-down-your-face viral marketing, which I don’t think anyone wanted to do.

Ridley Scott directed Prometheus; it stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Sean Harris, Kate Dickie, Rafe Spall, Logan Marshall-Green, Guy Pearce, and Patrick Wilson. The film will hit theaters June 8, 2012.

Ridley Scott, director of “Alien” and “Blade Runner,” returns to the genre he helped define. With PROMETHEUS, he creates a groundbreaking mythology, in which a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.

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Each January, Los Angeles is effervescent with anticipation, as the world’s biggest stars gather to participate in a flurry of parties, dinners and events in the walk-up to the Golden Globes, marking the beginning of the awards season. This year was no exception.

TIME’s annual Oscars portfolio showcases each year’s best performers through a portfolio of striking portraits. Tears, giggles, pranks and emotions ran high, and loads of laughter pealed through the studio during this year’s shoot, which resulted in a series of images and short films photographed and directed by Sebastian Kim. It was our most ambitious Oscars shoot yet. We had just three days to photograph and film 12 world-class actors during their busiest time of the year.

George Clooney arrived early on set, but it didn’t take long for the actor to settle in and begin joking around and planning pranks with Michael Fassbender, who had recently been photographed by Kim for the February issue of Interview magazine. This previous experience of working together made for a great rapport between them. And it wasn’t the only happy reunion on set: Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer happily embraced upon seeing each other on our set, giving us a glimpse of the fun these two had while working together on The Help. Later, Adepero Oduye was brought to tears when introduced by Joel Stein, who was on hand to interview the actors, to Davis, one of her greatest heroes. “It was so unbelievably Hollywood and yet really real,” Stein says.

Kim says that the project was the most star-studded he’s photographed so far. “I was quite excited photographing Meryl Streep,” he says, noting that his girlfriend is a big fan of the actress’s, “so naturally I was quite nervous when I met her. Being nervous on set is not a good thing as it impedes your concentration, but I just kept thinking, ‘My gosh…I better a get a good shot of her and make my girlfriend happy!’”

But Kim needn’t have been nervous. Streep was running a bit late, having arrived from a previous shoot with MGM studios, where she was taking part in a project to photograph the greatest living actors of our time. She was immediately forgiven—and how could she not be? Streep is kind and gracious, possesses a rare elegance and professionalism that made the photo shoot feel like anything but work. In fact, this set the tone for all of our actors’ portraits, which also included sittings with Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Christopher Plummer, Michelle Williams, Rooney Mara, Jean Dujardin, as well as the adorable Uggie, the dog in The Artist.

It’s a rare pleasure to watch actors of this caliber play for the camera. Instead of characters, they play themselves, with a focus and passion that can only come from years of experience on set.

The performers’ interviews with Joel Stein can be viewed here.

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Michael Fassbender explains how physicality can define a character.

2011 Performances: Shame, A Dangerous Method, X-Men: First Class, Jane Eyre, Haywire

THE PERFORMERS SPEAK:


Jessica Chastain


George Clooney


Adepero Oduye


Viola Davis


Uggie


Michelle Williams


Brad Pitt


Rooney Mara


Christopher Plummer


Bérénice Bejo


Jean Dujardin


Octavia Spencer


Michael Fassbender


Highlights

 

To view TIME’s Oscars portfolio photo gallery, click here

To see more of TIME’s Oscar coverage, click here

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Meryl Streep, 1990


Meryl Streep, 1984


Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro, "Falling In Love", New York, NY, 1984


Meryl Streep and William Styron, "Sophies Choice", New York, NY, 1983


Meryl Streep, 1993


Kate Winslet, "Mildred Pierce", Brooklyn, NY, 2010


Martin Scorsese, "Hugo", London, England, 2010


Johnny Depp, Los Angeles, CA, 2009


Keira Knightley on Set of "Last Night"


Sam Worthington on Set of "Last Night"


Keira Knightley on Set of "Last Night"


Keira Knightley on Set of "Last Night"


Keira Knightley on Set of "Last Night"


Javier Bardem, Toronto, ON, 2007


Michael Fassbender, 2011


Kate Winslet and Ann Roth, "Mildred Pierce", Brooklyn, NY, 2010


Laura Linney, "The Big C", Stamford, CT, 2010


"Shutter Island", Boston, MA, 2008


"Nine", Cinecitta, Rome, Italy, 2009


Penelope Cruz and Daniel Day-Lewis, "Nine", Cinecitta, Rome, Italy, 2009


Tilda Swinton, New York, NY, 2009


Rachel Weisz, Toronto Film Festival, 2011


Salma Hayek, Toronto Film Festival, 2011


Woody Harrelson and Robin Wright, Toronto Film Festival, 2011


Bennett Miller, Jonah Hill, Chris Pratt, & Brad Pitt, Toronto Film Festival, 2011


Isabella Rossellini and Elettra Wiedemann, New York Magazine, August 22, 2011


Jude Law and Matt Damon


Paris


Jordan


Cuba


Senegal


Keira Knightley


Liev Schreiber, New York, NY, 2009


Sacha Baron Cohen and Martin Scorsese, "Hugo", London, England, 2010


Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr., "Sherlock Holmes", Brooklyn, NY, 2009


Audrey Tatou, "Coco Avant Chanel", Paris, France, 2008


Kara Walker, Brooklyn , NY, 2008


Bob Dylan


Nina Chanel Abney, New York, NY, 2009


Donna Karan, New York, NY, 2009


Maya Angelou, Winsten-Salem, NC, 2009


Twiggy and Kate Moss, London, UK, 1999

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