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Ridley Scott

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Author, researcher, and psychedelic pioneer Timothy Leary could have added another title to his name: creator of an amazing, incredibly weird take on William Gibson's Neuromancer showcased by Wired. Since acquiring Leary's archives in mid-2011, the New York Public Library has been uncovering and publishing details about Leary's work, including fragments of Leary's plans for scrapped computer games. In 1985, he helped develop and publish Mind Mirror, a psychoanalytic game that let players build and role-play personalities — Electronic Arts, which put out the title, reportedly sold 65,000 copies in the two years after release. But according to material that the library released to researchers last week, he also had far more ambitious plans.

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prometheus lead

Earlier this week, a fan site published an early draft of a script for Prometheus, revealing plot points and alien creatures that never appeared in Ridley Scott's final version. Titled Alien: Engineers, the script was penned by Jon Spaihts before Lost creator Damon Lindelof eventually took over, and includes new plot twists involving alien parasites and even Facehuggers.

On Sunday, Spaihts confirmed via Twitter that the script is indeed "authentic," and later told Wired that he wasn't upset about the leak, describing it as a testament to Ridley Scott fandom. "The interest in the script speaks, more than anything, to their love of the film and the Alien universe," Spaihts explained. "It’s really just an aspect of their fandom for the...

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Michael Fassbender in Prometheus.

It's no secret that science and the entertainment industry aren't always the best of bedfellows. Back in 2009, I reported from that year's AAAS meeting on NSF's program to encourage responsible science in Hollywood. Then, the message was clear. Hollywood is interested in telling a story, and if scientific accuracy gets in the way, well, it's getting run right over. But after finally seeing Prometheus this past weekend, I've come to realize that the industry's contempt for even vaguely plausible science all-but-guarantees I won't be able to suspend my disbelief. And it doesn't have to be like this.

Warning: spoilers will follow.

My problems with the film began almost immediately. A Lord of the Rings-inspired panoramic landscape gives way to a humanoid standing by a waterfall. He drinks some black goop, and then his DNA begins to fall apart, followed quickly by the rest of him. This mess all dissolves into the river, et voilà—the implication is that humans arose because of this. Just five minutes in and my brain is already beginning to push back against this dreck.

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What-happened-to-cyberpunk-2_thumb

Cyberpunk, in the popular consciousness, conjures a glut of dissociated images: Blade Runner’s slummy urban landscape, hackers in sunglasses, Japanese cyborgs, grubby tech, digital intoxication, Keanu Reeves as Johnny Mnemonic. But it began as an insanely niche subculture within science fiction, one which articulated young writerly distaste for the historically utopian optimism of the medium and, in turn, provided an aesthetic reference point for burgeoning hacker culture, before metastasizing into a full-on cultural trend.

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Syd Mead Blade Runner promo reel

We can't wait for Ridley Scott's Prometheus to hit theaters, but long before the director teamed with Damon Lindelof to revisit the world of Alien, he created the sci-fi noir classic Blade Runner. A behind-the-scenes feature, put together to hype the film at various science fiction and fantasy conventions, takes a look at the creation of the movie. A fresh-faced Scott is featured along with futurist Syd Mead and visual effects wizard Douglas Trumbull, all discussing the production and design of the movie's universe; Mead explains how he began with clean, futuristic lines in his designs, and then added additional passes of machinery and detail to create a layered, realistic look at a world that had slowly devolved. Even the magazine...

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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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It's an arm. Cool, huh?
It’s starting to feel like intro day here on RPS. Art Of The Title have just concluded their first gaming title sequence dissection, cracking the chest of the appropriately surgical opening of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Production company Goldtooth Creative Paul Furminger’s discusses the scene’s grand theme: “The original concept was a descent from the macroscopic to the microscopic and from the organic to the mechanical. We started working on storyboards and animatics that began with the gruesome reality of Adam’s beaten body and ended with the sublime perfection of veins and circuitry combining at a microscopic level.” Man, I regret skipping it now.
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