Prometheus trailer leak anger, but why?
I'm trying to marry up some of the issues here and work out just why the 20th Century Fox Chairman Tom Rothman is so upset that the trailer for the film Prometheus leaked. Sure he's annoyed that it was leaked because they had security there, someone betrayed them (perhaps) and we've seen a lot of the trailer in a very grainy format and not in high definition 3D.
However there's a big disparity between almost all of the footage in the trailer and what he and the people behind Prometheus keep saying, that this is not an Alien prequel.
First of all I'll give him some credit, he's ardently defending the release of trailers properly, and I whole heartedly agree with him, I would have loved to have seen this trailer released in all its glory for all to see from day one.
Yet he also has to realise that this is Ridley Scott returning to the Alien franchise, no matter how narrow the connection may be in everyone's minds, that's what's happening and fans of that franchise and of film in general will be very interested in seeing Prometheus and finding out how close the film will be and what it will show us, even if it is a million miles away from Alien.
Some may argue that poor footage is bad advertising, some not. For me this is all great hype and there's nothing negative about it at all for there's no way to be negative about what we've seen apart from saying that we didn't see enough and in good enough quality, and no one places that at the door of the studio, it just makes us hungry for more.
The only thing would be if it was a big reveal, and I'm beginning to think that it is.
Tom Rothman says in response to the question of it being an Alien prequel, although those outside the US can't see his frustration because MTV are convinced film fans are only in America and I only saw this story via Deadline because I'm British and don't read the American only MTV film site:
"It is not. It's not...Hand on heart."
Yet the trailer says otherwise. Watch the trailer and we see the Alien universe; we see the Alien space ship; we see a very similar egg chamber; we see very similar egg structures; we see very astronauts one who looks like they might have a face hugger on them; we read in the break down from a viewer that there are Alien like creatures leaping from human to human; we see the same architecture.
Now tell me that's not a prequel, or try and convince me it just happens to be set in the same Alien universe, I might believe you, then again, I don't.
So what's going on here? Is everyone on the project correct? Is this really nothing to do with the Alien prequel and a bootlegged version of the trailer just happens to have many connections with the original? Well it could be that, it could be that we're misinterpreting everything because the footage is so bad and we want to believe, and that could be why Rotham is so annoyed because it really isn't a prequel and we are all starting to believe it is. That could be rather bad for the film come release day.
What if they really have been trying to pull the wool over our eyes and convince us that this isn't an Alien prequel when really it is, saving the big reveal for the film? Well then the trailer has just thrown rubbish in the face of all that hasn't it?
Why do I say that? Well the leaked footage from the trailer seems to be about eighty percent connected with the original Alien, even if it is just visually, most of it does remind you of the original films and ideas in some way, and not in completely subtle, hard to see ways either. So where would be the surprise?
If everyone had been trying to fool us when the trailer came out for real we would suddenly be going, wow, it is an Alien prequel after all, we're so excited now, now we'll have to wait for the film. How is that any different to the way we are now? That's not a great surprise.
A great surprise would be seeing the reveal during the film, and is that where the annoyance is? Perhaps the secret that would be in the film itself has been revealed. Perhaps this was being saved for the third act to show us that the great story and conspiracy behind everything we've been watching is about the Aliens, or the reveal of the Aliens reveals something a lot more sinister and dramatic.
Perhaps that's the reason, in which case they should be forgetting trying to decry the leak and go after whoever made the trailer, for through the grainy leaked footage the trailer looks more like an Alien prequel than anything I've seen since the last Alien film. If they were saving all this for the third act of the film why put the lot in the trailer?
If it's just about the visuals being rubbish then when it is seen in all its glory it will be a hell of a leap, nothing will have been ruined, and wouldn't they be releasing the trailer online anyway where people wouldn't be seeing it in huge cinema screen format and 3D? Which kind of negates Rothman's comment of:
"The quality of the visuals is as spectacularly beautiful, shot in 3-D compositionally the way only a master could do it...For some early, early, early, early half-baked, half-assed test to leak, it's so unfair."
Look, I'm not having a go at the guy, I can understand studios wanting to hold onto secrets and not have anything leaked, but here I can't see the problem, it's not spoiled anything just increased hype, and if they genuinely are trying to continue to keep the Alien story secret then their own trailer has done a very bad job of that.
This leak has done nothing but build the hype, and build it positively. What Fox need to do now is buckle down and get a trailer out that answers this leak. Perhaps though they are hard at work trying to cut a trailer that doesn't connect Prometheus so much with Alien.