The lead-up to Prometheus has been unique. While they have teamed with Coors and Amazon for more traditional style promotional tie-ins, they've also released a gang of viral videos. And these weren’t just movie clips, either; they were made for the internet "mini-features" introducing us to characters from the movie, written by Prometheus’ screenwriter, Damon Lindelof. Here’s a run-down of the viral content, in case you missed any:
Peter Weyland TED Talk 2023
This one finds Weyland Company (of Weyland Yutani fame from the Alien franchise) CEO Peter Weyland conducting a TED Talk at the series’ 2023 edition. Here, an in-character Guy Pearce explains the story of the titan Prometheus, and how he died to give us our first piece of technology—fire. Then he goes onto a list of new technology. That’s what makes this one stand out. It almost entirely builds up the world of Prometheus with no footage from the movie. We know that fusion, biotech, and nanotech are real and common things in this future. Still, its idea is more novel than its execution. It is, in essence, simply exposition about the movie.
Happy Birthday David
The second viral video is styled like an ad from Apple. It shows a product’s moving parts with an erudite narrator asking punny rhetorical questions such as, “What makes a robot so robotic?” Then the narrator is revealed to be Michael Fassbender, playing David 8. The video hits its most chilling note as David talks about what makes him sad as his eyes leak tears. This video succeeds in the same way the TED Talk video did: it takes something we’re familiar with (TED Talks, Apple ads) and subverts it to show us more about this somewhat terrifying not-to-distant future. And it’s a showcase for Fassbender’s ability to absolutely disappear into a character. It’s easy to imagine this ad being run in ten years.
The final viral video released for Prometheus features Noomi Rapace as her character, a scientist named Elizabeth Shaw. It has a looming sense of voyeuristic dread. It takes the form of a video message from Shaw to Weyland. The twist is the Yutani Corporation, Weyland’s rival (and future ally), has intercepted it. As we watch Shaw speak, we see Yutani’s “Quiet Eye” lie detection software run to determine if she’s telling the truth. The result is much more dystopic than the other two ads. Here, instead of a future of scientific wonders, we see a future where corporations can steal information and even read minds. In essence, though, it’s a short speech with a bunch of computer graphics hovering over Rapace’s face.
Which was your favorite Prometheus viral video?