When you see Prometheus this weekend, if you pick up on themes about God, faith, religion, and creation, well….they’re all intentional, according to an interview with director Ridley Scott in Esquire Magazine. (warning, some explicit language)
ERIC SPITZNAGEL: I got kind of an Old Testament vibe from Prometheus.
RIDLEY SCOTT: Great. Then I’ve done my job.
ES: So that was intentional?
RS: Oh, yes. I’m really intrigued by those eternal questions of creation and belief and faith. I don’t care who you are, it’s what we all think about. It’s in the back of all our minds.
ES: In the Old Testament, God is kind of an asshole.
RS: Yeah, he was pretty hard on us, wasn’t he?
ES: Humanity’s creators in Prometheus aren’t much better. The “Engineers,” as they’re called, are really prickish and hostile. Are they a metaphor for your feelings about God?
RS: Me, personally?
ES: Yeah. Do you believe in a supreme deity who’s sadistic and cruel and maybe hates us?
RS: Well, that’s not me. That’s Paradise Lost.
ES: You think Milton got it right?
RS: I don’t think so literally, but it seems analogous sometimes. The only guy in Paradise Lost having a good time is that son-of-a-bitch dark angel.
ES: My favorite part of Prometheus is when a battered and bloody Noomi Rapace reaches for her crucifix necklace, and the decapitated robot head says to her, “Even after all this, you still believe.” In that scene, are you Noomi or the robot head?
RS: That’s hard to say. [Long pause] I do despair. That’s a heavy word, but picking up a newspaper every day, how can you not despair at what’s happening in the world, and how we’re represented as human beings? The disappointments and corruption are dismaying at every level. And the biggest source of evil is of course religion.
Scott goes on to reveal, perhaps inadvertantly, that he’s working on a movie about the Biblical Moses. Read the rest of the interview here.
Hey, get in line, Ridley Scott! You think you’re the only one who’s noticed the Bible has great stories, Ridley Scott? Queue up behind Steven Spielberg (also Moses), Darren Aronofsky (Noah), Scott Derrickson (David and Goliath), Alister Greirson (Mary, Mother of Christ), Anne Rice’s Christ the Lord), and Mel Gibson (the disastrously failed project Maccabees).
Paging Charlton Heston!