Ridley Scott talks God, Prometheus and his next (Biblical!) Project

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!

About Rebecca Cusey

Rebecca is a lead critic and editor of entertainment at Patheos. Follow her on Twitter @Rebecca_Cusey

  • John McWilliams

    1. The movie claims that our DNA is of their DNA…But who created that DNA…Hmmmm. I believe that Elizabeth’s faith is shaken until she realizes that these “Engineers” may not have been our creators. Admittedly a projection from my desire to see this series tell a truly awesome Biblical story; the Genesis account of the sons of God, taking the daughters of men. This is a story where the enemies of God and man, the fallen angels, try to disrupt the bloodline of Eve in order to prevent the birth of the Messiah. It didn’t work…Noah remained “perfect in his generations”. In other words, his DNA was not corrupted.
    Today, there is a renewed effort to corrupt our DNA…In the name of “evolution” we now await the “Singularity”. An event where man is no longer man, rather a new “Super” human that has merged with machines. (Read about Ray Kurzweil). The next logical step would be to mix nonhuman with human DNA in order to create a chimeric new form of…of…what? As a Christian, all I have to do is to wait for Lord to fix my broken DNA. It’s His promise.
    In reality, Mr. Scott probably will not allow his protagonist to find a Christian God…I think he believes all religions to be worshiping the same god. YHWY is Allah is Buddha is anyone’s “higher power”. But I perhaps I can still hope that Elizabeth does find the Engineers to be whom I suspect them to be…Fallen.

  • Pingback: The Power of Prometheus: Drawing Lines in the Sand « In Harsh Light


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