Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, at one point among the most highly anticipated films of 2012, has come to rest somewhere in the middle – with its fair share of adoring fans and annoyed detractors. Contentious to say the least, Prometheus‘ story (scripted by Damon Lindelof and Jon Spaihts) presented a few inconsistencies that it left audiences questioning the little details.
But what if Ridley Scott and co. had been as thoughtful about the production and its lofty themes as we’d hope for? What if Scott had planned out several of the film’s key scenes so many times that he had back-up scenarios upon back-up scenarios? While we can’t say that was true about the entire film, we can confirm that one scene from Prometheus – occurring about midway through the film – could have played out a few different ways.
From here on out a few specifics from the film’s second act are going to need to be spoiled, so those who have yet to see Prometheus should turn back now.
About a third of the way through the film, Prometheus‘ geologist Fifield and biologist Milburn encounter a worm that has been genetically mutated by the film’s mysterious black goop. Milburn, being of a curious and scientific mind, puts his head close enough to the worm that it is able to attack and kill him. Fifield on the other hand, is not so lucky, and is horribly scarred by some sort of corrosive fluid.
A few scenes pass by before the surviving members of the research vessel come to discover Fifield’s new visage, a mutated collection of skin, muscle, and hair; but when they do he’s hell-bent to kill them all. In the actual film, through the use of practical make-up, Fifield looks like this:
But in case the practical make-up didn’t “work” on the day or look believable in editing, Ridley Scott had several CGI versions of the character to use as back-ups. As we already know, the practical version of Fifield won out, but CineFX has obtained some concept art that shows how the character would have looked in CGI form.
It’s not necessarily a far stretch from the practical version, but the CGI Fifield looks much more alien (not Alien) than the production might have intended. The melted face idea is there, but these CGI creations would have given some audience members the impression Fifield had become an entirely new creature, or worse, made them wonder who this random alien attacking the crew was. And since they were already struggling to understand the Engineers that would have compounded the problem even further.
We’re glad to see that Scott, a pioneer in sci-fi filmmaking, stuck to his guns and kept the practical effects in, but it’s also interesting to see how other versions of the mutation could have played out.