20th Century Fox has already had one viral marketing campaign result in box office success this year: specifically the high-flying antics used to promote the studio's found-footage superhero flick, Chronicle. Now Fox is turning it's viral marketing efforts toward Ridley Scott's upcoming Alien prequel/spinoff film, Prometheus.
Better yet: through this new Prometheus viral vid, we're finally getting a look at Guy Pearce's character in the film, corporate tycoon Peter Weyland.
The viral video is disguised as a lecture on the popular TED conference series. If you are unfamiliar with the TED website: it is basically like a YouTube that showcases lectures and performances by scholars, intellectuals and artists from around the globe. If you ever wanted to challenge or expand your thoughts by taking on ideas from some of the most brilliant and/or talented people in the world, TED is the place to go.
For the purposes of Prometheus Fox has staged their own Peter Weyland TED lecture, in which the shrewd businessman recounts the myth of Prometheus, the wily and clever Titan who stole fire from the Olympians and delivered it unto man. For giving his stolen gift, Prometheus was punished by Zeus - chained to a rock while an eagle ate his liver, which regenerated every day so that the eagle could feed on it again.
Watch how Weyland spins that ancient myth into a metaphor about the future and technology in the Prometheus viral video below:
Rumored plot details about Prometheus have indicated that the film - about a team of explorers seeking answers about mankind's possible origins on an alien planet - will deal with themes and events metaphorically related to the original Prometheus myth - i.e., the explorers steal something from powerful alien beings and incur their wrath. In an all-star cast that includes Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Noomi Rapace (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce has been the one famous face largely absent from the Prometheus trailers and other marketing materials, so it's good to see him getting some air time in this way.
For those not well versed in the Alien universe: The Weyland corporation (later designated as the Weyland-Yutani Coporation) is the company that was behind many of the events that took place in the first two Alien films. It was the Weyland Corp. that ordered the crew of the Nostromo down to planet LV-426 to investigate the crashed vessel there; an investigation which gave birth to the dreaded Alien Xenomorph that killed everyone aboard the Nostromo, except Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver). Fifty-seven years later, it was again Weyland-Yutani that tried to terraform LV-426, resulting in the calamity of death and destruction featured in the sequel film, Aliens.
Basically, Weyland represents evil corporate greed that eventually puts the universe in grave danger, via the outbreak of xenomorphs. In this earlier time, Peter Weyland is simply chasing an ambition that will almost certainly set off the chain of events leading up to Alien. But what is this great ambition Weyland discusses in speech? Therein lies the mystery of Prometheus...
All-in-all, it's cool to see this kind of viral marketing that is packed with fun Easter eggs for Alien fan. I admit, I geeked out a bit when Weyland was discussing 'cybernetic individuals who will soon be completely indistinguishable from us' - just as I shuddered a bit when Weyland made the foolish claim that humans 'are the gods now.' That kind of boasting is not going to end well...
Prometheus will be in 2D and 3D theaters on June 8, 2012.